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Should I Adjust My Water Heater Temperature?

Everyone has their preferences when it comes to water temperature. Some people like to take steaming hot showers while others prefer lukewarm ones. If you’re having to suffer through your morning shower because the water temperature just isn’t up to par, perhaps you’re wondering: “Should I adjust my water heater temperature?” The truth is, it depends. There are several things you should consider before you crank it up.

What Is A Safe Temperature Setting?

For the safety of you and your children, it’s important to monitor your water heater settings. Each year, thousands of people are sent to the hospital due to burns caused by hot water.

Other factors to consider when deciding on the right temperature include energy costs as well as the potential for bacteria growth. The higher the temperature, the more energy your water heater will expend. Conversely, when the temperature is set too low, the water in your tank is now vulnerable to bacteria, particularly Legionella, which can cause great harm.

So, then, what is the recommended temperature for your water heater? The EPA advises homeowners to set their water heater to 120°F. For most, it’s a happy medium; the temperature is hot enough to ensure comfort and not scald, but not too cold to where you risk developing bacteria. It also keeps mineral buildup and pipe corrosion at bay.

Still Wanting to Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature?

There are many factors that go into determining the right temperature for a water heater. Because every household is unique, the answer isn’t always cut and dry. Consider the following before you turn the knob up or down:

  • If you or someone living in your home has a respiratory disease or a weak immune system, you may want to keep your water heater at 140°F. This is because hot water helps kill off harmful bacteria and germs.
  • If your dishwasher doesn’t have a booster heater, a temperature of 130-140°F might be necessary to ensure adequate cleaning.
  • To help keep your water safe from contaminants, do not set the temperature below 120°F. The extra energy savings aren’t worth your family getting sick.
  • If you want to increase the temperature, do so in small increments. This will prevent scalding and ensure that you get it just right – without needing to waste energy.

Find Out Your Current Temperature Setting

Before you make any adjustments to your temperature, first find out what it’s currently set to. You can do so by looking at the dial on your water heater or by using a thermometer under your hot water. The dial method can sometimes be tricky because many of them don’t show numbers. If there aren’t numbers on your dial, refer to your manufacturer’s guide for help.

What the Plumbing Experts at Mattioni Recommend

In most cases, the best temperature setting is 120°F. If you’re not happy with your current water temperature but are hesitant to adjust it, give our plumbing experts a call. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions and help you determine the best temperature for your home, budget, and needs.

Depending on your unique situation, we might recommend installing a water tank booster. This allows your water to remain at 140°F while in the tank, but when you turn on the faucet, it will mix in cold water to drop it to 120°F. If you’re not receiving enough hot water, we might recommend introducing a hot water circulating system. This works great for larger households because it prevents water from getting too cold by circulating hot water in the pipes.

Still not satisfied with your water heater? We can help! Our licensed, trained technicians specialize in water heater repair, replacement, installation, and maintenance. No matter how big or small your need is, rest assured we’ll get the job done to your utmost satisfaction. Schedule your appointment today by calling 610-400-8510 or send us a message on our website.

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