The reason why it takes time for hot water to reach your taps!

Our bathrooms, and kitchens, just wouldn’t be the same without hot running water – whether in the home or our place of work. It is something that we have come to expect to just be there at the twist of a tap. We usually only notice just how convenient hot running water is when it takes a little longer ‘appear’.
Whether we are running a bath, having a shower or washing up after dinner – it can be annoying if it is delayed, even by a few seconds. Why can it take a little longer than usual for the hot water to reach the tap?

Residual water

One of the main reasons that hot water can be delayed, from the boiler to tap, is that there is always at least some residual water left in the pipes. This water needs to be expelled before ‘fresh’ hot water from the boiler can hit the taps when we need it.

It’s a small inconvenience, but there it is. Of course, the further away the boiler is from the tap the more residual water there is going to be that needs to be flushed through.

The further away from the boiler, the longer the pipe

Another major contributor to delayed hot water is the length of the pipes that snake their way through our homes and workplace. Pipe length is of course largely dependant on the distance between tap and boiler.

The longer the pipe needs to be, the more residual water that needs to be flushed away and the longer it will take for hot water to come through.
Pipe diameter also plays a part, and this is because the wider that a pipe is the more water it is going to hold. Shorter, narrower pipes are faster to flush through than longer wider pipes.

It can be a seasonal thing too

In colder weather such as during winter months, the pipes and the residual water they contain will be much colder. This lowered temperature will cool the hot water as it passes through the pipe, meaning it will take a little longer for it to reach the desired temperature.
As well as this, it is also important to note that your shower (depending on shower type, of course) works the same way in drawing hot water from the boiler. As a result, that morning shower might take a touch longer.


Pipe material


The material that your water pipes are made of will play an important part in the way your water is heated. Two popular materials are galvanised steel and copper. Galvanised pipes are thicker than copper, and this means that they absorb less heat. When pipes absorb less heat, they improve the pacing of hot water.

A good way to ‘see’ these effects in action is if you have used your hot water relatively recently. Turning on the hot tap again should see your hot water arrive almost instantly. This is because the residual water will not have had a chance to cool down.

The overall speed of our hot water arrival is something that we can alter slightly, and a great way of doing this is by insulating our pipes.
By having the pipes insulated, we keep heat loss to a minimum and at the same time lower our wait times at the tap. Boiling water taps can be installed too, but these are not usually cheap – although the prices are likely to lower as they become more popular.

For all of your boiler needs in North London, get in touch with us today.

Quantum Gas Engineering Ltd. Are Accredited Viessmann installers.

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For more information on Vaillant boiler installations in Primrose Hill, give Quantum Gas Engineering Ltd a call on 0203 633 2322 or email us at