A Homeowner’s Guide To Increasing Hot Water Capacity

If you find yourself running out of hot water, it may be time to increase capacity. The following provides some information on achieving this goal.

Reasons to Increase Capacity

There are many reasons why the average home may need to install a higher-capacity hot water tank. The most obvious is that your family is growing, either due to a new child or because of older generations combining households. Another reason is if the tank was always too small for your family's needs and you are simply tired of trying to schedule hot water usage.

Building onto your home may also increase your capacity needs. A larger home, particularly if you plan to entertain guests often or are planning to open up part of your home to short- or long-term tenants, will definitely result in a need for more hot water. This is especially true if you are operating a business, such as a B&B, since your ratings and bookings may suffer negative impacts if hot water availability is an issue.

Options for Increased Hot Water

There are several options for increasing hot water capacity in your home. The simplest is to upgrade your hot water heater to a higher-capacity model. This may also be the most cost-effective, at least for initial installation costs.

Another option is to install a second hot water heater. This works well if you need increased capacity due to building an addition or because you are going to be renting out a portion of your home. You can spread out the cost by staggering the installation of the two hot water heaters. Further, if you only need the extra capacity periodically, you can save money by turning off or turning down the heat on the second unit when it isn't in use.

The third option is to switch to on-demand water heaters. You will need to install several of these small heaters throughout the home, as they only have the capacity to provide hot water to two or three taps at a time. Initial installation is a bit more costly, but the ongoing energy consumption is low, so an on-demand unit may save you more money in the long run.

What to Keep in Mind

You do need to keep one other thing in mind -- there may be additional costs with installation no matter which method you choose. A larger capacity tank, for example, may require the construction of a larger utility closet or the installation of additional vents. On-demand heaters will need to be installed in new or existing cabinets or closets, which may need to be modified with vents and water lines.

An additional water heater has similar issues, in that you will need to build a completely new utility closet, as well as vent and plumb it for the heater.

Contact a hot water tank installation service for more help.