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What to Do If Your Water Is Taking Too Long to Heat

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Posted on: January 15, 2020

Bathroom faucet running hot water and steam rising from sink.

When you need hot water in your home, you don’t want to wait. If your shower takes too long to warm up or you’re dealing with slow hot water throughout your home, there are some things you can do to fix your hot water woes!

5 Reasons You Have to Wait for Hot Water from Your Home’s Taps

  1. Distance: The farther away your hot water heater is from the faucet or shower where you want hot water to flow, the longer it will take to get there.
  2. A low volume restrictor: You may have a low volume restrictor installed on fixtures, like your shower, which can delay the delivery of water.
  3. A failing water heater: Water heaters that are about 10 years old are at or approaching the end of their service life. That can mean they fail suddenly, or they’re simply less effective at heating water. An expert plumber from Len The Plumber can check out and repair your water heater and determine if now’s the right time for water heater replacement.
  4. Sediment buildup: Sediment accumulates in your water heater when dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, settle on the bottom of the tank—precisely where the electric heating element or gas burner is located. With a crusty layer of sediment blocking heat transfer, the tank can’t produce hot water as quickly as it used to. A water heater professional from Len The Plumber can flush your water heater and clean out the sediment to help improve efficiency and performance.
  5. Undersized water heater: Perhaps you installed a water heater several years ago when only two people lived in your home. If your family has grown since then, you could be demanding more from your water heater than it’s designed to handle. Upgrading to a larger unit could be the solution to your problem.

How Long Does It Take to Get Hot Water Back?

All storage water heaters have a particular recovery time. This is the amount of time it takes the tank to deliver hot water again after it has been depleted. The recovery time can vary widely depending on these factors:

  • Tank size: Larger tanks take longer to recover.
  • First hour rating (FHR): The higher the FHR, the less time it takes for the water heater to recover.
  • Fuel type: Electric water heaters take about twice as long to reheat as gas models.
  • Temperature rise: Cold incoming water takes longer to reheat than warm water.

All in all, it takes an average 80-gallon gas water heater about an hour to recover. The factors outlined here determine whether your water heater’s recovery time is longer or shorter than this.

How Can I Get Hot Water Faster?

A Hot Water Recirculation System

A hot water recirculation system can reduce the amount of water wasted while you’re waiting for it to heat up from the tap. A recirculating system:

  • Moves water more quickly from the hot water heater to the desired tap
  • Recirculates your used water back to the heater and keeps hot water close to the faucets
  • Is activated by a timer or a thermostat

The recirculation system can be either mounted near your faucet or attached to your water heater. The version attached to your water heater includes a pump and a timer to keep the hot water circulating.

A Tankless Water Heater

tankless water heater is another option to provide on-demand hot water continuously. Offering an endless supply of hot water, tankless water heaters don’t use tanks to contain or heat water. Instead, water passes over a heating element to instantly become hot.

The result is immediate access to hot water and a reduction of heating costs because the tank isn’t heating unused water.

In addition to whole-house tankless water heaters, there are also point-of-use tankless water heater units. These smaller units address hot water output for individual faucets and can be installed in a sink cabinet or closet. These are a good option when a water heater doesn’t have the capacity to serve the entire home.

Find out here if a tankless water heater is right for your home.

Given that water heaters can account for as much as 25% of a home’s energy use, choosing an efficient system that can also meet your water heater needs is crucial. The team at Len The Plumber can help with that to ensure you get a water heater that fits your budget and your hot water needs while providing optimal long-term value!

 

Get Help Restoring Your Home’s Hot Water Supply

The experienced team at Len The Plumber provides a full range of water heater services for both storage and tankless models powered by natural gas or electricity. Whether you need a water heater tune-up or repair, our local plumbers can get the job done. A water heater flush and other maintenance tasks will improve the performance of your water heater for years to come. We can even help you upgrade your plumbing with a water recirculation system or a new tankless water heater.

Call Len The Plumber at 800-950-4619 or contact us online to request water heater services in  MD, DC, VA, PA, or DE.

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