You don’t want hot water to go cold if you have to wait. There are things you can do if your hot water isn’t heating up quickly or your home has slow hot water.

5 Reasons You Should Wait for Hot Water

  1. Distance – The further away the hot water heater from the shower or faucet where hot water is desired, the longer it will take for hot water to reach you.
  2. Low volume restrictor You might have a restrictor on fixtures like your shower that can slow down water delivery.
  3. A failed water heater Water heaters older than 10 years are approaching or exceeding their end of service life. They can fail quickly or be less efficient at heating water.
  4. Sediment buildup. Sediment builds up in your water heater when dissolved mineral, such as calcium, and magnesium settle on the tank’s bottom — exactly where the gas burner or electric heating element are located. The tank won’t be able to produce hot water as fast as it once could due to a thick crust of sediment that blocks heat transfer. Our Long Beach plumbers can help flush the water heater and remove sediment to improve performance and efficiency.
  5. A small water heater: Maybe you bought a water heater when there were only two of you living in your home. Your family may have grown over the years and your water heater might not be able to keep up with your needs. You might be able to solve your problem by upgrading to a bigger unit.


Each storage water heater has a specific recovery time. This time is how long it takes for hot water to be delivered again from the tank after it has been used up. These factors can have an impact on the recovery time.

  • Tank size It takes longer to recover larger tanks.
  • First Hour Rating: The faster the FHR is, the quicker the water heater will recover.
  • Fuel type Electric water heaters take twice as long as gasoline models to heat up.
  • Temperature Rise:Cold water requires longer to heat than warm.

An average 80-gallon gas heater takes about an hour to recover. These factors determine whether the recovery time of your water heater is shorter or longer.


Hot Water Recirculation Systems

Hot water recirculation systems can help reduce water waste while you wait for the water to heat up at the tap. Recirculating systems:

  • Water moves faster from the hot water heater to your desired tap
  • You can recirculate your water back to the heater, and keep hot water close by the faucets.
  • It is activated by a timer, or a thermostat

You can mount the recirculation system near your faucet, or attach it to your water heater. Attached to the water heater, this version includes a pump and timer to circulate hot water.

Install a tankless water heater

Another option is a tankless water heater, which provides hot water on demand. Tankless water heaters provide an unlimited supply of hot water. They don’t require tanks to heat or store water. Instead, the water is heated by heating elements and passed through them. This results in instant hot water access and lower heating costs. The tank doesn’t heat unused water.

There are point-of-use and whole-house tankless water heating units as well as tankless water heaters. These units can be mounted in a closet or sink cabinet and provide hot water for individual faucets. These units are an excellent option when the water heater is not large enough to supply the entire house.

It is vital to choose an efficient water heater system that can meet your water heater requirements, as water heaters can make up as much as 25% of your home’s energy consumption.