If you hate waiting so long for your morning shower to heat up, then it's time to look into the problem. If slow heating is something new, then the hot water tank may be having troubles. Here's a look at some things that can cause hot water to take longer than usual to heat up and the repairs that might correct the situation.
There's Sediment in the Tank
Sometimes, sediment collects in the tank near the burner and causes a variety of problems. One problem is a slower heating time, and that means you have to wait longer to jump in your warm shower. This problem can usually be fixed by flushing out the tank to get rid of all the debris and then filling the tank again to check its operation. Flushing out the tank might not be an option if the sediment caused damage to the tank or if the sediment is from a rusty tank.
The Hot Water Tank Is Old
If you know your hot water heater is at least a decade old, then it may be time to buy a new one. A plumber will inspect your heater and offer advice on whether repairs are suitable or if you need a new water heater. If you get a new one, it's a good time to verify you have the right size to handle your current hot water demand. When you want hot water quickly, it may be time to think about getting a tankless heater to replace your old tank. You won't have much of a delay since water is heated right away, and you can place the heater closer to your shower so hot water doesn't have far to travel through the pipe.
The Pipes Are Cold
Several things affect the water on its way to your shower from the water heater. If the pipes the water travels through are cold, then they pull heat out of the water until the water heats the pipes up. This can be a bigger problem if your heater is a long distance from your shower. A possible solution for this is to have a plumber install a recirculating system. This pumps water sitting in the pipes back into the hot water heater so hot water comes out of your shower quicker. You might also consider wrapping the pipes in insulation if they aren't already.
You're Using a Low-Flow Showerhead
If you recently put on a new showerhead to conserve water and energy, that could be why it's taking longer for the heated water to reach you. The flow rate out of the shower is restricted so water doesn't move through the pipe as fast. If this is the problem, you may decide to live with it since it cuts down on water use, but if you want your quick, hot showers back, then try a showerhead with a higher flow rate.
Reach out to a plumbing service today for more information or for assistance.