Water Heaters

How Long Does It Take for Hot Water to Come Back?

Woman holding hand under water from shower and testing for heat

You’re enjoying a nice, hot shower when suddenly, that comforting warmth turns cold. Yikes! What’s worse is standing in the cold wonderinghow long does it take hot water to come back, if it will at all?

The bad news: It’s going to be a while. The good news: There are steps you can take to reduce the amount of time it will take to have hot water again.

Follow this guide to what causes hot water loss and tips for how to get your hot water to come back faster.

What Causes Hot Water Loss?

There are several possible reasons your water heater is failing to deliver enough hot water, and/or not returning that hot water quickly enough. The most common reasons for running out of hot water fast include:

  • Mineral buildup inside the tank
  • Tank leaks
  • Faulty gas valve
  • Pilot light is out
  • Electrical connection issues
  • Malfunctioning thermostat
  • Broken heating element
  • Incorrect water heater tank size
  • Besides your water heater, other issues could be contributing to this loss:
  • Other appliances competing simultaneously for hot water
  • Connected pipes are too small or worn out
  • Connected plumbing leaks

More often than not, frequent loss of hot water indicates the need for water heater maintenance, repair, or possibly replacement. To make sure your water heater is in good shape, call your local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for water heater services. We’ll make sure to exhaust all repairs before considering replacement options.

Related Content: 7 Signs It’s Time for a New Water Heater

How Long Does It Take to Get Hot Water Again?

For most models, the water heater recovery rate is generally 40 gallons per hour (gph). However, the specific rate will depend on the type of water heater and size.

Gas water heaters, for example, heat twice as fast as electric water heaters. The downside is that they’re less efficient overall. Other factors also influence your recovery rate, including:

The first hour rating (the number of gallons of hot water a unit can supply per hour beginning with a full tank).

Home size and distance between your water heater and plumbing appliances. The longer the distance hot water needs to travel, the longer it may take to recover.

The age and condition of your water heater, which may impact its overall efficiency.

When it comes to water heaters, slow recovery (several hours) isn’t normal. If you’re dealing with this issue, it’s likely your tank isn’t large enough to meet your home’s hot water demands, or there’s an issue with the unit itself.

How to Get Hot Water Back Faster

If you’re out of hot water, unfortunately, there’s no way to instantly get it back. But there are ways that you can prevent hot water loss in the future and get it back faster by addressing the source of the issue.

Here are some tips on how to make hot water come back faster:

  • Consider insulating your pipes.
  • Install a hot water recirculation pump.
  • Have your water heater inspected and repaired as needed.
  • Schedule annual water heater maintenance.
  • Upgrade your water heater to a larger tank size or a tankless model.
  • Run your dishwasher at night when you aren’t showering.
  • Use only cold water for your washing machine, or run it opposite your shower schedule.

Related Content: Maintain Your Water Heater to Extend Its Life

Stay Warm with Water Heater Maintenance

Tired of cold showers? Let your local licensed plumbing experts at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing help! We’ll inspect your water heater to determine whether maintenance, repair, or replacement is the best option for your budget and home needs. Call us at 1-877-BEN-1776 or book an appointment online.

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