We have all felt the dreaded frustration of standing in the shower on a frosty evening and having to wait for the wonderful hot water to defrost our extremities. Why does it take so long for the hot water to reach the faucet?
There are a number of factors that have an effect on how long it takes for the hot water to reach the faucet. There is always water residue left in the water pipes between usage. Before we can access any of the fresh hot water from the tank, the old residue needs to be flushed out (don’t want that to happen? Try these shower heads).
The length and diameter of the pipes carrying the water to the faucet from the tanks also play an extremely important role. The longer the pipes are between the water heater and the faucet, the further the water has to travel and the longer it will take.
The diameter of the water pipes is also important as the wider the pipes are the greater volume per inch (lengthways) of water is needed to fill the pipes and push the heated water to the faucet. Material used for the piping will also determine the time it takes for hot water to reach the faucets.
If copper is used as opposed to galvanized piping there is a less chance that there is that the steel will absorb some of the heat along the way. Copper is much thinner than galvanized piping so there is less metal to absorb the heat.
The weather at any particular moment affects how quickly the water is heated and carried along the pipes and also how much of that heat is retained.
On a very cold day the surrounding temperature causes the pipes themselves to be cold. It will therefore take longer for the pipes to heat up and allowing hot water to pass through. While the pipes are cold they absorb heat from the water flowing through them until they themselves are warm enough and the absorption rate decreases.
As you can see there are a number of factors influencing the rate at which hot water reaches the faucet. Many of the factors we can rectify ourselves by changing the piping used to to carry the water and perhaps insulating the pipes so that on cold days they are kept warm and in this way they will no longer be the thieves of our hot water and the cause of so much frustration.