How Long Does It Take For Hot Water To Come Back

Is there anything more frustrating than running out of hot water in the middle of a task that requires hot water? When your water supply suddenly turns cold, you need to know one vital thing: how long does it take for hot water to come back? We’ve got some answers for you. 

Why Does Hot Water Run Out?

You are probably wondering why you are running out of hot water in the first place? There are a couple of possible reasons why your tap runs out of hot water more quickly than you’d like. Here are the top 4 reasons:

  1. Sediment has built up. When sediment builds up it takes up space in the tank, thereby reducing the amount of water available to be heated.
  2. A problem with the dip tube. The dip tube is designed to put the incoming (cold) water into the bottom of the tank to allow for efficient water heating. If it is broken or damaged cold water may be combined anywhere inside the tank, affecting your heater’s efficiency.
  3. Broken thermostat. There are thermostats inside the tank that direct the heating elements to heat up your water. If the thermostats regulating those elements are broken, your hot water is compromised.
  4. Your water heater can’t keep up with demand. Here are some helpful tips for that situation:
    1. The water heater is too small for your needs. In this case, you will likely replace it with a larger heater or consider adding another heater, or a tankless heater to keep up with the demand.
    2. Your heater may be too old. If your heater is 10 years old or older it may not be able to keep up with demand and you may need to consider replacing it. 
    3. Thermostat set too low. Turn it up! Perhaps the water is not hot enough and so it is left running, using up too much hot water. Just be careful that you are keeping it at a safe temperature.
    4. Insufficient insulation or leaking. If the system itself or the pipes bringing the water to the tap are not properly insulated for your environment, or if they are leaking, that can cause problems and you will want to get that taken care of quickly.
    5. Competing appliances using up hot water. If you are using hot water for your dishwasher or washing machine, consider running them at night or when you don’t need hot water for bathing, showering, or at the sink.
    6. Just using it up too fast: Consider installing low-flow showerheads to reduce demand on your hot water system.

Do you have a tankless water heater? While it is far less susceptible to the types of problems we’ve explored above, there can be issues such as an improperly installed heater, or interrupted power supply that cause your hot water to run out too quickly.

How long does it take for hot water to return? 

Typically, a water heater tank takes 30 to 40 minutes to heat up so if your water heater is still working, you can count on having more hot water come back in that amount of time as long as your system is still working adequately. 

Can I make hot water return faster?

There is really no way to make it come back faster, except by addressing the core issue with a highly qualified plumber, like us here at Phend Plumbing. A good plumber can assess the situation and let you know how to move forward so you won’t have to wait for your hot water and you can get a system that will meet your needsIf you are in the Mesa area and are looking to solve any problems related to your hot water heater or any plumbing in your home, give us a call. You can even get a quote on a water heater repair or replacement. You can reach us at 480-388-6093 or visit us at