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Thread: Slow Hot Water

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    3

    Default Slow Hot Water

    For some time, we’ve noticed that it takes a long time to get hot water at our kitchen sink. I recently measured it … 1st thing in the morning I turned our single lever faucet to max hot. About 1 minute in the water was tepid, but it wasn’t until 2 minutes that it was uncomfortable to keep my hand in the water stream.

    The hot water tank is set at 135 (otherwise the length of time increases substantially) & has been verified as correct by the temperature on the output pipe. The tank is about 25 feet from the sink, down 1 floor and the pipes are insulated (which shouldn’t matter since the temperature was in the 60s overnight.

    The other day I noticed something while getting something from under the sink … the size of the pipes leading up to the faucet connection tubes are of different size. The diameter of the hot water pipe is significantly smaller than the one on the cold water side. Several years ago we had a hot water tap put in and there is a “tap” off the pipe to the hot faucet side that goes to the tank. It looks like that’s when it might have been changed.

    Now the question before I call in a plumber. Is this the likely cause of the lengthy delay in getting hot water?

    I probably should mention that the delay is not just first thing in the morning but anytime the water is off for a long period.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,774

    Default Re: Slow Hot Water

    The smaller the pipe the lower the volume of water flow. Does the hot flow slower than the cold? 25 feet of 3/4 inch tubing will hold a little over ˝ gal of water that would have to be pushed out before you get hot water.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    3

    Default Re: Slow Hot Water

    Thanks for the helpful response.

    Even though the pipes are of different size, both connect to the tubes leading to the single lever faucet. These tubes are the smallest of all. Could they be a sufficient bottleneck to "balance" the system or would the larger pipe on the cold side be receiving sufficiently higher water pressure so as to dominate the "mixing" value in the faucet?

    Re: the 1/2 gallon in the piping. If I had separate hot and cold levers, I could make a direct measurement of the hot. Maybe I can use the shutoffs on the pipes to close down the cold. Will try it later this afternoon.

    Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    143

    Smile Re: Slow Hot Water

    I think you might have answered your own question in your last reply. I don't really think you have a problem with your pipes as they seem to be fine and I also think your water heater is fine too based upon what you have said so far. Sometimes there is a problem with the dip tube not going far enough into the heater and thus giving you a short shower or not enough hot water at the sink when it has been running for a while. Since you don't complain about that I think the problem might be in your mixing valve in your faucet. Sometimes you can repair the problem with a kit from the manufacturer that you can sometimes buy at the home center and always at a plumbing supply house. Other times the faucet is so worn out that it just will no longer work right. The same thing happened with us and our kitchen faucet many years ago and finally we had to replace the faucet. Remember too now that it is getting colder it will take longer for the hot water to come to your faucet,I am glad you insulated your pipes it really makes a difference! Good luck to you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,774

    Default Re: Slow Hot Water

    The ambient temperature should have very little to do with the length of time it takes the hot water to reach the faucet. It would only affect how fast the standing water in the tubing cools back down. A single lever faucet should supply only hot if pushed over to the hot side and only cold if pushed to the other side unless the faucet if defective or it is an anti scald unit and needs to be properly adjusted. If the water from the faucet doesn't reach the 135 degrees. it is possible that the cold water washer in the faucet is leaking and needs to be replaced.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Slow Hot Water

    The water heater is less than a year old (previous one sprung a leak). The slow hot water occurred with both.

    Re: water temp, I will measure the temp. with the lever full over. Then shut off the cold & do it again. Should be interesting.

    Thanks all.

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