It can be very frustrating to have to deal with hot water that is slow to arrive to your faucet or shower. Having to stand around waiting for the water to get appropriately hot results in a pretty significant waste of water, especially when you add up how long that water is running over time before you’re actually using it.
So what exactly is it that can cause the delay between you dialing up the heat and the hot water actually arriving? It’s not necessarily the hot water heater that’s the problem. Here’s some information from a plumber in Grand Rapids, MN:
- Water already in the pipes: Before your hot water heater is able to send up the water it’s been heating in its tank, you first have to get through all the water that’s been sitting in the pipes, not being heated. Depending on how the piping system is set up in your home, there might be space for quite a bit of water to sit before the hot water arrives.
- Pipe size: The wider your pipes are, the longer it will take for hot water to get to you. This is because wider pipes need a greater volume per inch of piping, meaning it will take longer for the pipe to get to you. The length of your pipes also plays a role, as we already alluded to. Naturally, the longer the pipes and the greater the distance between the faucet and the hot water heater, the longer it’s going to take for that hot water to arrive.
- Type of pipe: In some cases, the type of pipe being used can actually also affect the speed with which hot water arrives to your faucet. Galvanized pipes are thicker than copper pipes, which means there’s more metal that can steal some of the heat being transferred through the water. Copper and PVC pipes are not going to see as much heat loss, meaning the hot water will arrive more quickly.
- Weather: In some cases, the weather outside can have an impact on how quickly hot water arrives at your faucets. Ambient air temperatures affect the temperature of the pipes, so on colder days it can take longer for the water to be heated up enough for your needs, especially if the areas around those pipes aren’t well insulated.
- Hot water heater issues: Yes, the hot water heater could also be a problem, though you’re much more likely to notice other symptoms in these cases. The hot water heater not producing hot water at all is obviously a symptom, as is a pilot light that won’t remain lit, more sediment flowing through the hot water and leaks starting to form around the base of the water heater.
For more information about problems with your hot water and how to resolve those issues, reach out to a plumber in Grand Rapids, MN at Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc. with your questions. We look forward to answering them and meeting your plumbing needs!