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Why is my hot water taking so long to heat?

There is nothing worse than jumping in the shower and finding it takes what feels like forever for the water to heat up!

It can be quite the wake up call and a frustrating end to the day. There are several reasons why your water may be taking longer to heat up than usual, most of which you’ll need a plumber to rectify.

The likely reasons your hot water is taking so long to heat

Your showerhead pressure is too low

Your showerhead should have a label on it indicating the gallons per minute (GPM). This references the rate of the flow of water going through the shower head. A low flow rate will mean it takes longer for cold water from previous use to be pushed out, meaning it stays stagnant in your pipes. A high flow showerhead upgrade will increase the water flow and cut down on the time it takes for hot water to reach your fixtures. Ask a plumber to suggest options that offer higher water pressure and therefore water flow.

The hot water heater is too long from the bathroom

The distance between your hot water heater and bathroom can impact how hot the water is by the time you come to use it. If your home is large and you only have one tank this could be the issue. Consider discussing the possibility of adding a second water heater to your home with your plumber.

The pipes are too wide

If your pipes are too wide this will impact water flow and the time it takes to reach your shower. Wider pipes means it takes longer to travel to your showerhead, cooling down along the way. You can look under your sink to see what diameter your pipes are, residential pipes should be between ¼ to 2 inches, if yours look significantly wider, seek advice from a plumber.

The material of your pipes

If your hot water is taking so long to heat, it could be due to the material of your pipes. Copper pipes retain more heat than PVC pipes and therefore the material of the pipes leading to your shower can significantly affect your water temperature. A plumber can insulate your pipes which will protect them from the cold air. If you keep your pipes warm, they won’t take in as much heat from the travelling water.