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Why Does My Water Take so Long to Get Hot?

Slow hot water, or water that takes a long time to get hot, can be caused by a variety of factors. Hot waterThe solution to slow hot water isn’t always to replace your hot water heater, so check these causes before you start shopping.

Pipe Length

Even if your hot water heater is right next to your sink or shower, the connecting pipe can be much longer than that distance. The longer the pipe, the longer it takes for hot water to reach the faucet. Depending on the layout of your home and who installed the plumbing, hot water may take a long time to make it to the faucet.

Flow Rate

The Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires residential showerheads to have a rate of no more than 2.5 GPM at 80 PSI, and residential bathroom faucets to have a rate of no more than 2.2 GPM at 60 PSI. Although the flow rate of water is based largely off the diameter of your piping, low flow faucets will increase the time it takes to receive hot water.

Pipe Diameter

The smaller the diameter, the faster hot water will reach the tap. That’s because smaller diameter pipes hold less water. One hundred feet of 1/2" diameter pipe holds 1.6 gallons, while the same length of 3/4" pipe holds three gallons.

When you turn on the shower or the faucet, all of the cool water sitting in the pipe has to flow out before hot water from the water heater reaches the tap.

Pipe Material

Hot water that is surrounded by a cold pipe means that it will take longer to heat up. Some pipe materials may have a higher ambient temperature and may heat up faster or slower than others.

Galvanized pipe is much heavier than copper pipe. It also has a much thicker wall than copper, meaning it will absorb more heat energy from the hot water as it flows through it. So if you have galvanized pipes, it will take longer to get hot water than if you had copper pipes of the same length and diameter.

Longer pipes and lower flow rates amplify this problem. Not only will it take longer for hot water to reach the faucet, but it will take longer to heat up the pipes.

 If your water isn’t getting hot, call the experts at Raby Plumbing at (918) 224-6471 any time to schedule an appointment.

Resources found on our website are provided as general guidelines, and Raby Plumbing does not assume any liability resulting from the provided information.

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