Troubleshooting: new house, little hot water

I was wondering if y’all could help me troubleshoot the problem of not enough hot water once the taps are turned on at our house. I know that it’s normal that water isn’t hot immediately (5-10sec), but in general when we turn on a faucet/showerhead, it takes about 25-30sec. for truly hot water to flow. It was suggested to me that this could merely be the location of the tap to the hot water heater, but I checked the sink faucet in the bathroom on the 3rd floor (appx. 15ft from the water heater) and the same problem exists.

So I think it may be an issue with the settings, or maybe some built-up sediment? I don’t know. Prior to our move-in, the house was vacant and winterized for about a year. It’s a 2005 heater and house.

For starters, I tried to review the unit’s manual, but am even unsure which one to reference. I know it is one of the Bradford White “DEFENDER SAFETY SYSTEM® ENERGY SAVER MODELS (50 GALLON)”, Model# MI5036FBN7, S/N: BB5823374 Dash No. -130, listed on this page:

Which operation/service manuals should I use, and what troubleshooting advice do you have? Is it possibly sediment build-up?

One thing I noticed on the temperature dial: the temp is set to the first hash mark to the left of ‘Warm’, which is colored red (possibly meaning the default?). But the hash mark is about 1/3 of the way from WARM to HOT.


Water Heater was manufactured in Feb. 2005 I would conclude sediment is not the culprit…

  1. The temp setting may be low.
  2. If your in a cold climate, the exposed (crawl space / unheated basement) hot water pipes may not be properly/ wrapped insulated and its taking 25-30 seconds to clear out the cold water in the pipes.

*Faucet location in relation to the water heater doesn’t always matter,… typically the hot leg run can be of a longer route to said faucet and will bleed out most of the cold water in the WHOLE pipe system until full HOT is achieved at the opened faucet.

My first step would be, if possible, to get a temp reading of the water. Like Peter said, it may be set low. Check your thermostat on the heater.

I’m confused, what is the problem, the subject or the fact it takes 25-30 secs to get hot water?

Can you quanity how much hot water you have???


Since it was winterized, all the valves were probably shut. Make sure the valve is fully open on the water heater supply line as well as all the valves under the sinks.

And this is a problem how? Heck my home is brand new I wait 20 to 30 sec for my shower to heat up. and its on the main floor, everything under the home is just fine.

Thanks for the replies and advice; I plan to check the temp setting and look at the pipe insulation in the crawl space.

I’d like to download the operation/service manuals but don’t know which “version” to download. I know it is a 50-gallon, Bradford White Co. Model# MI5036FBN7 S/N: BB5823374 Dash No. -130, and one of the models on this page:

(DEFENDER SAFETY SYSTEM® ENERGY SAVER). But do I choose “FVIR”, “Non-FVIR” or “M-I Products Prior to FVIR Integration”?

Thanks again.

Since you say it takes the hot water 25-30 seconds to get there, I presume that hot water does indeed get there, so the problem is not with the water heater. It may be that the hot water pipe is oversized, so that it holds more water volume than necessary, requiring excessive cold water to be expelled before the hot water arrives. Most hot water lines are 1/2 inch. If they are 3/4 inch, they hold twice as much water.

Jim King