I live in a 3 story 18 unit building built more than 50 years ago. It
used to have a boiler but it is out of service and was (apparently)
long ago replaced with a more modern hot water heater. My question is
this: I live on the first floor. When I turn on the hot water in the
morning it takes up to 20 minutes, sometimes longer, for the water to
reach temperature. Why is this? There is a sub-floor and perhaps the
pipes are not insulated -- but it is still only 56 degrees f in the
morning. This is in Los Angeles..which has large potential for
drought. Shouldn't this be fixed? What should I tell the manager?
They were looking for leaky faucets because the water bill keeps
getting higher. I tried to tell them that it was because the water
doesn't get warm fast enough...but they wake up late so they don't
My shower is physically 25' or so away. The heater is in the
basement, too. However, if the water is routed down the hall and
around the building then I would actually be the furthest away in
terms of water flow.
That is the building layout. I would be apartment #6. The hotwater
heater is in the basement under apartment #1. Not sure if that makes
Kitchen sink yes. Bathroom sink, NO. Shower...seems comparable to
cold water flow...I consider it good pressure...just as good as the
kitchen. This is what confuses me about why it takes so dang long for
the water to get here. Kitchen sink has the same delay problem. Even
at 8PM it can take 7 minutes for the water to get warm. So when I do
dishes...I turn the water on hot only...and go read news, etc...and
come back to check after reading a few news stories and it is still
cold. It pains me to do this.
I have friends on the third floor. They say they can tell whether or
not I had to work early by whether or not the water is warm. If they
get up before me it takes their hot water a long time as well.
Thanks. Perhaps I will get a stop watch and test them this weekend
with my digital cooking thermometer. Or maybe it is pointless and
this is just how old buildings are.
Something is very wrong with the building's DHW system. If it's three
stories with six units per story it can't be THAT big a structure.
Assuming a piss poor flow rate of only a half gallon per minute with the
hot water faucet full on, and 3/4 inch pipe all the way between the
water heater's location and your faucet, you'd have to be 436 feet from
from the heater for it to take 20 minutes before you emptied the piping
and started receiving the first water from the heater. (3/4" pipe holds
5.3 cubic inches of water per foot, 231 cubic inches per gallon, easy
What do the other tenants have to say about this? Can you convince the
manager to let you wake him/her up early one morning so you can
demonstrate the problem firsthand?
If the water heater is really "on" and the water in it hot when you need
to use it, then there may be an undiscovered cross connection between
the cold and hot water piping somewhere in the building which is
contributing to the effect you are seeing.
My name is Jeff Wisnia and I approved this message....
do you know what they use to make hot water?
If this happens to your neighbors as well then I think the
problem is likely in the basement with the heater. If some
jamoke installed a on demand water heater and tried to get
fancy and put it through a storage tank or something then this
would be a likely result. If they have 2 water heaters and they
have been piped in seires and the last one has gone bad then this
would also create the symptom you describe.
I suspect there is a tank they run through a coil and the hot water
recirc pump is dead. so you have to empty the tank before you
get any water.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.