Plumbing Tips: Why Does It Take so Long for My Shower to Get Hot Water?


Plumbing Tips: Why Does It Take so Long for My Shower to Get Hot Water?

You’re waiting for what seems like hours. And it costs you money as wasted water runs down the drain. But you’re not going to get in until it’s nice and warm. 

So why do showers take so long to heat up?

Is it time to replace your water heater?

Several factors can influence how long it takes, but here are three significant reasons it can take a long time for your shower to get warm water:  

  1. Water heater to showerhead distance. It takes time for water to get from the water heater to your showerhead. And it’s not always a straight line. The pipes in your home can take circuitous routes as they climb towards your shower.
  2. Shower pipe width can also affect how fast the hot water travels to you. The narrower the pipe, the faster the hot water will arrive. Wider pipes require more water to move through them until it gets to you, increasing the time it takes.
  3. Shower pipe material. Cold pipes absorb more heat from hot water as it passes through, leaving you less on the other end. Copper pipes tend to retain more ambient heat, so hot water isn’t fighting against a cold pipe. Pipes exposed to outside temperatures or colder parts of the house can take longer to heat up.

Ways to improve hot water flow to your shower: 

Insulate the pipes leading to your shower. If your pipes run in an exterior wall, insulation can help protect them from the outside air.

Consider a hot water recirculation system. These send the cold water sitting in your pipes back to the water heater instead of down the drain. They also keep hot water available at specific points of the home, so it arrives faster, running hot water intermittently through pipes.

Looking for a local plumber to help improve the hot water flow to your home? Agentis Plumbing is available 24/7. And we don’t charge overtime rates for nights, weekends, or holidays! Voted the best plumber in the Lehigh Valley over nine years in a row.