Water heaters are essential appliances that help you enjoy hot water as often as you need. These devices heat water using natural gas or electricity, so you can take a warm shower, wash the dishes, or clean your bathroom. So, how long does a water heater take to heat up?
Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question because it depends on several factors.
The duration of a water heater heating up depends on its type and size. Smaller tankless water heaters respond quicker than larger ones with storage tanks. Newer models tend to heat up faster than older ones. Here we will look at how long does a water heater take to heat up!
How Long Does A Water Heater Take To Heat Up Once It Reaches The Appliance
There are many factors to consider for how long does a water heater take to heat up. The biggest things you should consider are:
- Water heater size
- Temperature rise
- Water heater energy source
- First-hour rating
It’s worth taking the time to do your research before purchasing a new water heater. If having a fast water heater is important to you, keep reading to learn how the water heater type affects how quickly you’ll have hot water.
How Long Does It Take For Water To Heat Up For Different Water Heaters?
There are several types of water heaters, and how long does a water heater take to heat up varies according to different water heaters.
- Propane storage tank water heater: 30–40 minutes
- Propane tankless water heater: 0 minutes
- Electric storage tank water heater: 60–80 minutes
When you have a storage-tank water heater, your device constantly refills and heats water for you. Remember that these are the times it takes to heat new cold water entering the water heater tank.
If you use all the hot water up (for example, after a busy morning with multiple showers), you’ll have to wait for your water heater to refill if you don’t have a propane tankless water heater. During peak periods, you may be without hot water if you don’t have a water heater that heats water on demand.
Conventional Gas Tank Water Heater
If the tank is empty, it can take 30–40 minutes for a conventional gas tank water heater powered by propane to heat water.
Conventional Electric Storage Tank Water Heater
It can take up to 60–80 minutes for one of these devices to heat water. Using electricity to heat water is only suitable for small homes with small water heating demands, as electricity does not perform as efficiently as propane.
Gas Tankless Water Heater
Because of the high demand for hot water in homes, propane tankless water heaters are very popular. They are sized and installed correctly to powerfully heat water on demand, delivering hot water in a few seconds when needed.
Electric Tankless Water Heater
In contrast to propane tankless water heaters, these units heat water on demand for faster delivery. However, they still take a little bit longer than propane.
Solar Water Heater
It is common for homeowners to set up solar panels so they can collect enough energy to power a water heater. If you live in an area with abundant sunlight all year long, you can get enough hot water using a solar system.
However, you will probably still need another water heater powered by gas or electricity to compensate.
How Long Does A Water Heater Take To Heat Up For The First Time
Here’s a list of water heaters on how long does a water heater take to heat up –
- Electric Tank: 60-80 minutes
- Gas Tank: 30-40 minutes
- Gas Tankless: 0 minutes*
- Electric Tankless: 0 minutes*
*Please note: A tankless water heater can provide nearly instantaneous heat if properly sized and installed.
How Long Does It Take For A Gas Water Heater To Heat Up?
It takes 30 to 40 minutes for your gas tank heater to heat water once it enters the tank. This initial heat-up occurs when new water from your plumbing supply is fed into the tank.
The amount of water the heater’s tank can hold is a major factor in determining how long it takes to heat water, since it requires the same amount of time to heat more water.
The next critical consideration is a heater’s BTU (British Thermal Unit) count. A BTU is a heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Heating water can be accomplished more rapidly with a higher number of BTUs.
A standard hot water tank holds 40 gallons of water. An average hot water tank contains about 8 pounds of water per gallon.
40 Gallons x 8.3 lbs Per Gallon = 320 lbs of water. So in my example, the tank has about 330 pounds of water to heat.
A temperature rise of 60 degrees is necessary to increase the water’s temperature to 120 degrees.
Instead of going into a complex thermodynamics calculation, I’ll keep it simple and say that a 40,000 BTU system with a 40-gallon tank needs 0.5 minutes to heat each gallon during its 0.5-hour heat-up period.
A hot water tank with a lower BTU rating or a smaller size will warm up more quickly. A larger tank or a lower BTU rating, on the other hand, contributes to a longer warm-up period.
Keeping in mind the specifications of an efficient water heater that provides quick hot water and stores a large amount of hot water, you will know how long it takes to heat up the water and how much hot water it stores after the hot water runs out.
Also, bear in mind that this is how long it takes for cold water to be heated in your tank. Tanks store pre-heated water, so when you switch on the hot water for the first time after it has been off, you should get warm water quickly.
When the entire hot water in the tank has been used up, the gas tank water heater must begin heating new water from the ambient groundwater temperature.
It will take about 30 minutes for a gas tank water heater to heat new incoming water initially.
How Long Does It Take An Electric Hot Water Heater To Heat Up?
The time it takes to heat water in an electric tank water heater is double that of a gas one. Despite typically being less expensive, electric elements fall short of the efficiency of gas-fired systems.
An electric hot water tank of 40 gallons can be warmed up in about an hour if new water enters.
