5 (Tips) On How Long Does It Take For Hot Water To Come Back

water heater function

The weather is freezing. We want to take a bath and discovered that we run out of the hot water supply. So, we ask ourselves, “How long does it take for hot water to come back?” Not knowing when it may cause inconvenience in the future, especially for busy professionals. Instead of waiting around trying to guess when our hot water will come rushing back into our shower, there are ways that allow we to tap hot water again into our bath.

Before anything else, let’s first take a look at the duration a water heater processes the hot water.

As a general rule of the thumb, the bigger our heater is, the longer it takes for the hot water to come back.

Electric Heater

For a homeowner who has electric heaters at home and previously owned a gas heater, know that it will take twice as the conventional gas heater to heat up. Hence, we can expect our hot water to come back after an hour, or if there’s any disruption, it can reach an hour and a half.

Gas Heater

If we have the good-old gas heater in our house, we can expect the hot water to come back after waiting for around 30 to 40 minutes. It doesn’t take an hour for the gas heater to heat the water in the tank.

Solar Heater

Solar heaters are fast becoming a must to modern homeowners nowadays. Typically, it is connected to the electric water heater. The amount of time it takes to heat the water in the tank is the same as the latter. It should complete the process within an hour or one and a half-hour.

But in some cases, if the weather is gloomy, then it means we won’t be getting any hot water until the sun comes out.

Tankless Heater

If we want to experience convenience, we should opt for a tankless heater. It is designed to provide our household with an endless supply of hot water. There’s little to no waiting time with a tankless heater. However, since this is a new technology, there are risks of errors and faults along the way. But the tankless heater is indeed, a good choice of a water heater.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters are often referred to as “hybrids.” It is a modified version of an electric water heater. This type of heater is high-tech and offers different settings that can conserve energy.

However, the waiting time for a hybrid mode usually takes up to two hours. But when we switch to high demand, it can decrease the waiting time for up to 80 minutes only.

5 Ways to Get Our Hot Water Back

inside a water heater

Here are the following things that we can do if we run out of hot water. These methods are effective and can speed up the water heating process so we can enjoy a steamy bath as soon as we can.

  1. Wait for the refill.

The first thing to do is to wait for the heater to refill the tank with hot water. By doing so, check if the hot water tank is empty before we wait. Depending on the tank that we are using, it may take a while for the hot water to come back. Nevertheless, it’s vital that we wait first before we start tinkering our water heater.

However, in cases where we notice that we waited a little longer compared to the normal duration, consider it as an indication of an underlying issue with our water heater.

As a general rule of thumb, we should wait for at least 24 hours for our water heater to refill the tank before we ring our plumber for help.

  1. Consider the size of our water heater.

If we keep on running out of hot water, it’s high time that we consider the size of our water heater. This is essential if we have a big household. A small, conventional water heater may not be able to accommodate everyone.

Check and size the water heater again. After this, consider if it’s still big enough for our family and needs. A water heater replacement may be our best bet to ensure we don’t run out of hot water again. But if we are living alone, a small water heater will do the trick.

  1. Check for gas or electric issues.

Another thing that we can do is to check for any gas or electrical issues. Make sure that nothing is stopping our water heating system from providing hot water into the tank.

For instance, no signs of electricity in the machine is considered a red flag. If there is an absent pilot light or an indication that the water is filling, but it is not warming, it could also mean an issue with our water heating system. For homeowners who have a gas heater, vacate the house immediately if we smell leaking gas and call our plumber as soon as possible.

  1. Check the inlet water temperature.

One of the factors that can affect the hot water recovery time is the inlet water temperature. It depends on where we live, as the inlet water will also have varying temperatures. For instance, people who live in the North have a colder inlet temperature than people who live in the South.

The temperature rise refers to the contrast of temperature between the preset temperature on our water heater and the incoming water. If the temperature of our inlet water is colder, then expect it to take a little longer to heat up.

  1. Look for sediment buildup

Another factor that can affect the long recovery time of our water heater is sediment buildup. This happens a lot, especially if our unit is old. It also happens if there is little to no maintenance. Hard inlet water can also contribute to this issue.

We may identify a sediment buildup in our water heating system when we hear strange noises in the unit. The rise of our energy bills also indicates a problem with the water heating system and the longer recovery time of our water heating system. In this case, we may call a plumber to assess the situation and also decide if our unit can still be fixed or if we need a water heating replacement.


Running out of hot water is inconvenient. While it happens occasionally, frequently running out of supply indicates an underlying problem. Hence, we should consider trying the aforementioned methods above to determine if our unit has issues or needs replacement. When we invest in a new water heating system, make sure that it can accommodate our household needs and can serve we for years to come.

Maintenance is vital to any water heating system. To avoid problems like this in the future, it is essential that we maintain our water heating system properly. Hiring a highly-skilled plumber may help we to resolve our hot water issues. They also give the best water heating system maintenance advice.

Try our tips and never worry about running out of hot water again. Now we can enjoy a steamy bath without unwanted disruption!

Related Topic: 4 (Real Ways) On How to Size a Tankless Water Heater

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