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Why Does My Hot Water Take So Long to Heat Up?

Water Heater

Water heaters are oftentimes overlooked. All it takes is one cold shower to know something is wrong with your hot water heater. Learn about hot water heater recovery times and other factors that affect hot water in your home.

What Affects Hot Water?

There are many factors that affect the time it takes to heat up the water in your home.

Age: As with any appliance, age affects performance. Over time, even with normal use and regular maintenance, hot water heaters will lose efficiency, resulting in longer times to heat water. Generally, hot water heaters last about 10-15 years. If your unit is on the older side, it’s time to replace it.

Size: Hot water heaters come in a few standard sizes such as 30, 40, 50, or 80-gallon tank sizes. A family of hours is recommended to use a 50-60 gallon tank. Keep in mind how many people use water in your home and plan accordingly.

Usage: Likewise with size, usage matters when it comes to heating hot water. If you’re using your hot water pretty frequently, you might be experiencing slow recovery time. This is the time it takes your tank to fill up with hot water after using the shower, dishwasher, clothes washer, or other appliance. This could mean your hot water heater is inefficient, wearing down, or isn’t sized properly for your needs.

Fuel Type: While the fuel type of water heater you choose for your home depends on what is already available, typically speaking, gas water heaters are more efficient at heating water than electric units.

Type of Unit: Tankless hot water heaters supply on-demand water. Although they’re more efficient, there could be times where hot water doesn’t come fast enough depending on your usage and demand.

Pipe Material: Copper pipes are absorbent and can take heat away from the water. Likewise, cold pipes will draw away heat coming from the water tank. Make sure your pipes are insulated in areas exposed to cold air.

Pipe Diameter: The smaller the diameter of the pipe, the longer it will take for water to reach the unit itself and your faucet or fixture. Sometimes piping is inefficiently placed or is configured in a way that contributes to heat loss. Be sure to always have your pipes repaired and installed by a reputable licensed plumber.

Low Water Pressure: Sometimes the issue stems from the water pressure in your home. If you’re experiencing low flow in your faucets, have an experienced plumber come out and take a look.

Water Heater Repair in Nashville

When your water heater just won’t run like it used to, it’s time to call in the pros. Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Nashville today for hot water heater repair, maintenance, and installation.