A full-house gas tank water heater is frequently preferred over an electric one by homes with high water usage. Electric models are ideal for smaller households and those with lower water needs.
Electric tank water heater takes 60-80 minutes to heat water, compared to a gas tank heater’s 30-minute heating time.
How Long Does It Take A Tankless Gas Heater To Warm Up?
With a tankless water heater, you don’t have to wait for hot water; instead, the time it takes to flow from the faucet is determined by the distance of the heater’s pipe from the tap.
A properly functioning system should take no more than a few seconds to deliver hot water to a home’s faucet. With a big house, the plumbing might take a few extra seconds to deliver water to faraway appliances.
When using a tankless gas water heater, hot water instantly gets heated up, so it should take only a few seconds for the water to flow through your pipes and into your faucet.
How Long Does It Take A Tankless Electric Heater To Warm Up?
When a tankless gas heater is used, the water is warmed once an appliance demands it. Therefore, the dishwasher or faucet does not get hot water until you turn on.
An electric tankless water heater usually provides hot water immediately, but since gas heating systems consume more energy, they may take a little longer to heat water.
A tankless electric heater heats water instantly, so the hot water should flow through your pipes into your fixture in just a few seconds.
Factors That Affect Heat-Up Time
Other factors besides those I’ve already discussed, such as tank size and BTU rating, might determine how long it takes for your water heater to heat water the first time.
- Settings – Water heaters seem simple compared to other household mechanicals, but they often contain a lot more. If the heater isn’t working, a professional may need to come and look at any settings or calibrations that might adversely impact its performance.
- Distance from Appliance – Hot water must flow quickly from the heater to the appliance. The distance between the heater and the appliance might influence how quickly hot water flows to the appliance. The client is unaware that the water was initially situated in the ground, flowed via the heater and pipes, and finally reached the apparatus.
- Incoming Temperature will affect tankless and tank-style water heaters. Since tank heaters store water, the water’s temperature should not be affected. A tankless water heater provides on-demand water just before exiting your faucet. The water may not get as hot as the groundwater is extremely cold. Both heaters can be negatively affected by extremely cold room or area temperatures.
- Age / Maintenance Issues – The operation of your heater may be affected by its age and condition, as well as how long it takes to heat up. In addition to general maintenance, problems with performance may occur if sediment is not removed in areas with hard water. Sediment in the pipes can also cause performance issues if it is not cleaned up.
- Pipe Diameter – The time it takes for a water heater to heat up also depends on the pipes’ width. A wider pipe can hold more water, but it will need to be filled with more water before the pressure is high enough to push through the remaining pipe system.
Other Factors That Affect Water Heater Recovery Time
How long does a water heater take to heat up is dependent on many factors. There are many things besides water heater type that can affect how quickly your water heater delivers hot water.
- First-hour rating – When a tank is full, the unit can supply this hot water per hour. Be sure to compare the information on the manufacturer’s water heater to ensure the first-hour rating will be adequate for your needs.
- Water heater size – When researching which water heater is right for you, be sure to read about how to measure the size of a water heater. If your household is frequently without hot water, your water heater may be too small for your needs.
- Home size – It may take longer to receive hot water if your water heater is far away from the hot water-using appliances and fixtures.
If a Water Heater Heats Water Too Slowly, What To Do?
Is it taking too long to get hot water when you need it in your home? Any of the issues listed above could be the cause, or the professional problem is to be blamed. Contact a qualified professional, such as a plumber or propane supplier, to ensure you have enough hot water to stay comfortable.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On How Long Does A Water Heater Take To Heat Up
1. How long does it take to heat a 50 gallon water heater?
A 50-gallon electric water heater will require about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 1 hour and 50 minutes to warm up. A large, 80-gallon electric water heater will require about 2 hours to heat the water.
2. How long does hot water come back after a shower?
A gas tank water heater requires 60-70 minutes to heat water, while an electric tank water heater requires 120 minutes.
3. How long does a 40 gallon water heater heat up?
A 30- to 40-gallon water heater will provide hot water in 30 to 40 minutes, while an 80-gallon tank will provide hot water in 60 to 70 minutes. On the other hand, an electric hot water tank will take a little longer to heat water.
Summary: How Long Does A Water Heater Take To Heat Up
There is a heater suitable for everyone out there. Consider your requirements before choosing one, whether it is a classic tank or a tankless one.
Water heaters are essential appliances that help you enjoy hot water as often as you need. So, how long does a water heater take to heat up? The time it takes for water heaters to heat up depends on many factors, such as temperature rise, water heater size, energy source and first-hour rating.
There are several types of water heaters, and the time it takes to warm up water varies—it could be instantaneous or take 60–80 minutes.
It takes 30 to 40 minutes for your gas tank heater to heat water once it enters the tank. This initial heat up occurs when new water from your plumbing supply is fed into the tank. Electric tank water heater takes 60-80 minutes to heat water, compared to a gas tank heater’s 30-minute heating time.
I hope the above article on how long does a water heater take to heat up sounds helpful!
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