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Why Does It Take So Long for My Water to Heat Up?

We all know the value of time in our lives, and we really don’t want to waste it on things that could be avoided. If your water is having trouble heating up or reaching the faucet warm, it can be an incredible waste of time and energy. Whether you’re waiting for your shower to warm up or you’re unable to do dishes, Gotelli has some solutions to put the heat back in your water.

What Can Cause Delayed Hot Water?

To decide on a solution to your hot water problem, first you have to figure out what might be causing your hot water to be delayed in reaching you. There are several things that could be affecting your hot water – it could even be a combination of problems!

Water in Your Pipes

One common reason hot water takes a while to reach the faucet is that there’s already water in the pipes. When a  faucet is turned on, the water that immediately comes out will likely be room temperature or cold. The water from the water heater might take a few minutes to run through the pipes and get to the faucet.

Flow Restrictors

Many fixtures, like your shower head, are designed to limit the amount of water that flows through them. The restricted volume of water is supposed to conserve water when taking a shower.

While these designs are great for the environment, they’re not so great for hot water availability. The less water that runs through the showerhead, the more time it takes for the room temperature water to make way for the hot water from your heater. 

Pipe Size

Another factor that might be worth checking is the type and size of pipes that are delivering water through your home. The diameter of your pipes could be affecting how quickly your water moves. For instance, a wide-diameter pipe will cause the water to move slower because there is more volume of water to move. 

Also, the material of your pipes affects the way water retains heat. If you have galvanized pipes, their inner wall is thicker than that of other pipes like copper. This thicker wall gives the pipe more of a chance to absorb heat from the water as it runs through it.

Hot Water Heater

If some of the other causes mentioned above are not the culprit of your delayed hot water, the next obvious place to check is your hot water heater. Many things could be wrong with your hot water heater if it’s producing reduced or no hot water. Always feel free to contact a plumber if you suspect your water heater is not functioning correctly. They’ll be able to assess and fix the problem with an experienced eye.

However, there are a couple of causes that homeowners can identify themselves. This might make it easier to decide if calling a plumber is your best option.

  • Distance – The distance your water heater is from the rooms which require hot water can play a big role in the delivery of hot water. If your water heater is in a basement or attic that is quite far from a faucet or shower, the time it takes the water to travel to the desired destination could be what’s allowing it to cool before reaching you. So many feet of piping takes time for water to travel to, and time means cooler water.
  • Sediment – Your water heater can collect sediment buildup over time as chemicals and salt are filtered through the tank. Besides posing a serious risk for leaks and total system failure, the buildup can also make the job harder for the water heater to heat water. If the tank is left with buildup over a long period of time, the efficiency of the system can begin to decrease. This might cause the decrease in hot water availability you see in your home.

How Do I Get Hot Water Quicker?

If the cause of your delayed hot water is a job for a plumber – especially malfunctioning water heaters – contact Gotelli. If you believe the cause is another reason, there are several ways you can try to fix the problem yourself.

Replace Your Fixtures

If your hot water problem is due to the low flow fixtures that are installed you can always replace them. Different models of faucets and showerheads can have higher flow rates. Flow rates are measured in gallons per minute (GPM), and even if you don’t know what GPM your current fixture runs at, there’s a solution. Simply look for a fixture with a flow rate that is closer to the maximum 2.5 GPM. This is sure to increase your flow rate.

One thing to remember when replacing low-flow fixtures is the reason you have them in the first place. If you’re concerned about your water usage either for the water bill or the environment, installing a higher flow fixture will most likely cause you to use more water. It is likely you will get hot water faster, so if the benefits outweigh the costs then you’ve made the right decision. If you’re unsure, you can always try a high-flow fixture and switch back to the low flow if you see too much of a difference in your water consumption. 

Pipe Insulation

Your pipes could be causing a delay in hot water simply because they tend to absorb some of the heat from the water and because the water must pass through so many feet of pipe to reach its destination. Consider insulating your pipes. Insulated pipes are widely known to keep the water inside them several degrees warmer. Keeping your pipes warmer in the first place could fix the problem. 

Insulation on your pipes also reduces mold growth and muffles noises. You may notice the usual pipe sounds you hear in your home might quiet down. 

Hot Water Recirculation Pump

This pump’s purpose is to make hot water readily available to all faucets. Typically, unused water sits in the pipes in your walls and floor. This causes the water to become cooler, which leads to delayed hot water. The recirculation pump pushes hot water through the pipes consistently, ensuring hot water is available at every faucet and showerhead. 

There are two types of recirculation pumps – one is installed next to your water heater, the other under a sink in your home. If you’re interested in this solution most home and hardware stores sell these pumps. A licensed plumber will also be happy to help you install the system.

Upgrade To A Tankless Water Heater

One surefire way to provide your home with endless and nearly instant hot water is to install a tankless water heater. The tankless design allows the water heater to only use energy when in use, saving you an enormous amount on your energy bill. 

More importantly, it does not have a limited amount of hot water that it can use up. It heats the water as it runs through the system between two and five gallons a minute. When you turn the tap on, it heats as the water flows through the pipes, providing endless hot water.

Your fixtures may still be far away from your water heater, but one of the previously stated solutions – like insulating your pipes – in combination with a tankless heater could solve all your problems. 

Need Help With Delayed Hot Water?

If you discover you need repairs to your hot water heater or decide an upgrade to the more efficient tankless heater is your best option, contact Gotelli Plumbing today! We are the top San Rafael water heater repair team and would love to talk to you more about a tankless water heater installation. Don’t hesitate! Get your hot water faster today!

Why Choose Gotelli Plumbing?

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Customer Focused
Our goal is to give every customer the best plumbing service available. Our technicians are professional and well-trained to make sure we achieve that goal.
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Family-Owned and Operated
We're a family-run business living and working in Marin County, so treating our neighbors like family is the center of our values.
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Reliable Service
Our technicians are background checked and trained in the latest plumbing advancements to ensure you get the service your home or business deserves.

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It was great working with Sam S! He’s fast and efficient. He found the problem in a matter a few short minutes. Then he had the part delivered to our home. Thank you!!!

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Tom has worked on numerous plumbing issues in our home over the years. He’s always on time, polite, hard working and an excellent plumber overall. I strongly recommend Tom R. for any plumbing jobs you need! We’ll continue to use Tom for all our future plumbing problems. Thanks!

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I had a great experience with Gotelli Plumbing when we needed a leak in a pipe fixed. Tom was professional and friendly. He also got the job done faster than original estimated, so the work was less expensive than I anticipated. I will use Gotelli Plumbing again in the future.

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Water heater died just in time for Thanksgiving company to arrive. Gotelli sent Joey out first thing this morning. Not only was Joey a super nice guy, he fixed our heater quickly and for $450 less than a competitors bid. Will be going to these guys for all of our plumbing needs in the future!

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