Why did my builder install a 55 gallon water heater

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Old 12-11-19, 06:17 PM
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Why did my builder install a 55 gallon water heater

The builder installed a NG 55 gallon water heater in my 4BR-3Bath house. Replacement time is approaching and I do not see many 55 gallon models listed even thought there are some. Price comparison seems to be a $300 difference (50vrs55)for an additional 5 gallons

Any reason I can't use a 50 gallon replacement??
 
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Old 12-11-19, 06:24 PM
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What’s make and model of current water heater?

Any large soaking tubs of whirlpools?
 
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Old 12-11-19, 08:38 PM
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Because it's a 4 bedroom 3 bathroom house, that's why! Use a 50 if you want.
 
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Old 12-12-19, 02:10 AM
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Depending on your lifestyle, how long everybody stands in the shower, how much laundry is done, those are the big users, you could replace with a 40 gallon.
 
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Old 12-12-19, 03:17 AM
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As noted above it depends on your usage. I used to have a 52 gallon water heater but I replaced it with a 40 gallon since now it's just me and my wife and it's preformed fine for us. Not sure it would be enough water heater if we had several teenagers living with us. I doubt you'd notice a big difference between a 55 gallon and a 50 gallon.
 
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Old 12-12-19, 07:16 PM
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Any reason I can't use a 50 gallon replacement??

Sure, if all 4 bedrooms are being used and everyone wants to shower first thing in the morning you'll run out of hot water. I would think a 55 gallon water heater would have been marginal for a 4 bedroom house anyway.
 
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Old 12-13-19, 05:29 AM
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Most likely he had this 55 gal unit hanging around or he had deal with the manufacture.
 
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Old 12-13-19, 07:00 PM
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Tx for the input. All my kids have got married and moved out, so just the 2 of us. I am only guessing that it is a state/county/city requirement based on # BR & Baths?. (If I sold the house, an inspector may require a 55 gal because of the code). First one rusted out/leaking etc. and lasted 8 yrs. House is 20 yr old now and the 1st replacement is a Rheem Fury with a mfg date of 8-2006 and was installed in 7/6/08. We do have a hot tub but that is self sufficient and not connected to WH.
Was in Costco today and took home a booklet for AO Smith claiming "Commercial-Grade water heaters for the home"?
 
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Old 12-13-19, 10:40 PM
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You could install a smaller tank if you want. If and when you sell they may require a bigger tank. Or just install a tank booster. You get about 25% more hot water

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Apollo-Tank...-Kit/999927106
 
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Old 12-14-19, 06:21 AM
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Lawrosa,

Not familiar with this product. How does it work? Does it recirculate or mix hot and cold? If it doesn't heat water then how can it deliver more that what the tank is capable ?
 
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Old 12-14-19, 07:32 AM
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I didn't realize that there was a code requirement for water heater size.
 
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Old 12-14-19, 07:54 AM
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There are no water tank "requirements" just "recommendations"!

I have never seen a hot water tank size as something a buyer/inspector ever brought up and would not think it to be an issue unless there was something very odd/small installed, a 40 gal tank is common!

That booster system is a mixing valve that allows you to turn up the water temp then it mixes in cold water so your then cool it down.

It just uses less really hot water but it's going to use more energy to heat the water to higher temp.
 
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Old 12-15-19, 11:12 AM
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The WH I have now has always provided enough hot water over the years. It is the only "appliance" using gas for the majority of the year. Each months bill is ~ $35 with half of that charge is taxes, membership stuff. The actual gas usage is ~$12. The price does go up in the "winter" for the fireplace. The builder did install a NG fitting behind the kitchen stove as well as a 220vac plug, allowing a choice for the buyer.

Marq1. If the size has no requirement, then what drives a builder to determine the size to install? I don't know, and therefore the reason for the original question.

Might call my city building department tomorrow and see what they say :-)
 
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Old 12-15-19, 11:19 AM
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There is probably a builders standard or guideline but that is different from a requirement/code. My guess would be experience. X number of fixtures needs X number of gallons.

I'm having a hard time understanding the concern over 5 gallons of HW. We're only talking about a few dollars relative to the selling price of a house.
 
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Old 12-15-19, 01:35 PM
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There are guidelines for choosing the size of water heater, typically based on number of bedrooms or bathrooms or persons living in the house. Even the Sears Roebuck catalogs of long ago included such a sizing chart.

Due to newer water heater jacket insulation requirements, a new water heater with the same gallon capacity may be physically larger than the old one. For water heaters installed in closets or other tight space this has to be considered.
 
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Old 12-15-19, 02:36 PM
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Due to newer water heater jacket insulation requirements, a new water heater with the same gallon capacity may be physically larger than the old one
I replaced our 52 gallon water heater several yrs ago with a 40 gallon, same brand. The exterior dimensions of the new heater are almost the same as the old larger one.
 
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Old 12-15-19, 04:16 PM
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That tank booster works like an anti-scald valve at a shower..

When no one is using hot water, the booster hose does nothing.

When a hot faucet is turned on, some cold water comes through the hose (bypassing the water heater) and mixes with the hot water emerging from the tank outlet.

To make this all work you must increase the hot water temperature by adjusting the controls on the heater), Then to get the desired shower temperature using the booster, less water exiting the tank is needed for each shower, all other things being equal, so the tankful lasts longer. This Apollo booster has an additional control to adjust how much cold water comes through the hose.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 12-15-19 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 12-15-19, 05:28 PM
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You might want to check the heating capacity of the tank you have........storage capacity is only one consideration.
The bigger tank may have faster recovery.
 
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