Water Heater Troubles: Why Does Your Water Take so Long to Heat Up?

With temperatures still blisteringly cold out there, the last thing you want to have to do is wait for the hot water in your home to heat up.  Not only is this an inconvenience, one of the worst things about having to wait for your water to heat up is that the longer it takes, the more water you waste.  You’re literally throwing money down the drain! But, what exactly does it mean when hot water takes an excessively long time to flow from your tap? What can you do to make it happen faster?  

There are several reasons why it may take longer for hot water to flow to your tap.  Some of these include:

  • Aged Water heater – Do you know how old your water heater is?  Water heaters that are more than ten years old may begin to fail.  As they age, they become less effective at heating water. So, if you believe this to be the source of the issue, call in your trusty plumber for an evaluation and maintenance.  They’ll also be able to tell you if it’s time for a replacement.
  • Buildup – As your water heater ages, sediment will build up over time in the tank.  Dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium will settle on the tank floor, ultimately displacing the amount of hot water your tank can make between refills.  To resolve this issue, your trusty plumber can flush the system out to extend its lifespan and improve its ability to heat your water.
  • Distance – Faucets and showers that are farther from your hot water heater may take longer to heat simply due to their location and the extra time that it takes for water to reach.  
  • Volume Restrictors – Have any of your fixtures been outfitted with low volume restrictors?  These installations can cause a delay in hot water delivery.


In addition to conducting regular maintenance on your water heater, there are a few additional solutions that you can try to get the hot water flowing in your home, faster.  Two of these include:

  • Recirculation Systems – Consider installing a hot water recirculation system.  This can reduce water waste, as it eliminates the need to run taps for annoyingly long periods of time during the wait for heated water.  The system moves water quickly from your water heater to the tap, recirculating your used water back to the heater and keeping hot water close to faucets.  Most systems operate on timers or thermostats so that they don’t eat into energy consumption (and your wallet). They can be mounted near your faucet or attached to the water heater itself.  
  • Tankless Water Heaters – Unlike traditional water heaters that have a wait-time for the tank to refill, tankless water heaters provide on-demand hot water, continuously.  This means that your home has access to endless hot water! With these, you’ll also see a reduction of heating costs, as the tank doesn’t work overtime to heat unused water.  

To learn more about how you can improve the performance of you hot water heater and schedule maintenance on your heating unit, call Tritan Plumbing today!  


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