Hot Water Heater Temperature: What Should It Be?

About 18 percent of your energy bill is spent on your water heater. If it’s set too high, you’ll be paying the price in your energy bill every month. In the reverse, your water may not get hot enough if it’s set too low (short showers) or find itself at an increased risk of bacterial growth. The water heater should never be set lower than 120 degrees, as stagnant water can develop diseases, in particular Legionella, which is quite dangerous.

Do you know what the best temperature range is for your water heater? Although 120 degrees is recommended by the EPA because it is hot enough to keep diseases away, it is not hot enough for scalding, it is sufficient for most small families, and it is relatively energy-efficient. However, the optimal setting may vary based on a few factors.

How to Adjust Hot Water Temperature

No matter whether you have PEX, PVC, or copper plumbing, how the water is heated (electric or gas), or whether the hot water heater is tankless, none of these factors affect the outcome.

  • Water heaters should be set to 140 degrees for homeowners with dishwashers that do not preheat the water.
  • Those with small children may want to keep the temperature as high as 120 degrees. According to Baby Center, “it takes only two seconds for a child to be burned by water that is 150 degrees and five seconds by water that is 140 degrees, temperatures that many hot water heaters typically are made.”
  • Homes, where the occupants have an impaired immune system or a respiratory disease, must set their hot water heater at 140 degrees.
  • In general, many households which are solely households prefer lower temperatures since they have less need for hot water as well as to save money. Big households, on the other hand, favor higher temperatures to accommodate a higher demand for hot water.
  • Saving money just by turning down the water tank thermometer 10 degrees lowers your energy bill by 3 to 5%.

You may want to start at 120 degrees and raise the temperature incrementally until you find the right shower temperature.

Do You Have Your Current Temperature Set Correctly?

If you have a water heater equipped with a dial, you can check your current setting by looking at it or seeing what the temperature reading is at the faucet. Let the water flow for a few minutes before taking a reading.

Hot Water Tank Problems and Their Solutions

Think about a hot water tank booster if you are concerned about pathogens in your hot water or you are concerned about scalding water. By mixing your water with cold water beforehand, the tank temperature drops to 120 degrees, or the water drops to 140 degrees in the sink.

You may have a problem getting hot water to the tap if you live in a large home where it takes a long time for the hot water to reach it. Hot water circulation systems are designed to address this. Using this system, the hot water circulates slowly within the pipes to reduce the chances of it cooling down as quickly before reaching the tap.

The Plumbing Service Experts

There could be some problem with your hot water, regardless of what setting your heater is on. Plumber Allen can help you adjust your hot water heater or troubleshoot any problems, so contact them at (737) 206-5665, or request an estimate online.