Very long time for hot water


Old 04-27-05, 09:29 AM
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Very long time for hot water

Hi all. I have an issue with hot water taking an extremely long time to travel to my kitchen (1st floor) and upstairs bathroom (2nd floor). Over 30 seconds
We have an older house, but just replaced the hot water heater for other reasons. It is in the basement and it is a 40 Gallon tank, but there are only 2 of us.

we have radiators as well, but don't think they would have anything to do with it, especially now that we don't have the heat on. Other then adding a recirculating device to the system, is there anything I can clean or check?

All help is appreciated.
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Old 04-27-05, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Vancouver, Canada
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The water has too far to travel, most likely. Maybe some crazy diversions left by previous renovations (moved fixtures the obvious one) is to blame.

Other things to look for would be oversized pipes - think about the volume of water moved, not just the distance.

Or hot and cold running tight side by side, especially copper, especially if cosied together by insulation, will tend to balance temperature. Try running cold until it's real cold, then run hot to hottest, then try cold again and see if it's suddenly warmer.

A recirculating system would be inefficient, though if water's precious where you live it has merit.
Old 04-28-05, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Yorktown, VA
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Just some food for thought. I agree the water has too far to travel. I live in a two story (stradford design) house with the water heater in the garage. The upstairs master bath is just about as far away from the heater as it can be and still be in the house. The kitchen isn't much better. Our system requires about 30 seconds as well. By the way, some variation of the stradford design is very common in our area. All the neighbors I have spoken with about this problem have about the same delay. I guess it's not that uncommon.

My father makes some comment about it every time he visits. His house is a rancher with almost totally centralized plumbing...all well within 20' of the heater. That makes a whale of a difference.

The only way I know of to improve this is to either install another water heater closer to the point of use (fed by the cold water supply), or a recirculation system. As Kobuchi pointed out, the recirculation systems waste energy, but do conserve water.
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