LESLIE: Alright. Now, this problem is something we probably have all dealt with: your water is taking way too long to heat up. Monty in Alabama, tell us about it.
MONTY: We’ve got a – our water heater – we moved into a house a few months ago and it’s taking about 90 to 120 seconds for the – in the kitchen – for the hot water to heat up. And it’s just this tremendous waste of water.
And it’s an electric water heater and it’s located on the other side of the house, upstairs, so it’s having to travel so far, I’m sure. Is there any reasonable solution to that?
TOM: Yeah, well, you hit the nail on the head. The reason it takes that long for the water to get hot is because that’s how long it takes for the water to travel that long run down the pipe and to get over to the kitchen from the other side of the house.
What I might suggest that you consider is adding a second water heater. Now, you could pick up a tankless water heater and they do actually have some reasonably energy-efficient, electric tankless water heaters right now. I never used to say that but I recently saw some new ones. The technology is getting a little bit better. They actually have heat-pump water heaters that are pretty efficient. But if you were to split the run to get the water heater a little closer to the kitchen, that would make a difference.
Now, is the kitchen the only place you’re having this? Is it – is the hot water reasonably quick, in terms of where the bathrooms are located?
TOM: Yes, since the bathrooms are more important than the kitchen, in terms of the speed with which the hot water arrives, especially if it’s you standing on a cold floor waiting for the water to get warm before you hop in the shower, I would probably tolerate it, if it was me. I would tolerate it and deal with it.
Now, the other thing that you could do is you could put a point-of-use water heater, right under the kitchen cabinet, to supply additional hot water. But again, it’s kind of an expensive project and I don’t know if you would ever make that up in terms of the savings on water cost and that sort of thing.
MONTY: Mm-hmm. Yeah. If it’s not something that we can make up, it’s not really worth doing, because …
TOM: I don’t think it’s worth doing then, Monty, because it’s not really inconvenient, because it’s not near the bathroom. It’s just you have to be patient a little bit waiting for that warm water to arrive. And I imagine after it arrives, you know, it stays warm in the pipes a little bit longer.
One thing you could think about doing is insulating that hot-water pipe so that once the warm water gets in it, it stays warm a bit longer. And that would …
MONTY: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that’s a good thought and that would be inexpensive.
TOM: Inexpensive, right. And make it a little bit more convenient. OK?
MONTY: OK, Tom. Thank you so much. Enjoy your show.