How Long Does It Take For a Water Heater to Heat Up?

How Long Does It Take for a Water Heater to Heat Up

How Long Does It Take for a Water Heater to Heat Up?

An effective water heater is essential to many households, and we know no one likes an ice-cold shower.

Water heaters provide hot water for various tasks such as showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry.

It is essential to know how long it takes for a water heater to heat water to understand when it will be available for use.

Knowing the time needed to heat water can also help ensure that the water heater is not overheating or too inefficient, which could lead to costly repairs.

🔥 Factors Affecting the Time Needed to Heat Up a Water Heater

woman having a cold shower

The time it takes to heat water to the desired hot water temperature can be impacted by type, size, and temperature settings.

Various types of water heaters employ different heating elements and capacities; thus, the time to heat up will vary.

Larger models require more energy and more time. Higher temperature settings lead to a faster warm-up than lower settings.

💧 Differences Between Types of Water Heaters

The type of water heater can drastically affect how long it takes to heat up.

Electric water heaters generally take longer than gas water heaters as they rely on electric coils to generate heat.

Gas water heaters, also known as instantaneous water heaters, are much faster in terms of heating times due to their direct heating system, often providing hot water in mere seconds.

Solar powered water heaters use the sun’s energy to warm the tank and typically require more time than other systems.

Additionally, hybrid models combine multiple technologies for efficient heating and usually have a shorter warm-up time than conventional tanks.

Related Reading: Tank vs Tankless Water Heater: The Great Water Heater Debate

💧 Size of the Water Heater

The water heater’s size also affects how long it takes for it to heat up. Larger tanks require more energy to bring them to their desired temperature.

On the other hand, smaller models heat up faster as they require less energy.

Tankless water heaters also don’t need to be filled with water before use and are seen as instantaneous.

💧 Temperature Settings

The temperature setting also directly impacts how long it takes for a water heater to heat up.

Higher temperature settings mean more energy is needed to bring the tank to its desired warmth, increasing the warm-up time.

Lower temperature settings require less energy and generally take less time to heat water.

💧 Distance From The Water Heater

The distance between a water heater and the point of use is an important factor to consider.

Hot water loses heat as it travels through pipes, and so the farther away from the heater it has to travel, the less hot it will be when it reaches its destination.

The length and type of pipes used can also influence how quickly or slowly hot water moves through them.

To ensure that hot water is delivered quickly and at a suitable temperature, it’s essential to keep all piping as short as possible and properly insulated to reduce heat loss.

💧 Pipe Diameter

The diameter of the pipes used to transport hot water can also impact how quickly it reaches a given point.

Pipes with smaller diameters, such as those found in older homes, will not be able to move water as quickly as larger-diameter pipes.

The type of material used in the pipe can also affect how fast, hot water flows through them.

Rigid metal piping will generally move the water faster than flexible plastic pipes.

It is vital to use the correct pipe diameter and materials when setting up hot water plumbing systems to ensure quick delivery times and proper temperatures.

💧 Insulation

Proper insulation can also significantly impact the amount of time it takes to heat water. With well-insulated pipes and tanks, less energy is lost through conduction, meaning it doesn’t take nearly as long to heat the water.

Additionally, having more efficient insulation around the tank itself can improve the efficiency of your water heating system and reduce the associated costs.

🔥 Average Times to Heat Up a Water Heater

💧 Gas Tank Water Heater

A gas tank water heater is one of the most common water heaters used in residential homes.

The average time it takes for a conventional gas water heater tank to heat water is around 30 minutes, with an average recovery rate of 35-40 gallons per hour.

This rate can vary depending on the size and age of the system as well as environmental factors such as ambient temperature and pressure.

gas tank water heater

💧 Gas Tankless Water Heater

The average heating time for a gas tankless water heater is significantly shorter than that of a conventional tank water heater.

Often taking as little as 15-20 seconds, the on-demand hot water provided by a tankless gas heater can save time and energy.

In addition to these savings, other factors such as environmental impact, maintenance, and cost-effectiveness should be considered when choosing between traditional and tankless-style water heaters. G

Gas tankless water heaters are known to be more reliable and efficient than traditional styles, offering an excellent choice for fast, hot water delivery.


💧 Electric Tank Hot Water Heater

Electric water heaters with a tank are still among the most popular water heaters installed in residential homes today.

The average heating time for a tank electric hot water heater is typically between 60-80 minutes, depending on factors such as tank size, system efficiency, and ambient temperature.

Because this type of electric tank water heater uses electricity to heat the water stored in its tank, it is important to remember that it requires a certain amount of electrical power to operate at an optimal level.

electric tank water heater

💧 Electric Tankless Water Heater

Electric tankless water heaters provide on-demand hot water with very little wait time compared to traditional electric tank units.

The average heating time for an electric tankless water heater is almost instantaneous, often taking less than 20 seconds.

This quick delivery of hot water allows for greater efficiency compared to conventional electric models and other types of water heaters.

Additionally, an electric water heater offers the potential for cost savings by only heating the water needed at any time.

Electric tankless systems offer a very versatile and efficient way to provide hot water in any home.

electric tankless water heater

💧 Solar Water Heater

Solar water heaters are an increasingly popular way to heat a home’s hot water supply.

Solar panels collect energy from the sun, which is then used to heat the water stored in a tank.

The average heating time of a solar water heater depends on several factors, including the size and efficiency of the solar panel system and the amount of sunlight available.

Generally, it takes 1 – 2 hours on a sunny day for a solar hot water system to reach its full capacity, although this time can be reduced by purchasing a larger or more efficient system.

Once hot, your solar water tank should keep your water warm for at least 48 hours, depending on the type of heater installed.

Solar systems fitted with evacuated tube collectors operate at a higher efficiency, greater temperatures, and longer periods of operation than is the case with conventional single flat plate collectors.

Evacuated Tube Collectors are a type of solar hot water system that eliminates the issues of other systems because their individual, curved tubes are always positioned perpendicular to the sun’s rays.

solar water heater

💧 Hybrid Water Heaters

A heat pump water heater, also known as a hybrid water heater, is a modified electric heater designed with energy conservation in mind.

However, even on regular settings, this type of water heater has a longer recovery time than other models — usually about two hours.

Fortunately, there is an available high-demand setting that can reduce the wait to just between 60 and 80 minutes.

heat pump water heater

🔥 Common Reasons for a Slow Hot Water Heater

Common reasons for a slow hot water heater include mineral build-up, a defective thermostat, or a lack of insulation.

Mineral build-up is caused by hard water, which can accumulate on the heating elements and reduce their efficiency over time.

A faulty thermostat may not be able to accurately measure the temperature of the water, resulting in an overly long heat-up cycle.

Poor insulation will also lead to longer heating times as heat is lost much faster when no insulation provides protection.

🔥 Conclusion

Phyxter Approved Logo on Service Truck

A slow hot water heater can be incredibly frustrating; luckily, it can often be fixed with simple solutions.

Taking the time to understand other factors involved in heating your water heaters, such as their power source and size, can make all the difference in getting hot water quickly and efficiently.

Want to learn more about your home’s plumbing system? Feel free to check out our other plumbing articles!

Russell Jones

Russell, a native Australian and VP of Operations at Phyxter Home Services, is also part-owner of Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical Services. When he's not busy with work projects and renovations, Russell enjoys putting his vast knowledge of home improvement to good use by sharing his tips and tricks.

About our blog

Phyxter (pronounced Fix-ter) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.

Phyxter is laser-focused on writing the best articles and guides to empower homeowners to get the best out of their homes.

We hope you enjoy it!

Looking for something?

Join our Newsletter!