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6 Reasons Why your Hot Water is Slow to Warm Up

We’ve all been there, standing at the faucet with our hand under the water stream, waiting impatiently for the hot water to arrive. It can be especially frustrating if you’re in a hurry. There are several reasons why your water takes long to heat up. Here are the six most common causes:


1. There is sediment buildup.

Over time, dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, form a sediment layer on the bottom of your tank, blocking the electric heating element or gas burner. This blockage reduces the efficiency of your heater, making it take longer to heat your water.


2. Your dip tube is broken.

The dip tube is responsible for directing cold water to the bottom of the tank where it can be heated. If the dip tube is broken, cold water might be mixing with the hot water at the top of the tank, causing lukewarm water or a delay in getting the hot water you need.


3. Your unit is more than 10 years old.

As water heaters age, they become less efficient and can take longer to heat up your water.


Pro Tip: If you’re unsure when your unit was installed, check the manufacturer label on the side of your water heater. If the label is missing or the installation date is not listed, use the serial number to determine the age of your unit.


4. Your heater is far away from your faucet.

The greater the distance 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.


5. Your system has a low volume restrictor.

You may have a low volume restrictor installed on your bath or kitchen fixtures, which can delay the delivery of hot water.


6. Your water heater is undersized.

Water heaters are sized to meet the demands of the household. If you bought a home with a small tank or you purchased a small-sized water heater but your family has grown since it was installed, you could be demanding more from your water heater than it’s designed to handle.


Recovery time can impact the availability of instant hot water.

The time it takes for hot water to return after the tank has been depleted is anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Factors such as a larger tank, or an electric water heater, can cause a longer recovery time.


What can I do to get hot water faster?

  • Schedule an inspection. Contact our home comfort team to inspect your system and determine the root of the problem. By addressing the issue, you can ensure that you have hot water when you need it and avoid damage to your water heater.

  • Install a recirculation system. A hot water recirculation system moves water more quickly from the hot water heater to the desired tap, reducing the amount of water wasted while you’re waiting for it to heat up from the tap.

  • Upgrade to a tankless water heater. These systems don’t use tanks to contain heated water. Instead, water passes over a heating element to instantly become hot, giving you hot water on demand and a reduction of heating costs as there isn’t a tank heating unused water.


Plumbing and HVAC Installation, Service, and Repair

You have a busy schedule, you don’t have time to wait at the faucet for your hot water. Whether your water heater needs repair or is in need of replacement, our experienced team will provide you with excellent service, maintenance, and installation. Contact our home comfort specialists today.


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