We may earn a commission if you click on a link, but at no extra cost to you. Read our disclosure policy for information.
Water heaters are an important part of many homes, providing hot water for showers, dishes, and laundry. But have you ever wondered how long it takes for a water heater to heat up, and is there a way to speed up the process if you are in a hurry?
How long does a water heater take to heat up?
On average, most water heaters will take about 60 minutes to fully heat up. However, there are some tankless water heaters that can heat up water much faster – in as little as 15-20 minutes. Of course, these numbers can vary depending on many different factors.
Generally speaking, electric water heaters need more time to heat up than gas models. They also tend to be less efficient, so you may find that your bills are higher.
That being said, an electric water heater is a good choice if you’re worried about safety; there’s no risk of gas leaks.
When it comes to tankless water heaters, they heat water on demand, so you’ll never have to wait for hot water again. However, they can be more expensive to install and maintain.
Electric Water Heater Heat Up Time
It takes about 60 minutes for an electric water heater to fully heat up.
There are two main types of electric water heaters: storage tank heaters and tankless heaters.
Storage tank heaters have a tank of hot water that is kept at a consistent temperature. When you need hot water, it is drawn from the tank.
Tankless heaters, on the other hand, do not have a hot water tank. Instead, they use coils to heat the water as it passes through them. They can heat up faster, but can’t produce as much hot water as storage tank heaters.
When an electric water heater is turned on, cold water enters the unit and is heated by coils or elements. The heating elements are located either inside the storage tank or in a separate chamber through which all the water must pass.
The size of the storage tank or chamber will determine how long it takes for the unit to heat up. Larger units will take longer to reach the desired temperature than smaller units.
Additionally, the temperature of the incoming water will also affect how long it takes for the unit to heat up. If the incoming water is very cold, it will take longer to reach the desired temperature than if it is only slightly cool.
Finally, the desired output temperature will also play a role in how long it takes for an electric water heater to heat up. If you want very hot water, it will take longer to reach that temperature than if you only want warm water.
Gas Water Heater Heat Up Time
Gas water heaters typically take between 30 and 60 minutes to heat up. If you have a 40-gallon tank, it will take about an hour to heat the entire tank, while smaller tanks will heat up much faster.
Like electric water heaters, there are two main types of gas water heaters: storage tank heaters and tankless heaters.
Storage tank gas water heaters work in a similar way to their electric counterparts. Cold water enters the unit and is heated by a burner located underneath the tank.
Tankless gas water heaters also heat water on demand, but they do so by heating coils that are located inside the unit.
The size of the storage tank or chamber, the temperature of the incoming water, and the desired output temperature will all affect how long it takes for a gas water heater to heat up.
In addition, the type of gas being used will also play a role; natural gas will heat up faster than propane.
What are some things you can do to help your water heater heat up faster?
There are a few things you can do to help your water heater heat up faster:
- Install an insulating jacket around the unit. This will help keep the heat in and the cold out, making it easier for the unit to reach the desired temperature.
- Make sure there is good airflow around the unit. If the unit is located in a cramped space, consider moving it to a more open area.
- Install a recirculating pump. This will circulate the hot water throughout the plumbing system, making it easier for the unit to reach the desired temperature.
- Check the thermostat. It should be set to a temperature that is in between the minimum and maximum recommended by the manufacturer.
- Check the gas pressure, if you have a gas-fired water heater. Incorrect gas pressure can significantly decrease its efficiency.
- Check the anode rod, a metal rod that protects the interior of your water heater from corrosion. It can become corroded, which can reduce the efficiency of your water heater.
- Descale the unit. Over time, mineral deposits can build up on the heating elements, making it more difficult for them to transfer heat.
- Bleed the line. This releases any air that may be trapped in the system and prevents it from working properly.
- Flush the tank. Sediment can build up in the bottom of your water heater’s tank, insulating the heat from the burner. Draining and flushing the tank will help you remove this sediment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions related to water heaters, and the time they need to heat up:
How long does it take to heat up a 50-gallon water heater?
A 50-gallon water heater will take between 40 and 60 minutes to heat up.
How long does it take to heat up a 40-gallon water heater?
A 40-gallon water heater will take between 30 and 40 minutes to heat up.
How long does it take to heat up a 30-gallon water heater?
A 30-gallon water heater will take between 20 and 30 minutes to heat up.
How long does it take for the water heater to heat up after reset?
It will take the water heater a few minutes to heat up after it has been reset.
How often should I flush my water heater?
You should flush your water heater at least once a year to remove sediment from the bottom of the tank.
Why is my water heater taking longer than usual to heat up?
There are several reasons why your water heater may be taking longer to heat up, including:
- The unit is too small for the demand
- The thermostat is set too low
- The gas pressure is too low
- The anode rod is corroded
- The unit needs to be descaled
- There is air in the system
Water heaters come in different sizes, and the time it takes for them to heat up will vary depending on the size of the unit. In general, it will take between 20 and 60 minutes for a water heater to heat up.
There are a few things you can do to help your water heater heat up faster, such as installing an insulating jacket around the unit, making sure there is good airflow around the unit, and checking the thermostat.
If your water heater is taking longer to heat up than usual, it could be due to a number of factors, such as the unit being too small for the demand, the thermostat being set too low, or the gas pressure being too low.
You can also try flushing the tank to remove sediment from the bottom of the unit, which can insulate the heat from the burner.