Sometimes, even after turning on the hot water faucet to take your regular shower, you may only receive cold water. How quickly hot water can flow from your hot tap depends on some variables.

The speed at which hot water returns depends on how quickly your water heater recovers, technically. Recovery time is when your water heater can warm its tank fully. 

This post will answer the question, How long does it take for hot water to come back,” and offer expert advice on what’s required of you.

How Long Does It Take for Hot Water to Come Back?

This depends on the quantity and temperature of the water being used, the number of showers being taken, the hour rating of the system, and the length of a hot shower being used at that precise moment in your home. 

Given that it varies significantly from household to household and family to family, you cannot specify a specific time limit. However, most households’ main tank is a water heater with a capacity of about 150 l, typically adequate for three people.

All plumbing supplies enter the residence from the ground or the street close to where the water heater is most of the time. This primary water heater tank is the first stop for all outgoing water and water coming in from a faucet or shower. The entering water then moves on to another location.

The water heater takes around an hour to get water and provides an unlimited supply if it is in good shape, has a long service life, and has no heating or plumbing issues, silt buildup, or dissolved minerals present.

Factors That Affect Your Water Heater’s Recovery Time

  • Water Heater Tank Dimensions: The longer it takes for the water heater to heat all the water in the tank, the longer it will take to release hot water.
  • Temperature Difference: Users may choose the temperature at which they want hot water by setting a specific value. The term “temperature difference” describes the variation in temperature between the water that enters the system or is already in the tank and the temperature that the customers desire. The longer it takes the heater to heat the water, the bigger the temperature difference will naturally be.
  • Fuel Type: A water heater runs on fuel, such as electricity, gas, or solar energy. To heat the same volume of water, an electric heater takes twice as long as a gas heater. The following part will review the different types of water heaters and their recovery times for better comprehension.
How Long Does It Take for Hot Water to Come Back

The age of the water heater, the diameter of the water supply pipe, and the distance from the water heater are a few more minor elements that can affect the recovery time.

Various Water Heater Types and Their Recovery Times

1. Gas Heater

In commercial and industrial settings, a gas heater is most frequently employed. A gas heater is the most effective tank-style water heater because its recovery period is the shortest. 

A gas burner is at the bottom of the tank to heat the water. It requires 30 to 40 minutes for a 40-gallon water tank. The release of hot water from an 80-gallon tank takes around an hour.

2. Electric Heater

The most popular type of water heater in homes is an electric heater. Comparatively speaking, an electric heater needs almost twice as long as a gas heater to heat the same amount of water. 

The water heater is, therefore, less effective. An electric water heater with a tank size of 40 gallons should ideally take 60 to 80 minutes to release hot water. A recovery time of more than two hours may be necessary for an 80-gallon tank.

3. Tankless Heater

The most practical water heater currently available is a tankless kind. This is so there is no water tank taking up space, and there is a minimum requirement for installation. As an alternative, unlimited hot water is available. 

Due to technological advancements, a tankless heater also requires virtually no waiting time. A tankless water heater is ideal since it virtually never runs out of hot water and has an endless supply.

4. Heat Pump Water Heaters

A hybrid water heater also goes by the name of a heat pump. It is a redesigned electric heater with greater energy-saving settings. 

A heat pump water heater has a longer recovery period, about two hours in a normal setting, but a high-demand setting is available.

5. Solar Heater

Modern water heating devices like solar heaters consume the least amount of energy. Compared to an electric water heater, it takes a little longer to heat the water. 

A solar heater can therefore take up to one and a half hours to heat a 40-gallon water tank. The only drawback is that when it has been overcast for a few days, it might be unable to heat the water.

Methods For Regaining Hot Water

When your hot water runs out, try some of the following.

1. Hold Off Until Refilling

Waiting for the water tank to be filled and the water to heat up is normal when you run out of hot water. Depending on the type of heater and the size of the tank, this will require some time. 

How Long Does It Take for Hot Water to Come Back

Your water heater may be fine if the waiting time is longer than usual. We should hold off on calling a plumber to remedy the problem until a few more days have passed.

2. Consider the Size of the Water 

Consider the size of your water heater tank and replace it with a larger capacity water heater if you frequently run out of hot water. 

Because your current water heater needs more hot water to fulfill your daily needs, there will always be a long wait period.

3. Look for Any Gas or Electric Issues

Sometimes a water heater’s internal obstruction prevents using a gas or electrical supply to heat water. You must call a plumber to inspect your water heater for problems if the tank is filling but not warming up. 

If you have a gas heater that smells like leaking, call a plumber immediately and get your family members into a different room.

4. Check Inlet Water Temperature

When the inlet water temperature is low, the water heater requires a disproportionately longer amount of time to heat water.

This is because it is normal for the heater to require additional time to heat water to a specified degree if the inlet water is colder than typical. 

As a result, it depends on the local climate, and it’s typical for your water heater to take longer to start releasing hot water during the winter.

5. Look For Sediment Buildup

Depending on your location’s water quality, silt buildup inside water heaters is extremely prevalent. If your community has hard water, sediment buildup will be an issue. 

During this time, you should clean the inside of your water heater tank more frequently to prevent silt from hindering recovery. You can also install an external water softener to avoid frequent sediment building.

Why is it Taking Longer to Reheat My Water Heater?

1. The Buildup of Sediment

Sediment buildup is most likely to blame if your heating system takes longer to reheat. Heavy mineral buildup on the inside walls of the water heater may be present, depending on the water quality in your area. 

You can hear popping and hissing sounds when the heater is on if sediment has built up. As a result, the heater’s capacity to heat water decreases. An inoperable thermostat or a damaged dip tube could be additional causes.

Ask a technician to examine your water heater from the inside to determine whether or not sediment buildup is the cause of the issue. Using the proper chemical, the technician will eliminate any silt buildup from the tank if it is the cause. Otherwise, you will need to fix the broken parts of your water heater.

2. Water Heater Too Small

Your water heater needs to be bigger to meet your family’s needs if it consistently requires longer recovery times from heating units. This is because you always draw more hot water than you need according to the tank’s capacity. 

You add a sizable amount of cold water every time you remove hot water from the tank. Of course, heating the cold water takes a long time on the water heater.

How Long Does It Take for Hot Water to Come Back

You can consult a specialist to determine if the water heater is too small for your needs. Find out which size would be ideal for your family if this is the case. Without that, there can be problems with various water heater components; you need a specialist to look at such.


The time a water heater takes to release hot water varies. Several outside variables influence the waiting period and the type of water heater, which we have outlined in detail for your comprehension. 

In addition, your water heater can have a mechanical problem, for which you need a qualified plumber to examine and provide recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Long Will a Hot Water Tank Maintain Its Heat?

The typical hot-water tank life of a water heater is 8 hours. Even though the temperature in the tank has been frigid, you are still reaping the benefits of your water heater because it is constantly being used. 

The recovery time may seem like little, but it may be longer when you think about it. You don’t need to worry about wasting gas or electricity by heating the room more than is necessary.

2. How Many Degrees Does the Hot Water Rise?

If there is no sediment buildup, hot water tanks with water heaters typically raise the water’s temperature by 20 to 30 degrees each hour using an element. The water temperature may rise more quickly if your tank is higher in capacity.