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No one likes to wait with the water running for the shower to heat up. The slow build is a subtle form of torture, especially during the winter time.
Running water for an extended time is a massive waste of clean water and energy. Imagine how much water goes down the drain every time a family member wants to wash up!
Also, over time the heightened use of water could add to your monthly bill. Slow warming water and high bills could be disappointing and may leave you asking about your hot water system.
Before either upgrading or replacing your water heater consider the following reasons why this may be happening and what might be the best course of action.
Reasons why water takes so long to heat
There are a few reasons why water could take a while to heat up. They include:
The pipes. Due to cold weather, the pipes also get chilly. Because the pipes are chilled, the hot water has to warm the pipes first before it starts flowing.
The diameter and the pipe material. Larger pipes hold more water volume, which makes heating times slower. Metal pipes also draw energy from the water resulting in delayed heating.
Water flow and pressure. If the water flows slower, it'll take time before the heated water reaches the shower or tap.
The distance between the water heater and the tap or shower. If the water is flowing for a long distance, it will take longer to clear the cold water in the pipes before releasing hot water.
Usually, the water in your pipes cool down when you turn off the tap. The next time you turn on your shower, the cold water in the pipe has to drain before hot water can start flowing.
Depending on the water flow and the distance between the water heater and the tap, heated water may take some time before it reaches the spigot. Here is how you can solve the above issues to get your heated water to the tap faster.
Install a hot water recirculation pump
Installing a recirculation pump is one way to solve your dilemma. With a recirculation pump, the water that cools in the pipes is circulated between the heater and the tap in a continuous process.
This process ensures that each time you turn on the water, hot water flows instantly. Recirculation pumps come in different sizes and types. Over at this website, you'll be able to compare different energy-efficient pumps.
This device helps you save energy and water and eliminates the time spent waiting for the water to heat up.
Insulate water pipes
Your water troubles could purely be from your pipes. The pipes could be consuming the heat from the water for the water to warm up.
If the pipes eat up all the heat, by the time the water reaches the spout, it'll be cold. By adding insulation around the pipes, you'll help keep the pipes warm, reducing the amount of time they need to heat up to deliver hot water. Insulation could also help you save energy.
Apart from reducing heat loss, insulated pipes minimise the growth of mold. Pipe insulations are made from different materials. Ensure you get the right type for your needs.
Install a tankless water heater
Even though your water heater could still be in good shape, you could choose to upgrade to a heater that doesn't require a tank.
The traditional water heater stores the water in a large tank and heats it when you turn the water on. Whereas, tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand or instant heaters, warm the water as it flows through the pipes.
Although tankless water heaters heat water on-demand, it might not be able to solve your problem if it is too far from your shower. If this is your issue, installing the tankless heater in multiple point-of-use units around the house could significantly improve your access to hot water on demand.
Increase the flow rate
If your issue is due to a low flow rate, replacing the fixtures with faster models is the best solution. If changing your fixtures is the route you choose, remember that low-flow fixtures are installed to control or reduce water consumption in places such as the shower and taps.
If you install a high-flow fixture, be sure to shorten the duration of your showers or you could end up using more water and spending more money.
However, since the water heats faster, it could save you time. If you notice a hike in your monthly bill after the change, you could always switch back to the low flow rate fixtures.
Having to wait for heated water so you can take a shower or do dishes can be quite an inconvenience. The water, energy, and money add up as more members of the family use water throughout the house.
Luckily, the wait for warmer water is an issue that can be fixed through the several methods explained above. Give a few of these changes a try and reclaim the time, and money, lost.