What to do when your water heater takes too long to heat
Do you have to turn on your water well ahead of time to heat up your shower or do the dishes? Do you feel like you waste your time, water and money? When you want hot water inside, you don’t want to wait. If your hot water takes too long to flow from your tap, there are some things you can do to make it happen faster.
First, it’s important to know that there could be several reasons why it takes a long time to get hot water:
Distance: The further away your hot water heater is from the faucet or shower, the longer it will take to get there.
Low Volume Restrictor: You may have a low volume restrictor installed on fixtures like your shower which can cause delay on water delivery.
Failing Water Heater: Water heaters older than ten years can fail completely or become less effective at heating your water. It would be helpful to call a professional to evaluate if your water heater is working properly, provide regular maintenance on your unit, or determine if it is time for a full water heater replacement.
Sediment Buildup in your Water Heater: Over time, sediment can build up in your water heater tank. The sediment consists of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium that settle at the bottom of the tank. The sediment buildup will displace the amount of hot water in the tank making less available and take a longer time between refills.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS TO GET HOT WATER QUICKLY?
Hot Water Recirculation System
A hot water recirculation system can reduce the amount of water wasted 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. It recirculates your used water back to the heater and keeps hot water close to the faucets. They are usually activated by a timer or by a thermostat. Systems that are in continuous use increase your energy consumption.
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 that is turned on to keep the hot water circulating.
Tankless Water Heater
A tankless water heater is another option to provide on-demand hot water continuously without having to wait for a traditional water heater storage tank to refill itself. The result is endless 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 for a heater that doesn’t have the capacity for the entire home.
Don’t forget to consider contacting a professional to evaluate your current water heater system. Water heaters can account for as much as 25 percent of your home’s energy use. Add that to money literally being thrown down the drain in wasted water, your hot shower can cost you too much!