What’s the Best Water Heater Temperature Setting?

Have you ever adjusted the temperature of your water heater? If not, you could be missing out on a great energy-saving opportunity that also decreases the risk of a safety hazard in your home. So what are most water heaters set at when you purchase them and what are the benefits of lowering your water heater temperature setting?

Most manufacturers’ water heater temperature setting

When you purchase a new water heater, it will most likely be set at 140 degrees. That’s because that’s the temperature at which most manufacturers set their water heaters. However, due to safety risks and energy concerns, 140 degrees is considered too high by the EPA and many other water experts in the United States.

What is the best water heater temperature setting?

For safe and comfortable water that is also energy-efficient, it’s best to set your water heater at 120 degrees. This temperature setting has a number of different advantages, including:

  • Reduces the risk of scalding. As mentioned above, water that’s set at 140 degrees can be a safety threat because it can burn your skin. A water heater that’s set at 120 degrees provides hot water that is much less likely to burn you.
  • Slows mineral buildup. By reducing your water heater’s temperature, you can slow down the buildup of minerals both in your tank and in your pipes. This will increase the efficiency of your plumbing system and extend the life of your water heater.
  • Saves energy. The EPA says that you can cut between three and five percent off of your water heater’s energy consumption for every 10 degrees that you lower the temperature. By reducing your water heater from 140 to 120 degrees, you can cut your water heater’s energy consumption by six to 10 percent.

How do you adjust your water heater temperature setting?

Before you adjust the temperature of your water heater, be sure to check your owner’s manual for the proper instructions. For gas water heaters, the thermostat dial is located at the bottom of the tank and you can simply turn it to adjust the temperature settings.

If you have any questions about your water heater temperature setting, or if you’d like a water heater serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your San Francisco plumbing, heating and cooling company. We service the San Francisco area and surrounding cities like Redwood City, San Mateo, Orinda and Santa Clara.

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