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Tankless Water Heater Takes Too Long To Heat: What Should You Do?

We all rely on our hot water heaters to provide us with heated water for our showers, laundry, and dish cycles. When you turn on your hot water, you expect it to come from your faucet within a few seconds. However, some water heaters take longer to create hot water than others, forcing people to wait to use their shower, sink, or washing machine.

Some homeowners think their tankless water heater takes too long to heat their tub or shower water. Tankless water heaters make a great option for people who need hot water but don’t have the space in their homes for a traditional model. However, tankless heaters don’t have a reserve of hot water to send whenever you need it, so people often begin washing with cold water while waiting for the heated water to show up.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of tankless units, why they don’t provide hot water immediately, and what you can do to ensure you have hot water as soon as you need it. For skilled plumbers in Bethany, OK, who know everything about water heater installation and repair, choose Champion Plumbing. We proudly serve the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Tankless heaters create hot water as you need it, unlike traditional water heaters, which can hold more than 80 gallons of heated water at a time. When you open a faucet, showerhead, or appliance outlet, water travels through the tankless water heater that uses a burner or a heating element to heat it quickly before it reaches the fixture. Tankless units offer higher energy efficiency than traditional heaters because they don’t use power to maintain the temperature of the water around the clock.

In the plumbing industry, professionals sometimes call tankless heaters instant water heaters or on-demand water heaters. These titles can be deceiving, leaving those who install them in their homes wondering why their hot water has a delay. 

Why Does My Tankless Water Heater Have a Delay?

A few factors can cause a tankless heater to take a bit more time to heat water than a traditional water heater. The first reason, as discussed above, is that a tankless unit doesn’t have a hot water supply available to dispense at all times. 

Also, when you shut off your faucet or outlet after using the water from your tankless heater, the heat source shuts off. Since nothing heats the water behind the hot water faucet stem, it will cool as it sits in the pipe. When you turn your hot water on again, the first thing to come from the faucet will be the cool water in the pipes, followed by the newly heated water from the tankless unit.

The size of your tankless water heater and the power behind its gas or electric heat source both play significant roles in how long you’ll wait for your water to heat up. The further your faucet or appliance sits from the heater, the longer it will take for the hot water to reach the outlet. The higher you have your water heater’s thermostat, the longer it will take to bring the water to your chosen temperature.

What Can I Do To Reduce MY Hot Water Delay?

A tankless water heater usually takes about 15 seconds to bring the water to the proper temperature and a few more seconds to deliver the heated water to your showerhead or faucet. If your tankless water heater takes too long to heat, you can do two things to reduce or even eliminate your hot water delay.

1. Install a Recirculating Pump

With a recirculating pump, the water that travels through your tankless heater no longer sits in the pipes to cool off once you shut off the outlet. Instead, a thermostat senses when the water in the pipes has cooled and uses the pump to send it back to the heater. This setup allows you to immediately access hot water without waiting for the water sitting in the pipes to run through the faucet.

A recirculating pump creates a loop for water to travel between your heater and your appliances and taps. Some tankless water heaters come with a recirculating pump. Others are not compatible with these pumps, so consider whether you think you’ll need one before you decide what tankless heater to buy.

If your plumbing doesn’t already have pipes set up for this loop system, this may be a bigger project than you’re ready for. Your plumbing technician will have to install the pump and alter your plumbing to facilitate the loop. This project can become more extensive than some think and may not be within their budget.

2. Secondary Water Heater

If installing a recirculation pump seems like more than you need, we recommend the secondary or “point-of-use” water heater. This miniature heater connects directly to an appliance, faucet, or fixture to heat the water in the pipe before you turn it on. Secondary water heaters work while your tankless heater brings your water to the desired temperature.

Secondary heaters typically run on electricity, so you can install as many as you need on your sinks, showerheads, and any fixtures you like. Some models are tankless, while others keep a supply of warm water to dispense when activated. 

Tankless Water Heater Installation and Maintenance

If your tankless water heater takes too long to heat your sink or shower water, let the experts at Champion Plumbing lend a hand. Our certified technicians have years of training and experience dealing with tankless heaters, and we can help you find a simple, affordable solution to your hot water delay issues.

If you live in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, there’s no better team to come to for all your plumbing needs. Click the link to learn the signs that your water heater is going bad, and call our Edmond, OK, office at 405-889-1318 to schedule an appointment today.

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The next time you need a plumbing contractor, call Champion Plumbing if you’re in the Edmond, OK area at 405-342-3571 and give us the chance to earn your business.