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If you are like many people who are in the market for a water heater, you may be curious in how the newer tankless water heaters compare to the standard heaters you are used to. You may have heard that with a tankless water heater, you never have to worry about running out of hot water. To choose to perfect tankless heater you must first be able to calculate your flow rate, and understand your needed temperature rise. Fortunately, both of these are relatively easy to do.
What Size Tank Will You Need?
When you are deciding which tankless hot water heater to purchase, there are two basic concepts you will need to become comfortable with. This is because tankless heaters are rated by their maximum temperature rise, as well as their flow rate. To determine this information, you will need to ask yourself,how much hot water do you need, and how fast do you need it.
Anything in your home that uses water has an average flow rate. This the number of gallons per minute (GPM) that passes through the faucet when the water is turned on. There are several things that can affect your water flow. These include:
How Much Water Do You Use?
While there are meters which can measure this number, there are ways you do this without using any type of gadget. All you need is a one gallon container, and a timer with a second hand.
There are some averages you can use to calculate an approximate GPM you will need. The average shower, or bathtub uses 5 GPM, your kitchen sink uses 3 GPM, and your bathroom sink uses 2 GPM. This method of measuring water flow will not work on some appliance such as washing machines, dishwashers, water softeners, and toilets. You may be able to find the amount of water these use listed on the appliance itself.
Using these rough average calculations in this example, if you expect two people to be able to shower simultaneously, but while in separate showers, you would need a tank that will produce a minimum of 10 GPM. You need to note that low flow shower heads can greatly reduce the amount of water you will need.
How Hot Do You Want Your Water?
The other calculation you will need to make will help to determine how hot your water will be once it reaches it destination. This is referred to as the temperature rise. This number is obtained by subtracting the temperature of the water going into your water heater from the temperature you want your hot water to be.
You can find the temperature of the water going into your hot water heater by simply measuring the temperature of the cold water coming out of your faucet. This is often determined by where your water is coming from. If you are in the country, and have an extremely deep well, or you live in a really cool climate, your water will be cooler than someone who lives in a warm environment using city supplied water.
For example: If your incoming water is 55 degrees, and you want your hot water to be 115 degrees, you will need a hot water heater that is capable of producing a temperature rise of at least 60 degrees.
Knowing the flow rate, as well as the temperature rise you need will make shopping for a tankless hot water heater much easier. If in doubt always choose a heater that is going to produce more hot water than you need rather than less. This will ensure your satisfaction. Visit a site like http://www.firstclassplumbinginc.com or talk to an expert in your area to learn more about your options.