Why Does My Water Heater Take So Long to Heat Up?

A plumber looking at a water heater with the words, why is my water heater taking so long to heat up?

There’s nothing like a warm shower to help you wake up in the morning. However, waiting for the water to heat up may leave you feeling rushed. Here are a few reasons you might be dealing with a sluggish water heater.

1. Distance

If you own a larger home and the bathroom you are currently using is the farthest away from the hot water heater, this could be the culprit of your slow water heater. The longer the distance the hot water has to travel, the longer it takes for it to reach your shower.

If you are skeptical as to whether or not this is the true cause of your sluggish water heater, you can do a little experiment. Starting with the shower that is closest to the water heater, turn the water on hot and wait to see how long it takes for the water to heat up. Then try the shower that you usually use. If it takes longer for your second shower to heat up than the first, distance is definitely an issue. However, the time difference shouldn’t be drastic. A difference of a couple of seconds to a few minutes is normal, but any more than that could be cause for further concern.

2. Low Volume Restrictor

A low volume restrictor is a small, disk-shaped barrier that is installed on some plumbing fixtures, such as a shower head or a faucet, to help reduce the amount of water flow. This is meant to help conserve water and energy, but it can also restrict the warm water from getting to you faster.

3. Water Heater Is Failing

Water heaters have an average lifespan of 10 years. After that, the water heater becomes less effective and more prone to breaking down. If you find your warm water is taking longer and longer to get to you or it suddenly stops altogether, it may be a sign that your water heater needs to be replaced.

4. Sediment Is Clogging your Pipes/Water Heater

Sediment can build up in your water heater or your pipes over time, leading to a clog. When this happens, the water flow becomes constricted, making it harder to get to your shower when it is needed.

What causes the sediment? Sediment is made up of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. The sediment settles at the bottom of the tank or the pipes, reducing the space the water is able to travel.

Signs That There Is a Problem With Your Water Heater

Your water heater will give you plenty of warning that there is a problem before it begins to break down. If you notice any of the following signs, it is vital that you contact a professional plumbing team:

  • The water that is coming out of your faucet is rust-colored
  • The water has an odd odor
  • When your hot water is running, there is a popping or whining sound coming from the heater.
  • There is no hot water coming from any of your faucets
  • Puddles of water are present around the water heater
  • Your water takes a long time to get warm or is not getting hot enough

An Expert Plumbing Team Can Bring On the Heat!

The professional plumbers at HEB Plumbing & Sprinkler – Kathlyn Smith can help you clean out sediment from your water heater, help you find and install the perfect water heater replacement, or check to make sure your pipes are clear of build-up. When it comes to finding a team that looks out for you, HEB Plumbing & Sprinkler is the team to turn to. Contact us today for more information about our services.