Having ready access to hot water is so fundamental to modern life that we often neglect to appreciate its significance. We put it to good use for a variety of purposes, including washing our dishes, our clothes, and ourselves. What may surprise you is just how important the water heater recovery rate is to your hot water access.
What Does Recovery Rate Mean?
The recovery rate of a water heater is its capacity to produce hot water after some time has elapsed. Several factors determine your heater’s production of hot water. These include the wattage of the heating elements or burner size, the efficiency of the system, and much more.
Water Heater Recovery Types
Recovery rates will differ between the types of heaters. A typical 40-gallon gas water heater will recover more than 30 gallons of water. This water will usually reach 100 degrees in about one hour. The better gas heaters will recover 100% of storage capacity in an hour, even if the storage capacity is small.
On the other hand, electric water heaters recover much slower. So slowly, in fact, that your appliance won’t even have the recovery rate listed. Electric water heaters generally recover much more slowly than gas heaters.
The manufacturer assigns an Energy Factor, or EF rating, to your heater. The EF rating takes into account several different aspects. These include both the energy it takes to heat the water and how well the tank holds in the heat.
The better the EF rating, the higher the quality of the product. You may be able to save money by using a tank that has a lower storage capacity, but faster recovery.
Tips for Choosing a Water Heater
There are several important factors to consider when choosing a water heater. Mainly, think about the recovery rate, the energy efficiency, and the capacity.
Let’s talk capacity. Think about the number of people living in your home and the size of your property. The bigger your household, the more hot water you’re going to use.
More showers, more dishes, and more clothes will all require more hot water. If you don’t want to be the unlucky one having a cold shower, capacity is important to you. A higher recovery rate can also make up for a lack of capacity.
The requirements of your household are the primary factors to consider when establishing an appropriate recovery rate for a water heater. Average water heaters typically recover about 40 gallons of hot water an hour. However, higher-end models can recover as much as 60 gallons an hour.
If your household uses a lot of water, we strongly recommend a higher recovery rate heater. You should look for a recovery rate of at least 50 gallons per hour. This is because larger families require more hot water than smaller families do.
The following is a list of estimates for the sizes of heaters needed for various households:
- Family of 3: 30 Gallons
- Family of 4: 40 gallons
- Family of 5: 50 gallons
You will certainly want to weigh the pros and cons of each heater option before you decide on an upgrade. The first thing you’ll notice is that you won’t run out of hot water as often. Also, even if your hot water does run out, you won’t be left without hot water for nearly as long.
Choosing Between Upgrading or Replacing Your Water Heater
Before you pull the trigger on a new upgrade, there are a few things to consider. First, whether or not the new heater is compatible with our existing systems. Second, whether it’s worth the money to go ahead with an upgrade.
Look for good ratings for energy efficiency, a first-hour recovery rate, and an adequate recovery rate. If the heater excels in all of these categories, it’s probably an excellent candidate to be your new heater.
It’s possible that not all replacement units will work with your current plumbing, venting, or gas piping systems. However, there are quite a few options available. We strongly suggest you contact our team at Gallagher’s Plumbing, Heating and Air for guidance. It would be our privilege to help you find the best solution for your home.