A hot water heater taking too long to heat up is one of life’s little annoyances. The average home wastes approximately 12,000 gallons of water a year. Hot water taking too long to reach the tap is the leading cause of this waste. When you turn on the shower and stand there waiting while the water goes down the drain, it wastes water, time, and money. It’s an ineffective way to conserve water, and it also adds to your water bill each month.
Why does it take so long for my water to get hot?
There are several answers to this question. The three main reasons are:
- the distance from the water heater location
- the diameter of the pipes
- the flow rate of the water*
*(The further hot water has to flow, the longer it takes to heat the shower faucet. This is especially true with larger homes.)
Another reason for delayed hot water is the cold water that is currently in the pipes. While you’re waiting for hot water, all the cold water sitting in your piping has to drain before the hot water reaches the shower faucet.
Pipe size also plays a role. The larger the pipes are, the longer it takes for hot water to reach your shower faucet. The wider the piping, the more hot water per inch is required, which takes longer.
The flow rate of the showerhead affects the wait time for hot water. The flow rate affects how quickly the cold water sitting in the pipes is emptied. This is especially true of water-conserving bathroom faucets and showerheads.
The best fix for this problem is a hot water recirculation pump.
There are 2 types of recirculation pump systems available: 1) a complete hot water recirculation system, and 2) a retrofit system.
A complete recirculation system has a dedicated hot water line and is the most energy-efficient. This system runs from the furthest plumbing fixture back to your water heater, creating a loop.
A retrofit system has a pump connected to the water heater and a crossover valve at the farthest fixture. This system is not as efficient as the recirculation system, but it’s far less expensive and gives you similar results.
How can I make my hot water faster?
Here are a few suggestions to help make your water heat up faster:
- Insulate the water pipes
- A hot water recirculation pump
- Upgrade to a higher flow showerhead
- Replace the O-rings in the valve module
All A’s Plumbing & Heating
1152 Route 10 West
Randolph, NJ 07869