Have you ever stood in the shower, shivering, and wondering why it’s taking an eternity for the water to heat up? We’ve all been there, and it can be quite frustrating. In this blog post, we’ll explore the common reasons behind hot water issues and offer practical solutions to get that hot water flowing faster.

Size Matters

One of the primary factors affecting the time it takes for water to heat up is the size of your water heater. If you have a smaller water heater, it has less capacity to store hot water. This means that it may run out of hot water quickly, leaving you with cold water until it can heat up more. Consider upgrading to a larger water heater if this is a recurring problem. Generally, a small heater can work best for two to three individuals. A medium size heater is best for three to four individuals. If you have 4 people or more, then a large tank will probably be best for you.


The distance between your water heater and the faucet or shower can also impact heating time. The farther the hot water has to travel, the longer it will take to reach you. This is especially true if your plumbing system has long pipes or if the water heater is located far from the point of use. Short of moving your water heater, insulating your pipes can help reduce heat loss during transit. This is a relatively simple and cost-effective solution that can make a noticeable difference.

Sediment Buildup

Over time, sediment can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank. This sediment can act as an insulator, making it harder for the water heater to efficiently heat the water. Regularly flushing your water heater to remove sediment buildup can improve its performance and reduce heating time. This can be done every six months or so. As a general rule, you can expect it to take one to two hours to flush your water heater. Basically, you will drain your water heater then refill the tank to stir up any sediment that has begun to build up, then drain your tank again to remove it.

Temperature Setting

Check the temperature setting on your water heater’s thermostat. If it’s set too low, the water won’t get hot enough, causing it to take longer to reach the desired temperature. Adjust the thermostat to a suitable temperature (usually between 120°F to 140°F) to ensure you get hot water faster without scalding yourself.

Old Water Heater

If your water heater is reaching the end of its lifespan, it may not perform as efficiently as it used to. Older water heaters often struggle to heat water quickly. If your water heater is over ten years old and you’re experiencing frequent heating delays, it might be time for a replacement. The general lifespan of a water heater is between eight to twelve years but can be longer with excellent maintenance.

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, heat water directly as it flows through the unit. This eliminates the need for a storage tank and provides hot water almost instantly. While the initial cost may be higher, tankless water heaters are energy-efficient and can save you money in the long run.

Waiting for hot water to heat up can be a daily inconvenience, but it’s a problem with several potential solutions. Start by checking the thermostat, insulating pipes, and flushing your water heater. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, consider upgrading your water heater or switching to a tankless system for faster and more efficient hot water delivery to say goodbye to your hot water issues.