What Temperature Should You Set Your Hot Water Heater At?

If you have your hot water heater set at a high temperature, you might notice a hefty energy bill as a result. Your hot water heater uses a decent level of energy per month, making it a potentially expensive operation. While the high settings can be costly, having it set at a low temperature results in cooler showers and a chance of bacteria taking root. Neither of these sound like ideal situations to most homeowners. Every house has varying factors, but let’s take a look at a way to gage what your hot water heater settings would benefit from the most.


For those who are not sure how to figure out your current settings, you can find it in two different ways: 

  1. If you have this option, your dial should display the temperature directly on it.
  2. Run your faucet on hot for a few minutes, allowing the tap to get to its full potential. After that, you can read the temp from the water.


When it comes to water heaters with tanks, it costs money to ensure the water continually stays warm. For this reason, some homeowners might set their heater to a lower temp during the night, when it’s not in use, to save a bit of energy. Lowering it to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can possibly save you hundreds of dollars a year if you normally keep your tank at a high setting. For larger families, 120 degrees would be likely be beneficial as well. Dropping below 120, however, causes some issues for a healthy living environment. When the temp is too low, bacteria can emerge and a disease breakout becomes possible as they’re born in the stagnant liquids within the water heater itself. 
Additionally, dishwashers without the feature to heat its own water will need a higher temperature for proper sanitization. If your model does not have the heating feature, it is recommended to have the water heater between 130-140 degrees. 


On the other hand, having your temperature too high can create issues on its own. Your tank being set to 140 degrees, for example, could scald young children or individuals with sensitive skin. Despite some of the heat cooling down on its journey through the pipes, the temp can still remain close to 140 at its hottest point. Dropping it down not only saves some extra money on the bill, but decreases the chances of burns.


It can be a challenge deciding what temp will keep the bacteria out, while simultaneously keeping the tap from burning you during each use. One aid would be to implement a hot water tank booster into your home. The booster will regulate your water at 140 degrees inside the tank and mix in cooler water to level the temperature to 120 degrees. When you turn your faucet on, the water will be at a comfortable level.


If you are still unsure of which route to take, starting at 120 degrees and working your way up in increments will allow you to find the right level that suits you best. If you need questions answered, Graydon Faulstick Plumbing is equipped to answer any of your inquiries. You can reach us at 570-992-0447 or 610-381-4171 for more information.

By |2020-03-03T21:56:51-05:00December 20th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments