If you’re like most people, you probably set your alarm to leave just enough time to get up, have a quick but warm shower, get dressed, and then out the door and on your way to work. If you have days where you have to spend ages waiting for your shower to heat up, you’ll know how annoying this can be. Here are the most common reasons for your water taking forever to heat up:
Your Shower’s Far Away From your Water Heater: Most homes have a single heater, with a network of piping that takes the heated water to various fixtures around the house. Depending on the size of your home, hot water may have a long way to go before it comes out of your shower head. Remember that plumbing doesn’t travel in a straight line, so if there is 50 feet of distance between the heater and a fixture, it’s typical for 60 to 70 feet of piping to connect the two. If this is the issue, then unfortunately you’re pretty screwed. The only way to get around it would require a large and expensive bit of renovation that simply isn’t worth it.
Your Pipes Drain Heat from the Water: The colder the pipes are, and the denser the material, the more heat they’ll draw from the material, slowing down the time it takes for the water to heat up to a comfortable temperature. When they’re not being used, the pipes leading from the heater to the shower become cold, especially if they’re exposed at any point in your home. Furthermore, heavier piping, made of materials like copper, can retain more heat than commonly used materials such as CPVC. This, the outside pressure, and whether the pipes are insulated or not, can all have a major effect on how long your water takes to get hot. If you think that this is the issue, consider wrapping your pipes with heat tape or a similar insulating material.
Flow Rate is Too Low: The lower the flow rate on your shower head, or any other fixture for that matter, the longer it will take for the water to warm up. Flow rate, as you’ve probably guessed, refers to the amount of water that can pass through the shower head at any given time. This is measured in GPM, which stands for gallons per minute. When your shower has a low flow rate, it will take longer for it to force out any leftover, cold water that’s left sitting in the pipes. Unless your shower head was installed in the nineties, you probably have a flow rate of around 2.5 GPM, but newer ones can be even lower. If you find that your shower head is a low-flow model, you may be able to fix the issue by getting a high flow shower head. Just remember that this is going to be less conservative with your water, meaning that you’ll have higher bills and a less eco-friendly morning routine.
If you’re sick of getting hypothermia just to leave the house on time, we hope this post has been a big help! 🙂
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