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How long does it take a water heater to heat up?

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

Is anything as relaxing as a nice, hot soak after a long day?

Or perhaps you prefer to start your day energized by a quick, warm shower.

If you live with a big family, however, sometimes the water runs out too quickly. You may wonder if your water heater is broken or needs replacing. Here's a quick guide to water heaters.

Luxury Home that needed a 50 Gallon Water Heater
What size water heater should I install for a home this size?

Size First

The biggest question is, how big is your water heater?

Most single-family homes have 40-50 gallon water heaters. You may have to adjust the times given based on how big the water heater is. The times given are also for a complete refill. If you only use, say, half your water tank's capacity at once, the heating time will of course be much less.


A working electric water heater can heat 40 gallons of water in just under an hour and a half. More efficient heaters can bring this time down to around an hour.

🔥 Gas

A gas water heater in good repair can heat your water in much less time; it usually only takes about thirty to forty minutes.

🌤️ Solar

Since solar generators are usually hooked up to an electricity source, they take the same amount of time as an electric water heater.

There's a couple drawbacks, however.

If your home's power source is completely solar, then you may be without hot water for a long time if the weather is overcast. So if the weather is cold and cloudy, you may end up having to go without hot water unless you have a secondary power system.

Emerging Energy

Bradford White Tankless Water Heater
Bradford White Tankless Water Heater

A few new water heaters on the market take advantage of emerging technology. One example is the tankless water heater. Rather than build up a store of hot water, a tankless heater instantly applies heat to cold water as it moves through your home's pipes and out the faucet or showerhead. These can be expensive, but since they don't have to keep water warm all day, they can pay off in the long run in terms of efficiency. Depending on where you live, a geothermal water heater may also be an option. Let the Earth itself warm your water!

Maintaining Your System

If your water heater is taking much more time than listed here to heat up, it likely needs to be repaired or even replaced. Beyond merely convenient, fixing an inefficient water heater can reduce your home energy bill by as much as 50%! Get ahold of Deluxe Plumbing for a quick and easy consultation.


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