Tips on How to Get Hot Water Faster from a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type water heaters, are a refined version of traditional water heating systems. As the name suggests, these water heaters do not have a dedicated water tank and provide on-demand water directly from the source. 

They offer a smart water heating solution by instantly heating water as it flows through the device into your faucets and shower heads without retaining any water behind. Today, with the increasing popularity of tankless water heaters, it has become all the more important to know how to get hot water faster from a tankless water heater. 

Why Invest in a Tankless Water In the First Place? 

how to get hot water faster from tankless water heater

  • Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than traditional water heaters. Instead of heating water all day long, they only warm it when needed. This saves energy, ultimately lowering your monthly water and electricity bills.
  • Whether you live in a small apartment or a house, tankless water heaters offer a much more compact option than traditional water heaters, allowing them to be stored in the tightest places of all. While traditional heaters require space as large as your closet, a tankless water heater can be easily mounted on a space as small as a 7-inch wide wall. 
  • Tankless water heaters provide a steady stream of hot water whenever needed without a water tank since they are directly connected to a water source.
  • Although tankless water heaters tend to be a bit more expensive than standard water heaters, they are far more durable and last longer than tank water heaters. Given their durability and efficiency, they are a better investment than traditional water heaters. 

How to Get Hot Water Faster from a Tankless Water Heater

Due to the nature of tankless water heaters, they do come with some limitations; however, technology has allowed manufacturers to overcome the situation by introducing modifications that can be made to your tankless water heater. 

Learning more about these modifications can help you understand how to get hot water faster from a tankless water heater. Some of these modifications include:

Modification Tip 1: Harnessing the Power of a Recirculating Pump

In a typical tankless water heater, the water travels from the heater to the faucets and taps through pipes. When you turn off the faucet after using it, some of the water stays behind in the water pipes waiting to cool off. 

You may even have to wait for hot water depending on how far your heater is from the faucet. Making a minor modification and adding a recirculating pump can help solve the problem. Read on to learn more about that and how to get hot water faster from a tankless water heater.

A recirculating pump takes the water left behind in the hot water pipes and then circulates it back to the water heater, thus creating a loop between the tankless water heater and other fixtures in your home. 

Additionally, the thermostat in the system allows you to check whether the water in your tankless water heater’s pipes has become cold. If it has, then the cold water is automatically circulated back to the water heater. The loop, in turn, allows the water to remain hot, thus mitigating the “hot water waiting period” altogether. 

Given the increasing demand for recirculating pumps, many emerging new tankless water heaters have an in-built recirculating pump. If you are planning to purchase a new tankless water heater, consider opting for one with an inbuilt recirculating pump. 

On the other hand, if you are planning to install a recirculating pump to your existing tankless water heater, it is important to remember that the process can be quite costly and require a professional. 

Modification Tip 2: Opting for a Secondary Water Heater

Another option to consider while learning how to get hot water faster from a tankless water heater is by opting for an alternative altogether. Instead of installing a recirculation loop to your existing tankless water heater, purchase a secondary water heater for your desired point-of-use faucet or tap where you prefer instantaneous hot water. 

Such heaters are sold under the point-of-use category and are mostly attached near a faucet or shower head. Their primary function is to heat the cold water left behind in the pipes, while your primary tankless heater continues to generate hot water from the source.

Reasons Why Hot Water Doesn’t Come Instantly in Tankless Water Heaters

Part of understanding how to get hot water faster from a tankless water heater involves the knowledge that even though tankless water offers quick solutions to your warm water woes, it still doesn’t promise hot water coming out of the faucet instantly. 

No water heater can do that. Instead, it can significantly reduce the hot water wait time. Some of the most obvious reasons behind this include the following:

Water Left Behind in the Pipes

This is undoubtedly one of the most common reasons why people end up waiting for hot water even after installing a tankless water heater. Every time you use the water coming out from the hot water heater, it flows through the pipes before coming out through the faucets and taps. 

Once you turn these off, the water doesn’t go back into the tankless unit. Instead, much of it stays behind in the pipes that connect your water heater to the point of use until needed again in the future. This unintentionally stored water in the pipes is responsible for providing cold water the next time you open the tap.

The Flow of Water

Another important area that plays a huge role in getting hot water faster from your tankless heater is the flow of the water itself. The flow of the water directly impacts the extent of your wait time. Fixtures like showerheads and some faucets usually have a low water flow rate, while others come with a volume restrictor to lower the amount of water from the fixture.

The Building of Sediment and Other Debris

Did you know that the hardness of the water in the area you live in can directly impact the performance of a tankless water heater unit? Some minerals will always be left behind; even a water softener is sometimes not enough to eliminate the problem. 

Also, water that stays behind in the pipes or outside the source can have a sediment buildup. When your tankless unit fights to heat the water, its durability and performance are compromised. As a result, you don’t get hot water as quickly as you should.

Varying External Temperature

Apart from the pipes and the flow of water, another issue you should be aware of when learning how to get hot water faster from a tankless water heater is the temperature of the area you live in. 

Even if your water heater is working well and you have made modifications to it, it can sometimes struggle to provide a constant stream of hot water due to the low external temperature. These situations usually arise in colder climates where the temperature drops below freezing point, thus causing heaters to perform poorly despite all efforts.

The cold outside air causes the water coming into the pipes from underground water sources to be cold. In such instances, a tankless water heater will have no option but to work twice as hard to heat the water to your desired temperature. 

Even if the heater does manage to heat the water successfully, the cold pipes will again lower the temperature of the water, causing your tankless water heater to seem less effective. 

Poor Installation or Servicing of the Tankless Water Heaters

Many times, poor installation of these demand water heaters may have a direct impact on their effectiveness and durability. 

Not only this, but if the hardness of water from the source or if your tankless water heaters are not serviced and maintained periodically, it can cause malfunctioning and inadequate performance of this new, innovative heating solution. 

Investing in a tankless water heater is a great way to save up on both space and long-term costs; however, just like with any piece of equipment it does have a few downsides as well. Luckily, with a little ingenuity and crafty modifications, you can easily learn how to get hot water fast from a tankless water heater and ensure that you retain access to it at all times.

With years of experience under his belt, Adam decided to put his water heater knowledge to work. By providing high-quality content and expert guides, Adam hopes to help anyone looking for expert water heater advice.