If you are among those who have a big family, you must be familiar with the constant war for the bathroom each day. It can be hard to get 5 minutes alone in the bathroom & also with enough hot water left to shower in, too!

Between family members who need to shower, batches of laundry that need to be cleaned & dirty dishes that must be washed, it’s very normal for a family to go through large amounts of hot water without even realizing it. 

So what can you do if your hot water is continuously running out? Some solutions might be to get a bigger water tank & a better water heater. Let’s evaluate your options so you can pick the right type of water heater from Lone Star Water Services for your specific family’s needs.


Heating, Tankless Water Heater, Beuler, Gas

Opting for a bigger tank because it can hold more water is an excellent option. The advantage of getting a bigger tank is that it will store more hot water at once. You can use either gas or electricity to heat the water. The installation process is short & tank water heaters are very cost-effective in terms of the unit’s cost & the cost to repair.

The downsides are that it will, however, take up more space & it will take longer to heat the water inside it, but this is because of the large quantity of water it holds, and this is what your family needs. Once that water is finished, it takes about 30–40 minutes for the average gas water heater to reheat & twice that amount of time for the average electric water heater.

If you decide to go with a tank water heater, your family’s size will be one factor that dictates the size of the tank you go for. A general way to estimate the size of the tank you’ll need is to add 12 gallons per family member. A 50-gallon tank would be adequate for the average family of 2–3 children. Other estimates assign a little more water for each person, saying you’ll need a 30–40-gallon tank for 1–2 people, 40–50 gallons for 3–4 people & 60–80 gallons for 5 or more people.

However, the fact is, these measures may vary from what your family’s water usage truly is since they fail to account for how frequently the members of your family shower, do laundry & use water in other ways. An experienced water heater repair technician can help you take your family’s needs into account and select the size that will be best for you. 


What if tank water heaters are not working out for your family? In that case, another option you may want to consider is to invest in a tankless water heater. You can avoid a bulky water tank & you don’t have to wait for your water to heat up to the right temperature because the water is heated up almost immediately when you need it. 

This can be a great option if you are getting tired of running out of hot water since a tankless heater will never “run out” of water. However, you still need to consider your family size, home size & usage habits. What if you’re running several showers or appliances at once & it overburdens your heater? In that case, your water still might not heat up to the desired temperature. Large families that would need the equivalent of an 80+ gallon tank water heater will probably need to install two tankless heaters to keep up with demand—but keep in mind that this option will be significantly more expensive.


In the end, big families generally use more water than small ones because of the increased number of people in the household. Even so, it is still possible for a large family to get along with a smaller water heater if they take shorter showers, shower at different times instead of simultaneously, or do fewer loads of laundry—it all depends on your personal habits. Be sure to consider your options & needs when choosing a water heater for your family.

Basics to Set Your Water Heater to Vacation Mode

Water heating systems generally require a lot of energy to run. For this reason, more & more environmentally conscious people (& those who want to lower their bills) are learning how to put their water heaters into “vacation mode” with the idea of saving energy.

So what exactly is vacation mode & where do you find it on your system?

Water Heater Vacation Mode: What Is It?

Water Heater
Vacation mode is a special setting on the water heater system that enables you to run the water heater’s boiler at lower temperatures than usual, resulting in energy savings. Typically, producers set vacation mode to 50° F, a bit below the warmth you require to heat your home, but hot enough to stop any water from freezing while you are away.

For specific systems, you won’t have to change manufacturer settings. If you need the water to run colder or hotter, you can very efficiently adjust a dial. But both ways, the aim is to decrease your water heater’s activity, cut down on power usage & lessen your bills while keeping your pipes from freezing & causing damage.

Where Do You Find Vacation Mode & How Do You Use It?

There are various methods that water heater companies use to put your device in vacation mode, with the king among these being a special setting on the thermostat itself.

Go to the thermostat & scroll through the menu to see if your device offers the vacation mode setting. If it does, then select it & the system will do the rest for you.

If there is no vacation mode explicitly detailed on your thermostat, you can manually do the same thing a vacation mode would do by turning the temperature down to “Pilot” mode & then leaving it there until you get back.

Why You Must Put Your Water Heater In Vacation Mode?

The primary purpose of putting the water heater in vacation mode is simply to save cash. There is no logic in heating your water to 120 degrees if you will not be present to use it. It is a loss of energy that pointlessly increases your bills.

The other motive is to stop freezing water from ruining your pipes in extended spells of cold weather. If you turn your water heating system off while you are away & the water freezes, you run the risk of cracks, damage to your plumbing & possibly the need to replace the entire system. As the ice increases in size, it destroys the surrounding piping & thus results in leaks.

If the above happens, your system will not work when you switch it on again, and you might end up with unfortunate flooding in your home. Locking the system to “Pilot” or “Vacation” preserves energy while also checking your water heater’s damage. It is a middle-ground between using no power at all & utilizing a little bit of heat to bypass extensive damage to your system.

So, as you can now see, vacation mode is a must-have feature of your water heater. Even if your water heater does not have a vacation mode in your thermostat settings, you can still decrease the temperature to guard your home while you are away.

If you want additional assistance with your water heater, make sure you operate with a professional service provider like Lone Star Water Services to get the water heater services you need to get your system back in working order. Contact our experts at Lone Star Water Services anytime & we will be happy to help you with your water heater needs.