Upgrading Your Water Heater

Have you noticed the water in your shower getting cold faster than it used to? If so, it might be time for a new water heater. Rusty water from the tap, strange noises, and puddles around the heater are other telltale signs that it’s time for an upgrade.

We’re more than happy to provide recommendations based on your specific needs. But it’s still a good idea to have a general idea about the various options available for any large purchase.

Types of Water Heaters

When replacing your water heater, most homeowners select a similar model to keep costs to a minimum. But let’s review the most common types of water heaters so you can decide what’s best for your home.

Storage Tank Water Heater

Traditional water heaters feature a storage tank that holds between 20 and 100+ gallons of hot water. However, 40 – 60 gallon tanks are the most common. When deciding how large a tank you need, it’s good to have a sense of the water requirements for common household tasks.


10 gallons

washing machine

7 gallons


6 gallons

food preparation

4 gallons


1 – 2 gallons

Of course, these are only estimates. If you like to take luxuriously long, steamy showers on cold mornings, expect to use significantly more than 10 gallons of hot water. After using the hot water in a 40-gallon tank, an electric model will take about two hours to recovery. Natural gas models recover in about half the time.

Tankless Water Heater

If you’re looking for a more efficient solution, consider a tankless hot water heater. These models use heating coils to create hot water on demand which can lower utility bills by about 30%. They produce around 3.5 gallons per minute (GPM). For reference, a shower uses about 2.5 gallons per minute.

Because of their limited output, tankless water heaters are best suited for homes that only need to use hot water from a single tap at a time. So if you regularly have a few showers going at once in the morning, it probably makes more sense to stick to a model with a storage tank. Otherwise, just make sure to get a model with a high GPM rating.

Now that you have a general idea about the different types of water heaters, you might be wondering, “Who does water heater installation near Northbrook?” We can help! BMW Plumbing provides water heater installation in Deerfield, IL, and the surrounding areas. Check out our service areas page or give us a call to confirm which towns we serve.

About the Author

I’m Andy Visconi, the Operations Manager at BMW Plumbing since 1999.  When I’m not talking to our many Customers about their plumbing needs, scheduling one of our expert plumbers to a home or business or responding to plumbing emergencies, I can be found spending time with my wife Megan and two children.

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