What’s the Perfect Temperature for Your Water Heater

Finding the right temperature for your water heater can feel a bit like Goldilocks finding the perfect bed. Too hot, and you run the risk of burns and scalds. Too cold, and you’ll find yourself shivering in the shower. 

Good news, because today we’re going to set the record straight so you have hot water that feels just right – and saves you money on your energy bills. 

The ideal temperature for traditional tank waters

Most tank-based water heaters come set at a standard temperature of 140ºF. This temperature setting is fine, but is likely hotter than the average homeowners’ needs. It is also too high if you live with an elderly relative or if you have children in the home, as it is hot enough to create scalding water and can cause dangerous burns. 
To improve the efficiency and safety of your water heater, the general recommendation is to set the temperature at 120ºF. This temperature will prevent dangerous burns while still allowing you to have water warm enough for a luxurious shower or dishwashing session.
So why are most water heaters set at 140º F to begin with? Manufacturers set their default temperatures high for several reasons. The most probable is that they don’t have to pay your energy bills! Decreasing your water temperature by 10-20 degrees can save you upwards of 10% of energy costs. 
Another reason your water heater is set to 140º is to reduce the risk of legionella bacteria, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease. If you have a weakened immune system, it might be best to keep your water heater set at this temperature. Otherwise, you are likely safe to set the temperature 10-20º lower. 

Water heater installation and repair

Have you checked the temperature setting on your water heater? Go take a look and lower it if necessary to start saving energy.
And when you need any help with your water heater – either repair or replacement – call the team at Rick’s Plumbing. We proudly serve the New Haven and Fairfield County area. To schedule an appointment, dial (203) 874-6629 today.