Issues getting hot water to faucet. The water takes forever to get hot when using the bathroom faucet upstairs. It takes even longer when turning on the shower in the winter. Water is wasted when waiting for the water to get hot. What can I do to get hot water faster?
In your case the cold weather slows down the ability for hot water to get to the faucet or shower you are using. This is because the pipes that carry the water to the faucet are colder than normal. The colder the pipes, the longer the hot water takes.
Why Does It Take A Long Time To Get Hot Water To Faucet?
1. Cold weather causes colder water pipes
2. Water heater is far away from faucet or shower
3. Shower Head/Faucet has low flow rate
4. Wide diameter of pipes increases the time it takes
5. Older faucet may leak cold water into hot stream
Water still in the pipes, the length, the type, and the size of the pipes can also play a role.
How To Get Hot Water Quicker?
1. Colder weather causes colder pipes
Cold weather causes the pipes to get cold. The hot water gets reduced in temperature as it runs through the cold pipes. This increases the time it takes for hot water to reach you at the faucet or shower.
Solution for pipes in cold weather: Insulate the water pipes. Add pipe insulation to all plumbing lines. Insulation will hold the heat in the pipes longer. By insulating the pipes, this will allow for the water to get hotter faster to your sink, faucet, or shower.
Pipe Insulation Tubing – Heat Preservation Insulated
2. Faucet too far from the water heater
The further the faucet or shower is from the water heater, the longer it will take for hot water to be delivered to your faucet or shower. This takes even longer if the pipes are cold in winter time.
Solution for fixtures too far from water heater: A hot water recirculation pump may be the only way to solve this problem. This system works by creating a loop using a dedicated hot water line that runs from your furthest fixture and back to your water heater. This solution will also save you money by not wasting hundreds of gallons of water per year.
How to Install a Hot Water Recirculating System
3. Flow rate too low on shower head
The lower the flow rate (GPM) of the showerhead, the longer it takes for the water coming out of the shower to heat up.
Solution for low flow showerhead: If you have a showerhead that has a low flow rate such as under 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute), it may be time to upgrade to a higher flow shower head. Higher water flow will allow the water to flow out of the showerhead faster. This allows the water that is coming out of the showerhead to get hotter faster.
4. Diameter of pipes
It takes longer for water to travel through wider diameter pipes. Smaller diameter pipes allows the water to travel through faster. (Residential pipes are usually sized anywhere from ¼ inch to 2 inches.)
Solution for wide diameter pipes: Wider pipes should be heavily insulated to assist with holding in the heat and keeping out the cold. Insulate your pipes to help in this situation.
5. Faucet may be leaking cold water
Some single handle faucet models can leak cold water into the hot stream. This happens when the faucets get older and the o-rings fail.
Solution for faucet leaking: Replace the O-rings in the valve module to prevent the cold water leaking into the hot stream.
Explained further: If your water heater is in the garage and a sink is next to it, hot water will almost be instant when turning on the faucet. If you have a bathroom sink upstairs and on the other side of the house, the water from the water heater to the upstairs bathroom faucet has to travel a long distance. (It could be as far as 100 feet or more, imagine the water travelling that distance before it reaches you)
Remember also that the pipes still have water in them, the pipes have many twists and turns, and the cold weather keeps the pipes cold.
If the pipes are cold from winter weather, the hot water will take a very long time to get to the bathroom faucet. If you have considerable distance from the water heater to a fixture, insulate the pipes and install a hot water recirculation pump to get hot water to the faucet or faucets as fast as possible.
Adding a hot water recirculation pump will save money in the long run. Instead of waiting 5 or 10 minutes for the shower to get hot, it will be hot within seconds and therefore less water is wasted down the drain.
Other faucet issues: Fix Noisy Faucet – Water Hammering Troubleshooting
Need help to get hot water to your shower or kitchen faucet faster? Please leave your issue below in the comments and we can get back to you with help.