We often blame the poor hot water heater thermostat when we don't have enough hot water. Is it really the fault of the thermostat? How many people do you have in the have in the house? Do you have teenagers? It could be that your hot water tank is smaller than you need.
Do you have five or more people in the house? Would you consider your demand high? You should probably have a 75 gallon hot water tank. 50 gallons minimum.
I had a 60 gallon gas hot water tank when my children were at home. We got by, but often we did not have enough hot water (six people in the house). After all but one of the children moved out, I had to replace the tank. Forty gallons, no problem, right? Well, I put in a whirlpool for my wife and she still complains that there is not enough hot water.
Water Heater Recovery Rate
The size of the water heater is one thing. If no one has used the hot water for a while, you have a full tank of hot water at your disposal. What happens when the hot water starts to get used. In the morning when everyone in the house takes a shower. When you are washing clothes or running the dishwasher. Then the water heater needs to 'recover' or heat more water.
The recovery rate is as important if not more important than the size of the water heater. If everyone gets ready for the days activity in the morning and you have an hour and a half or two hour window of time. The question would be, how many showers can the water heater handle.
How fast your water heater recovers has a lot to do with what type it is. Gas hot water heaters recover faster than electric ones do. That is just a fact of life. If you have a 50 gallon gas hot water heater, it can heat about 40 gallons an hour. Depending on your needs, not too bad. However, if you have the same size 50 gallon water heater that uses electricity, the amount that it can heat is only about 22 gallons an hour.
The translation of this is that if you only have the option for electric water heating, you need a bigger tank.
Bottom line, hot water tanks need to be sized by needs. Making the water so hot that it will scald you if someone turns a faucet on is not a good solution. You may need to think about a larger hot water tank.
Replacing your hot water tank is a big job. Not impossible, juts some work. Do you think you are up for the challenge? Take a look at the article 'Gas Hot Water Heater Installation', before you decide. It is a job you may be able to do. You could save several hundred dollars.