Running Out of Hot Water? Slow Recovery Time Could be to Blame
If you’re the first one in your family to shower every morning, you may never run out of hot water. However, if you’re the last in line, your water heater’s slow recovery time could result in lukewarm showers. Learn more about what affects water heater recovery time and how to improve it.
Factors that Affect Water Heater Recovery
When you call for hot water at the tap, it rushes from the water heater, through the pipes, and out the plumbing fixture. Then, cold water enters the tank, which the heating elements must bring to the proper temperature.
The recovery time is how long it takes to reheat an entire tank of hot water after it has been depleted by daily household activities like running the dishwasher, doing hot loads of laundry, and showering. Here are the factors that affect water heater recovery time:
- Fuel: Electric water heaters have a much slower recovery time than gas models.
- Size: Smaller tanks store less hot water, so you go through your supply faster.
- Age: Old water heaters are less efficient, meaning the heating elements take longer and cost more to do their job.
- Type: Storage water heaters must reheat a tank of hot water, but tankless versions heat water on demand, providing an endless supply with no recovery time.
How to Avoid Running Out of Hot Water
It’s inconvenient to wait for hot water to be available again. Speed up the recovery time with these tips:
- Turn up the water heater temperature: Your hot water supply lasts longer if it’s stored at a higher temperature. Try turning the knob to a higher setting to decrease how often you run out of hot water.
- Insulate the tank: By reducing standby heat loss, your water heater recovers more quickly and efficiently. Your water heating bills also go down in the process.
- Change fuel types: If you have an electric water heater, consider switching to gas for speedier water heating. You may need gas appliance hook-up services if you don’t already have this utility service in your home.
- Increase the size of your water heater: In most cases, a 40-gallon tank is suitable for a two-person household. If you have more people and multiple bathrooms, upgrading to a 50- to 80-gallon tank could be beneficial.
- Go tankless: For endless hot water, consider installing a tankless water heater. Your water heating bills will decrease by about 35 percent, and you can take shower after shower without running out of hot water. For simultaneous hot water tasks, such as showering and running the dishwasher at the same time, you may need to install more than one unit.
Mike Counsil Plumbing in San Jose can help you improve the heat recovery time of your water heater. Whether you choose to install insulation, replace your water heater, or switch from an electric to a gas appliance, we can help! Contact us today to arrange the water heater services you need.