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Why Does It Take Longer to Get Hot Water at Some Taps in My Home?

28 Feb 2021
We have all been there before. We open the hot tap and then we wait. It can feel like it takes forever for the water to go from cold to warm and then finally get hot. If the tap is connected to the same pipes as the rest of your plumbing fixtures, why does it take so long for the water to get hot? Actually, there are quite a few potential reasons for this, and we’ll discuss some of the more common ones below.


The distance between the tap and the water heater is perhaps the biggest factor here. The farther from the water heater the tap is, the longer it will take for the water to warm. This is particularly true if you’re blending hot and cold water to make it warm. Simply put, hot water has to travel from the water heater to the tap. If it’s a significant distance, it will take longer for the water to travel.

Piping Diameter

The pipes in your home are of different sizes. This can speed up or slow down the arrival of hot water at specific taps. For instance, a narrow diameter pipe means that you get hot water faster than other people. A wider diameter pipe will mean you have to wait longer for hot water because it requires more water to fill the pipe, which slows down delivery.

Water in the Pipes

The pipes in your home always have water in them. The whole system is pressurised. However, if it has been some time since you’ve used the hot water from the tap in question, the water between that tap and the water heater has cooled down. It may have lost all of its heat. This is another factor that determines how long it takes to get hot water out of a particular tap in the home. If you used the tap recently, it will take less time to get hot water, because the water in the pipe is still hot.

Flow Rate

Finally, there’s the question of the flow rate. This is a measure of how much water comes out of a faucet or showerhead in a specific amount of time. The higher the flow rate, the more water it puts out during that period. The lower the flow rate, the less water it delivers. If you have a low-flow rate faucet or showerhead, it will take longer for the water to get hot simply because there is less of it coming out.

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