causes slow hot water

Potential Causes of Slow Hot Water Supplies, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the common reasons why you might have begun to notice slow hot water being provided to certain taps or fixtures in your home. There are several potential culprits behind this event, ranging from the distance of your fixtures to the hot water heater to the quality of the heater itself and several others.

At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of water heater repair and replacement services to help remedy any such concerns, including tankless water heaters that provide on-demand water and limit any concerns of proper temperature. In today’s part two, we’ll go over a few additional potential causes of slow hot water, including a primer on water heater tank recovery periods for such systems.

Improper Sizing

In some cases, your system’s issues with providing hot water fast enough to all fixtures may actually trace back to the water heater’s initial installation. Whether due to a mistake by a previous HVAC company, an increase in family size or some other cause, the current water heater might actually be far too small to service your entire home.

When this is the case, it will not have the capacity to handle the regular requests for hot water throughout the home. If this is the situation, our plumbers will be able to quickly identify this problem based on simple volume, plus recommend a larger upgrade to meet your needs.

Water Heater Failure

In other situations, the simple reality will be that your water heater has run its standard lifespan and is now wearing down after many years. If your water heater was installed at least a decade ago or has shown other signs of wear-and-tear over recent years, they may either fail suddenly or simply become less effective over a period of time.

Again, our plumbers are here to help. We’re happy to assess your water heater and recommend to you whether repairs might solve your concerns or whether an upgrade to a new system is your most cost-effective option.

Recovery Times

Finally, for all homes using a tank-style water heater, recovery times must be considered. These refer to how long it takes the tank to re-heat and deliver more hot water once it’s depleted its current stores, and they will depend on several factors:

  • Size of the tank (larger tanks take longer to recover, but also have larger initial capacities)
  • Fuel type (electric heaters take about twice as long to reheat as gas heaters)
  • FHR: Short for first hour rating, this is a metric where the higher it is, the shorter your recovery time
  • Temperature rise: The temperature of your incoming water makes a huge difference, as cold water takes much longer to heat than warm water

In most cases, it will take a standard 80-gallon gas water heater roughly an hour to recover after being fully depleted. Our plumbers will advise you on whether your time might be shorter or longer.

For more on understanding why your hot water supply is slow arriving, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.