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How To Deal With a Delay in Hot Water From a Tankless Water Heaters

Shower And Electric Water Heater In The Bathroom

Waiting hours before a shower or washing dishes for hot water is time-consuming and a major waste2.

With such a scarcity of water, you must find a way to have immediate access to hot water instead of waiting and wasting this precious natural resource.

But the question is how to deal with this situation.


Before you dig into the solutions to get hot water immediately from your heater, it is crucial to know why it is delayed.

There are mainly 5 reasons for it:

  • Distance of water heater
  • Quantity of heaters
  • Volume restrictors
  • Malfunctioning water heater
  • Cold pipes

Read more about the reasons for the hot water delay and its quick fixes.

5 Reasons Causing a Delay in Hot Water From Tankless Water Heaters

Let’s face it; nobody has time to wait hours to get hot water for dishwashing or showering. It is a waste of both time and water.

Getting a delayed supply of hot water is an issue that you can easily fix, but before doing that, we must understand its possible reasons.

1. Distance of Water Heater

Electric Water Heater On The Cement Wall In Bathroom

Your tankless water heater works on demand and heats when you turn it on. Ideally, you should get hot water instantly, but several reasons also play a vital role.

A long distance between the tankless heater and the point of usage delays the hot water supply. It is because passing through cold pipes for a long time lowers its temperature; hence you fail to get the steaming hot water.

Quick Fix

The easy solution to this problem is installing your tankless water heater closer to the point of usage. The hot water doesn’t have to cover a long distance; you will get it instantly.

2. Quantity of Heaters

Hand Rotate Temperature Adjuster Of Water Heater

If you live in a big house, having one tankless heater can never be enough to fulfill the demand of the whole house. The more people and rooms you have, the more pipes it requires to cover the water needs.

A single tankless heater cannot provide hot water instantly to everyone resulting in a time delay.

Quick Fix

The best thing is to install more tankless heaters in your house to cover the water demand. If you have a double-story house, install one on each portion to avoid water wastage.

3. Volume Restrictors

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A volume or flow restrictor is a useful device that restricts the amount of water flowing through your fixtures, like shower heads or faucets.

However, it can also be a major cause of delay in getting a hot water supply.

Quick Fix

Replacing your volume restrictor with a high flow rate can solve your problem. It will supply hot water in a shorter time, saving you time and money.

4. Cold Pipes

Instant Tankless Electric Water Heater Installed On White Tile Wall

Having cold pipes is another major reason for having delayed hot water supply. If your pipes are in exterior walls, they get colder due to harsh outside weather.

As the hot water passes through the pipes, they extract heat from the water, resulting in a delayed supply.

Quick Fix

There are two solutions for dealing with the cold pipes problem. Both of them work effectively.

  • You can insulate the pipes as it will help keep the heat in so they can deliver hot water more effectively. You can use duct tape, foam pipe sleeves, or pipe wrap to do the job.
  • Installing a hot water recirculation system also helps in dealing with this issue. The recirculation system constantly circulates water into the pipes, keeping them preheated, so they do not have to extract heat from the water.

5. Malfunctioning Water Heater

A Specialist In A Uniform Repairs A Gas Water Heater Or Boiler

If your tankless heater used to work perfectly well but now delaying the hot water supply, chances are there is a malfunction with the appliance.

If you have an old heater, it can wear out and start causing problems.

Quick Fix

Calling a service professional to look at the heater and diagnose the issue is better.

If there are maintenance issues, he can fix them or let you know if it is time to replace the heater.


Tankless water heaters are more efficient and effective than tanked ones; however, some slight issues can cause a delayed hot water supply.

If you are facing a similar issue, try placing the heater closer to the point of usage, insulating your pipes, or installing more heaters to keep up with the hot water demand.

If nothing works, try calling a professional to look at your heater and diagnose the issue.

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