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My Shower is Taking Forever to Heat Up… – What’s the Cause?

How much of your time is wasted waiting for the shower to get hot?

Five minutes? Ten minutes? Longer?

While you gently place your hand under the showerhead praying for it to warm up, hundreds of litres of water have already circled down the drain. That’s right, a cold shower is not just an annoyance, it’s an expensive inconvenience.

There are several reasons why you’re shivering outside of the shower waiting for the water to heat up. Here are some of the most common and what you can do about it to reduce the wait time as well as the wastage.

Your Hot Water System is Too Far Away

If there is a significant distance between your shower and the hot water system, then by the time it reaches the fixture, it will have cooled down. This problem often occurs on larger properties with multiple storeys and when the piping in the house is laid out with twists and turns. 

It’s difficult to replace the location of your bathroom, and also an expensive solution to a small problem. But you can try to increase the temperature on the thermostat to reduce the time you’re waiting for the show to warm up. 

The Pipes Are Blocked

Did you know that calcium and magnesium often accumulates and settles at the bottom of your hot water tank? In fact, it usually ends up sitting right on top of the gas burner inside the system. This ends up stopping the burner from being able to heat up the water.

You could try flushing out the hot water system to clear it of all the minerals. However, this can be a dangerous job, so you’re best to call in some plumbing professionals who are experts with hot water systems.

Size Matters for Hot Water Systems

Your water tank should be able to cater to the number of people living in your house. For example, if you go from being an eligible bachelor to raising a family, then you should upgrade your hot water system accordingly.

Speak to a plumber about what the best hot water system is for the household. A larger system will mean everyone in your home will be able to enjoy a nice hot shower.

The Water Heater is Broken

Like all of your appliances, a hot water system has a lifespan. Most will start to cause you problems after ten years. But there are some that also tend to stop working after five. You will notice that parts begin to break, and it’s not able to heat water like it used to. 

There is a way to extend the lifespan of your hot water system. A plumber can provide regular maintenance on it and ensure all of the components are working. These check-ups can also mean you’ll only end up replacing parts instead of the whole system.

You’ve Got Water Saving Restrictors

Water saving technology can be great for your bills and the environment, but they can also leave you waiting around while your shower heats up. Usually, these restrictors sit inside the head and delay water coming out of the pipes, including any that’s hot.

You can remove water restrictors from the showerhead by dismantling it and locating the parts causing the problem. However, once you’ve removed it, the fixture will no longer save you money on bills. But at least you’ll be warm.

The Hot Water Tempering Valve Has Failed

Normally a tempering valve will stop you from burning yourself from hot water. It’s responsible for keeping it under 50 degrees Celsius. However, if the water coming from the shower feels like it’s -50 degrees Celsius, then there could be a problem with the valve. Either it’s not installed correctly, or the tempering valve is located at the hot water system. In this case, you’re losing heat the second it hits the pipes.

Unfortunately, this is not a job that you can do yourself unless you’re a licensed plumber. Messing around with the tempering valve can have implications on other fixtures around the house. So if you think this is the reason why your shower is taking so long to heat up, call in the professionals.

Don’t Wait Any Longer

Whether it’s first thing in the morning or after a hard day at work, the last thing you want to do is wait for your shower to heat up. Standing with your hand stretched out as it freezes under the cold water is no way to start or end your day. It’s also a big waste of money as dozens of litres of water goes down the drain.

There are several reasons as to why your shower takes so long to warm up. Some of these problems you will be able to fix yourself. However, others are more complicated and can have implications on other fixtures within your house.

Instead of causing any problems with the plumbing in your home, get All Day Plumbing to find out why your shower isn’t heating up properly. We’re experts with bathrooms, showerheads, and hot water systems. Don’t spend any more time out in the cold, book an appointment today so you can get back to enjoying your hot shower in peace.