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All You Need to Know About Water Heater Recovery Times

Whether you’re upgrading your water heater or thinking about making the most of your current system, you may have heard the term “water heater recovery” and wonder what this means. So, here we will explore all you need to know about water heater recovery times to ensure that you get the best from your appliance. The Official Definition The official definition of the “recovery time” or “recovery rate” for your water heater is the amount of hot water that your water heater can provide in one hour once it has been completely drained. The recovery rate is measured in gallons and basically provides an idea of the speed of your water heater in providing hot water. There are two reasons why knowing your water heater recovery times are important. You need to know the recovery rate to determine if a new unit can meet the hot water requirements of your family. It can also be helpful in determining if your unit is in need of repair or maintenance. Locating Your Recovery Rate The best way to determine the recovery rate of your existing water heater or a new model is to check the manufacturer’s website. You’ll need to look for the specific model number to determine the specifications including the recovery times. Some manufacturers will list a recovery rate based on a 90ºf output temperature, but if there is a higher than average temperature, the recovery rate may be slightly lower. For example, if you have a 30 gallon water heater, and you run the dishwasher, wash clothes and have a long shower, you will drain the water heater completely of hot water. This means that if the unit has a recovery rate of 29 gallons, your water heater will be refilled almost completely within an hour of waiting. Choosing the Correct Recovery Rate If you’re shopping for a new water heater, you can use the recovery times to determine which model is best suited to the hot water needs of your home. The higher the demands, the higher recovery rate needed. For example, if you have a large family, you’re likely to use lots of hot water simultaneously. This means that the recovery rate needs to be approximately the same as your water heater size. So, with a 60 gallon water heater, you’ll need a recovery rate of approximately 60. For Existing Water Heaters If you already have a water heater installed, you can use the recovery rate to provide insight into how long your water should come up to temperature. So, if you’ve emptied all the hot water from the tank by using appliances, running a bath or other chores, you should be able to calculate how long it will take for the tank to be heated. If it is taking a long time to refill the tank with hot water, you may need to upgrade to a larger sized unit or get your appliance checked by a repair technician. If your water heater has always taken time to reheat, you should consider upgrading to a larger unit with a better recovery time. If the water heater has only recently started to take longer to reheat your water, it is a sign of a maintenance or repair issue. By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.