Kitchen sink taking 2+ mins to get warm water

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by khubb, Apr 15, 2019 at 8:03 PM.

  1. khubb

    khubb New Member

    We just moved into a new home and a brand new water heater was installed before we moved in because the previous one conked out on the sellers during our option period. The tank is in our garage and our master bathroom shares a wall with it. We have hot water in that bathroom in probably 15-30 seconds tops. My kitchen is right off the garage but my kitchen sink takes 2 minutes to get warm water, and another minute to get hot water. So anytime I need to wash my hands (which is a lot) I’m waiting at least 2 minutes. This seems ridiculous to me. The sink is probably 40 feet from the tank in the garage.

    Further away on the opposite side of the house is the guest bathroom and it also is taking nearly 2 minutes to get warm water. I gave the kids a bath for the first time in there last night and it took several minutes for the tub to get hot water . Then, after bath was over (like 10 mins later) i turned the faucet back on to rinse them and the water was ice cold again and i had to wait another 2 minutes just to get water warm enough to rinse them off.

    I’m very frustrated. My Father in law is an ex plumber and he came out for a look and said the water heater was turned way down. He cranked it to 165 said my problems were solved and left. But it’s still taking the same amount of time to get hot water to my kitchen and guest bath. Now he and my husband both are just telling me that’s normal and how it’s going to be. Are they right? It seems so ridiculous to have to wait that long every time I need warm/hot water. I’ve never lived anywhere like this before
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    165 degree and he's okay with that for your kids?

    To quicken your usage of heated water, you might consider installing a recirc pump. Basically a line back from the furthest fixture that is pumped back to the water heater. Installation includes a check valve to prevent the recirc from going the wrong direction.
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  4. khubb

    khubb New Member


    Apparently so. I didn’t even know it was that high until my husband told me. Apparently neither of them thought that through. Even so, I don’t feel like the water is super hot once it gets hot. I did the dishes tonight and after the water had been on 5-6 minutes i thought to myself this is really uncomfortable and i don’t want to keep my hand in the running water at this heat (turned fully on “hot”) but it’s definitly not scalding hot to the point I was in pain or going to receive burns. This whole thing just confuses me.

    Do you believe the recirc pump is the answer? I was assuming something was wrong that needed to be fixed or a setting that wasn’t set right at installation. We did receive a home warranty so i plan to contact them and have a plumber sent out but I’m nervous they will be like my father in law and just tell me everything is fine and 2-3 minute warm water is my life now (unless i install other items like that pump). Thanks for your help
  5. phog

    phog Member

    Jul 29, 2017
    Rochester NY
    It doesn't matter how high you crank the temperature at the water heater, it could be 211 degrees, you're always going to have the long delay until you get a recirculation pump & return system installed. The delay is not due to the hot water temperature, but rather to the length of your pipes. You have to run the faucet long enough to empty all the cold water in the pipe out before you start getting hot. The longer the pipes, obviously the longer it takes. Recirculation will 100% fix your problem. If installing a new recirculation return pipe isn't feasible or cost effective, for example if your house pipes run under a concrete slab, they do make systems now that use the existing cold pipes as the recirculation return. The only minor drawback when compared to a traditional dedicated recirculation pipe is that you get a small amount of warm water out of the cold faucet when you first turn it on. Pipe insulation is always a good idea too. (Even without a recirculation system)
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 1:39 PM
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Are your water lines run underneath a slab, or above ground in the house?

    Or, are they run up in the attic?

    Are they insulated?

    IF the water truly is set at 165-degrees F, that is a code violation for use at should not exceed 120-degrees F in those locations. There are a couple of places it is allowed to be hotter, but sinks and showers/tubs in a home are not.

    If designed well, the max flow velocity of hot in copper pipes is specified at 5fps which equals 4gpm with a 1/2" line, or 8gpm on a 3/4" one. Now, a kitchen sink is flow restricted to, I think, 2gpm.

    It probably is just the time it takes to flush the cold, standing water in the lines out and warm up the pipe to get hot there, but, if it never reaches that maximum temperature (165-degrees would typically be too hot for someone to hold their hands in, and dangerous), then there may be something else going on. Some single handle valves when they get worn, can create a cross-over, that will mix the hot and cold, limiting hot hot it can get on certain branches...water will take the path of least resistance. Make sure you don't have any Y's attached anywhere (washing machine, for example) that could allow hot and cold to mix. Isolate any single-handle valves by shutting off the cold supply to them and see if that improves anything.

    40' of pipe will take awhile to purge and get hot water, but eventually, it should get full hot with maybe only a small loss along the way, depending on how and where it is run.
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