What Size Water Heater Do I Need?




Wondering, “What size water heater do I need for my Tulsa, Oklahoma home?” Well, you’ve come to the right place! Deciding on the size of your water heater involves a bit of knowledge, some math, and a dash of common sense. But don’t worry, the crew at Maston’s Plumbing & Drain is here to break it down for you! 

First things first, you need to determine two key factors:  

  1. The size of your household: How many folks are there in your family? 
  2. Your daily hot water usage: This includes showers, washing dishes, doing the laundry, and other hot water needs. 

Now, let’s get started, shall we?  

Maston's tech working on water heater

Why Size Matters: Finding the Right Water Heater for Your Tulsa Home 

Just like you wouldn’t buy a semi-truck to drive yourself to work (unless, of course, you’re a truck driver), you shouldn’t get an oversized water heater for a two-person household. It’ll only lead to sky-high utility bills and wasted energy. 

On the flip side, a water heater that’s too small can leave you shivering in the shower. In essence, getting the size right equals comfort and cost-efficiency.  

Size Considerations  

  • Number of occupantsThe more people in your home, the larger the water heater you may need. 
  • Usage patternsDo you all shower in the morning, or is usage spread throughout the day? 
  • Appliances: Washers, dishwashers, and certain other appliances also tap into your hot water supply. 

Remember, the right water heater size for you should comfortably handle your peak hour demand while not wasting energy heating water you’re not using.  

How to Calculate the Proper Size  

Here’s a simple rule of thumb—each person in your household requires approximately 10-15 gallons of hot water for a shower. So, calculate the total gallons your family needs during the busiest hour of the day. This ‘peak hour demand’ will help you determine the right size for your water heater.  

The number of people in your home is a big factor in determining water heater size. Here’s a rough guide:  

  • 1-2 people: You’re looking at a 30-40 gallons tank. 
  • 2-3 people: That’s a 40-50 gallons tank. 
  • 3-4 people: You need around a 50-60 gallons tank. 
  • 5 or more people: Put your party hat on. You’re going to need a tank that’s 60-80 gallons or more. 

Note: The size of your water heater doesn’t necessarily correlate directly to the size of your family. A household of four might not always require a larger water heater than a household of two. It’s all about how much hot water you use. 

Cale the Plumber doing annual maintenance on tankless water heater

Considerations for Tankless Water Heaters 

Tankless units are known for their energy efficiency and endless supply of hot water. But before you rush to the store, it’s crucial to understand that the sizing guidelines for tankless water heaters are pretty different from those of traditional ones.  

What Size Tankless Water Heater Do You Need?  

Choosing the right size for a tankless water heater is heavily dependent on two main factors: your household’s peak hour demand and the temperature rise needed.  

  • Peak Hour Demand: This refers to the maximum amount of hot water your home will need at any one time. Say, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys hot showers while running the dishwasher and doing laundry simultaneously, then you’ll need a larger unit. 
  • Temperature Rise: This is the gap between the incoming water temperature and the temperature you’d like your water to be. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the incoming water temperature can be quite low, especially in winter, requiring a more substantial temperature rise. 

Are They the Same as Traditional Water Heaters?  

Nope, they’re not the same. Traditional water heaters are sized based on the total volume of water they hold. However, since tankless water heaters heat water on demand, they’re sized based on the flow rate, which is the amount of water they can heat at one time, measured in gallons per minute (GPM).  

Do I Need a Plumber to Install a Water Heater?  

While it’s true that installing a water heater might seem like a fun DIY project for the weekend, it’s not as simple as it might initially appear. This task requires a certain level of technical skill and understanding of local building codes. In other words, it’s typically a job for a professional plumber like our guys at Maston’s.  

Now, there are a few reasons why you might want to call in the pros:  

  • Knowledge and experience: A professional plumber has the necessary knowledge and experience to install a water heater properly and safely. 
  • Time: It could take you a whole day (or longer) to install a water heater if you’re not familiar with the process. A pro can typically get the job done in a few hours. 
  • Safety: Installing a water heater involves working with gas, electricity, or both. One wrong move and things could go south quickly. A professional plumber knows how to handle these elements safely. 

So, while it might seem like you’re saving money by doing it yourself, in reality, you could end up causing more damage or even putting yourself at risk. Trust us y’all, it’s generally best to leave this job to experts, like us!  

water heater with Maston's logo

Call the Guys at Maston’s  

If you’re in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and you find yourself saying, “I need a new water heater. Who should I call?”  Well, the answer’s as clear as a freshly drained pipe, Maston’s Plumbing and Drain! Our crew will have your new water heater humming along quicker than you could say ‘hot water on demand’.  

So, for all your traditional or tankless water heater needs, remember to call Maston’s! We’re known for our reliability, which in the plumbing business, is as good as gold!  

Call us at