Setting the Temperature of Your Hot Water Heater

By Thornton Plumbing and Heating

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Blog Highlights

  • The EPA suggests that your water be kept at 120 degrees
  • There are several factors that can help determine what temperature to set your hot water heater
  • Depending on your situation, you may want to invest in a hot water tank booster

If you live in Salt Lake City or Park City, it’s important that you have your water heater set at the right temperature. For most homes, the water heater makes up nearly 20 percent of the energy bill. If the temperature is set too high you run the risk of an unnecessarily high bill and waste energy. If the temperature is too low, you will experience hot water shortages. Additionally, water that is not heated sufficiently can become a breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria.

The EPA suggests that you should keep your water at 120 degrees. This temperature kills most bacteria and is not hot enough to burn skin. This temperature is also considered energy-efficient and typically provides enough hot water for most average-sized families. If you have a large family, you may wish to set your temperature a little higher, somewhere between 120 and 140 degrees, to ensure there is enough hot water for everyone.

If you’re not sure what temperature is best for you, start at 120 degrees and turn the temperature up a few degrees at a time until you find the right temperature for your home. To find out the current temperature of your hot water heater, look at the dial on the water heater itself. You can also simply measure the temperature of the hottest water from your faucet.

Additional Factors to Consider

There are several factors that can help determine what temperature to set your hot water heater at. For example, if your dishwasher doesn’t pre-heat the water it uses, you may want to set your water heater to 140 degrees to ensure clean dishes.

Elderly homeowners or families with young children are advised to keep the temperature at 120 degrees. Young children and babies can easily and quickly receive third-degree burns from water that is 140 degrees or higher. Most heaters are set at 140 degrees when they leave the factor, so make sure you set your water heater accordingly as soon as you install it.

If you or someone you live with suffers from a weak immune system or a respiratory disease, experts recommend keeping the hot water temperature set at 140 degrees. This can help eliminate any potential irritants that might compromise their immune system or trigger respiratory ailments.

If saving money is your biggest concern, turning down your water tank’s temperature by 10 degrees can cut your energy bill by 3 to 5 percent. However, keep in mind that it’s important to maintain sufficiently hot water for your safety and health.

Solutions to Hot Water Tank Problems

Depending on your situation, you may want to invest in a hot water tank booster. A booster will allow you to keep the water in the tank at 140 degrees to kill off any dangerous bacteria. Then, when you require hot water in your home, the booster will mix cold water in with the hot water. The cold water reduces the temperature of the water so that by the time it reaches the faucet or shower it is at a more comfortable, safe-for-use temperature.

If, on the other hand, you have a large home and you constantly have to wait for hot water to reach various water fixtures, consider installing a hot water circulating system. This system keeps hot water moving through your pipes, so the water doesn’t cool too much before reaching its destination.

Do you need help setting the temperature of your hot water heater? Are you having hot water heater problems? Contact us today!

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