What Temperature Should a Hot Water Heater Be Set At?

Water Heater Installation


“This bathwater is so hot you could even boil potatoes in here!” Whether you do it for your skin or just to relax after a hard day at work (or with the kids!), most people love a warm shower or bath at the end of a long day! But some of us go a little bit further and prefer a hot, scolding shower temperature! Every now and then it’s acceptable but, every day? Just like you take care of your home and the items in it, you must also take care of your water heater, be it electric or gas. Ever wondered what temperature should a hot water heater be set at? If you have, you’ve come to the right place. First of all, let’s talk about water heaters!


What is a Water Heater?

Your water heater is literally a tank that heats and stores water. All tank water heaters work on the same premise of storing the heated water and delivering it to taps and showers when they are opened. Although they may all share this same characteristic, the way they are heated varies greatly. Some tanks heat using natural gas, propane, or electrically.

So, which is better? If you are talking about prices, usually most people go for electric heaters as they are “cheaper” to buy but, what you have to think about is what is cheaper: gas or your electricity bill? Of course, this all depends on where you live but, most people go for gas water heaters as they seem cheaper in the long run. Final choice? Your decision! Now, how can we take care of our water heater?


Why Take Care Of Your Water Heater

When it comes to newly purchased water heaters, you likely won’t expect them to break down or have issues for quite some time. Understanding the life expectancy of your water heater can help you prepare for future costs. How can we determine that? Simple! Have in mind these tips.

  • The level of sediment in your tank affects the lifespan of your water heater!
  • A regular maintenance schedule is recommended to ensure it remains in good condition.
  • Always check the water quality! Notice that your hot water looks or feels different? Call Your Local Service Plumber as soon as possible!
  • Choosing between a tank vs. tankless water heater! Why? Since tankless heaters don’t handle the stress of storing and heating water (even when not in use), they can last possibly double the life of traditional gas or electric storage heaters.

And the most important question to be answered is, at what temperature should your hot water heater be set? Many professionals recommend keeping the temperature between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s any higher or lower, it could actually be a danger for you and your family. Well, we know that a higher temperature can result in us even burning from scolding water! But, why would it be dangerous to have it at a lower temperature? Many bacteria actually form and live in colder temperatures. For example, some diseases like Legionnaires and Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria that can form in a water heater with temperatures between 77 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Not sure if that is the temperature you like or can stand? Fiddle with it. Many hot water heaters have a temperature dial. So start at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and start incrementing it slowly until you get the warmness desired. Also, always talk to your family about it before touching the dial! Not everyone likes scorching water running down their back!


What Temperature Should A Hot Water Heater Be Set At? Review

Whether you like a warm shower or a hot bath, a water heater is just what you need. Have one already? Take care of it! With the right maintenance and the correct temperature, your water heater could even last up to 12 years! Looking for a new one but don’t know where to begin? Contact Local Service Pro Plumbing today!

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