Skip to content
(716) 648-4257

Available Day or Night

Should you Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature?

Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature

Having a water heater that is set too low can turn your water heater into a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria; and one that is set it too high could cause scalding and burns.

Did you know that having your water heater temperature set too high can be dangerous and cost you more money? Having a water heater that is set too low can turn your water heater into a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria; and one that is set it too high could cause scalding and burns. It can be a tricky balance to adjust your water heater temperature to one that is just right; however, we are here to help. We are going to review the recommended temperature to keep your water heater set at and some basic tips to adjust your water heater temperature.

Water Heater Recommended Temperature

Should you adjust your water heater temperature? The answer is not an easy one, because it depends on your water heater’s current settings, and your personal preference. The EPA recommends a hot water temperature setting of 120°F for heath, safety, and energy-saving purposes. Having a water heater that is set at too high of temperatures can make even tap water dangerous and cause burns.

120°F should not only help your family avoid scalding, at this temperature, harmful pathogens are prevented from multiplying and may be killed. As the temperature gets higher, pathogens die off quicker. This is why it is important to not have your water heater temperature set at a setting that is too low.

Some manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140°F; however, most new water heaters are preset at the recommended 120°F. At 140°F, water can cause scalding and a third-degree burn within five seconds.

How to Adjust your Water Heater Temperature

Adjusting your water heater temperature depends on the water heater and also what it is currently set at. You should always consult your manufacturer’s user manual before diving in and even then, it may be best to contact a local water heater repair expert to help.

The first step in determining if you should adjust your water heater temperature is knowing what it is set at in the first place.

This can be challenging because most hot water heater dials aren’t labeled with the numbers. If this is the case, follow these suggestions for verifying the current temperature settings.  

– Run hot water at the tap closest to the water heater for at least three minutes.
– Fill a glass and check the hot temperature with a cooking thermometer.

If you need to adjust your water heater temperature, below we outline the basic steps to follow.

– Locate the temperature dial on your water heater. This is usually a single knob that controls the amount of heat being directed to the unit.
– Turn the knob to the left (counterclockwise) to increase the temperature, and turn it to the right (clockwise) to decrease it.
– If not labeled, follow the steps above to find out what temperature the water is now set to. Repeat the temperature testing and dial turning as needed until you get your water temperature where you would like it.

Adjusting your water heater temperature can be monotonous and take some time to get it where you want and need it. Having your water heater temperature in the recommended range can save you money and keep your family safe, so it’s important to know what temperature your water heater is set at and adjust it if needed.  

At Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC we are your water heater experts in Western New York. Our plumbers can handle all of your water heater needs, including adjusting your water heater temperature to the recommended and desired range.

We’re your team for both standard and tankless water heater repair in Hamburg, NY. For fast and reliable emergency service, contact us today.