Selecting a new electric water heater

Old 02-24-16, 08:41 AM
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Selecting a new electric water heater

Hello all. I currently have a 54 gallon hot water heater that's approximately 10 years old. I think it's on it's last legs as the water just isn't that hot anymore. What size would be appropriate for a family of 5 with two adults and 3 children plus the occasional guest. I'm having problems finding an electric hot water heater with a capicity greater than 50 gallons. Will that be big enough? My other problem is that my water supply is very very cold in winter. I measured it at 38. The water is so cold that mixing it with hot really only gives me warm water. What is a good fix for this issue? Thanks in advance.
Old 02-24-16, 08:54 AM
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No expert on new HW tanks but for your incoming cold water to be warmed slightly, you could use this old hot water tank as an (unpowered) indoor storage tank where it would warm slightly to more room temperature over time. Probably never reach room temp since you constantly feed in fresh cold water when drawing cold from the tap but it should take the big chill off. Just plumb this tank inline with the incoming cold as the input and the house cold supply as the output.

- Peter
Old 02-24-16, 10:28 AM
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You may not find larger electric hot water heaters in the home improvement stores but any size is available.

Residential Electric Water Heaters | Choose Electric for your Hot Water

Cold incoming water is always a problem in a northern state in the winter.
Old 02-24-16, 05:08 PM
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Finding a new unit larger than 50 gallons shouldn't be a problem, but the new efficiency standards of April 2015 will mean that unless you can find an older model you'll probably have to buy a hybrid heat pump water heater.

Shop Electric Water Heaters at

My opinion is that a conventional 50 gallon electric heater should be big enough for your needs, but that is a decision you have to make.

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