Buying Guide

What is the Best Temperature for Your Water Heater?

Before standing underneath the hot water you will want to configure the water temperature, which will be just right for you. No one wants to be met with scalding hot water produced by their water heater right the first time they step into the shower. Moreover, you might think that always putting the water heater on full power to give you the hottest water possible for some task will be damaging to the heater. While that’s not true at all but knowing how to change the water heater temperature will certainly be helpful for you later on.

But first, you should know that electric and gas water heaters have their temperatures set right from the factory itself. But you can indeed adjust it just by using some tools and a little bit of tinkering. But first:

How can you check the temperature of your water heater?

Most of the water heaters don’t come with any kind of temperature reading guage. So you won’t be able to get the exact temperature of the water right then. But what you will have instead is heating ranges. If you want to find out the heater temperature, then all you will need is a cooking thermometer and a cup. Here’s how you can do it.

  • Let the heater sit for around an hour without switching it on and using it.
  • Now open the faucet which is nearest to the heater. The. Let the water run on for around a minute. This will properly ensure that the water inside was at its maximum temperature.
  • Now fill up your cup and then put in the cooking thermometer you have. After that, you will be able to adjust its setting as you require it.

What is the recommended water temperature?

At the water heater factories, the recommended level is around 140 degrees. But others like EPA recommend turning down the thermostat to 120. This reduction will help you reduce power consumption because after all, the main problem which troubles water heater owners are the rising water heating bills. But apart from this, setting a lower temperature will be beneficial for families who have little kids. But the argument for setting the thermostat at higher temperatures is that it’s better for sanitizing and cleaning. But you don’t have to always go for one extreme or the other, choose 130 degrees as a midway point between these two recommended temperatures. This is because it’s high enough to properly sanitize and get rid of bacteria while also being low enough to ensure that no one will get scalded.

How can you turn up the thermostat of your gas water heater?

You will be able to adjust the hot water setting to get water at a higher temperature if you aren’t happy with the given temperature. You don’t have to worry too much, after all, it’s very easy to turn up. Here’s what you should know to do it:

Know that gas heaters come with a knob that is used for setting the temperature. Know that most of the gas controlled valves come with a knob that has different kinds of labels on it. Now, these labels will most probably differ according to the brand of water heater you have purchased. But generally, this is what those labels mean:

  • Warm/Low- 80° to 90°
  • A triangle symbol indicates that the water is hot at 120°
  • If the label is A then the water is 130°
  • If the label is B then the water is at 140°
  • If the label is C then the water is at 150°
  • When the label says Very Hot then it means 160°
  • Many times you will see a setting labeled as “Vacation”. This doesn’t mean that the water will get heated, instead, it just keeps on your heater’s pilot light.

Now just set the temperature according to what you feel is right for you and your family.

How can you change the temperature on your electric heater?

Changing the water heater temperature on your electric heater is a little different when compared to changing it on gas-powered water heaters. Before beginning, you must keep a screwdriver and a small wrench ready at hand. If you have those ready then here’s how to proceed:

  • First, switch off the heater’s circuit breaker. Then get rid of the access panels.
  • Now situated just where the thermostat adjustment panel is under the insulation. Then use a screwdriver to set the thermostat towards the temperature you want.
  • Once you are done, replace the panels and the insulation just how it was before. After that, you can restore power. Be a little patient and it will be very easy to accomplish.

What factors affect water temperature?

Two of the factors which can affect the water temperature is:

  • The condition of the heating unit in itself will also matter. If the heating unit is old then it will take up to heat the water and also to circulate it.
  • Along with this the way the pipes were installed also plays a part. Small pipes that have to carry the water over long distances will need a longer time for your piping hot water to reach the faucet opening. Think about piped which go underneath or even outside homes. These pipes will have difficulty carrying hot water over long distances and seasonal variations like summer or winter conditions will also affect the water temperature.

It’s advisable that if you have a huge house then you would want to install a recirculation system that will help the hot water reach the outlets in lesser time. Thus resulting in savings over the long run as well.

Overall, this is the way you will be able to fix the water temperature in your heater. If you have longer pipes which travel a huge distance to get to the outlet, then you should look into that as well to get hot water quickly and at the temperature you deserve.

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