If you’re tired of waiting for hot water after you turn on the faucet or shower, the answer is probably due to the plumbing of your home or office. We’ll address some of the popular reasons why it feels like it takes longer than it should for your water to get hot.
Reason #1: Distance to Hot Water Source
If your water heater (or tankless water heater) is far away from your faucet or shower, it makes sense that it would take a while for the water to get hot. After all, the hot water has to travel a long way to get to you. Also, before it does get to you, it has to flush out all that water that is now cold due to sitting in the pipes for hours.
Reason #2: Temperature Loss while Moving through Pipes
As hot water travels from the water heater to its destination, it must go through the plumbing pipes. While it moves, it cools down, since the temperature of the pipe and the surrounding air is going to be much colder than the water itself. This is especially true if the pipes consist of copper – copper is a very good conductor of heat! So as soon as the hot water enters the copper pipes, its heat immediately dissipates into the surrounding environment. Therefore, the first bit of hot water won’t be hot at all.
Reason #3: Size of the Pipes
Remember that the hot water has to flush out the cold water in the pipes before the hot water will get to its destination? The more water it has to flush out, the longer it will take for your water to get warm. If the pipes are wide, that means there's more water to flush. For example, a ¾ inch wide copper pipe will hold twice as much water as a ½ inch wide copper pipe. This means that all else being equal, it will take about twice as long for water to get hot if it must flow through the ¾ inch wide copper pipes than the ½ inch wide copper pipes.
If you have additional plumbing questions or concerns regarding your hot water use, contact us online at Smoak’s Comfort Control today.