The most common type of water heating device today is the Storage tank natural gas fired water heater. The benefits of a gas fired water heater is that they have a high FHR. (First Hour rating) They continue to heat when the power goes out, and they are reasonably priced compared to other alternatives. With the exploration and boom in natural gas excavation over the past few years, the price per therm for natural gas has stayed consistent and in many cases have even come down. Other benefits include availability and that most homes can accommodate them.

Gas Water HeaterConsider Capacity

When sizing your gas water heater it is important to keep in mind the number of bathrooms and fixtures that consume hot water. Each fixture has a GPM (gallons per minute) rating and this can be used as well as volume. GPM is even more important when choosing a Tankless water heater.

Most water heaters are sold on the basis of how many gallons they hold. A family of four, for instance, might take several showers, run the dishwasher, and wash a load or two of laundry in an average day, totaling 100 gallons of hot water or more.

It’s more important to consider the first-hour rating (FHR) for storage-tank water heaters and the gallons-per-minute rating (GPM) for tankless water heaters because that’s what tells you how much hot water the heater can deliver over a set period of time, i.e., the first hour.

After that, depending on how quickly you’re using up hot water, it could either become less hot or actually cool. It would then take a certain amount of time (variable by model and capacity) to return to its full FHR. Champion Plumbing & Drain Cleaning in Canton, GA can help you correctly size your gas water heater.

How Gas Water Heaters Work

Gas water heaters , as with all storage type incorporate a thermostat, burner assembly, and flu. The Thermostat is set to a desired temperature, which then tells the burner assembly to fire. Once the water is heated the thermostat tells the burner assembly to stop firing. Newer gas water heaters have diagnostic control valves that use a flashing led light to indicate the specific problem related to said heater. It does this by flashing the light in a certain pattern within a certain time. You then correspond that pattern to the chart printed on the side of the water heater.

Natural gas when burned produces carbon monoxide which is lethal to humans and extremely dangerous due to the lack of warning signs. This is why Champion Plumbing installs a free CO monitor with every gas water heater we install. Champion Plumbing can diagnose your gas water heater for you and provide the easiest and best solution to get your gas water heater back up and running in no time.


Do you have questions about water heaters? We’ve got answers! Join our Facebook group Plumbing Questions and Answers, or check out our page About Plumbing. If you want to learn how to properly maintain your water heater read our article about Water Heater Maintenance. Feel free to call us at 770-480-5077.