For quite a few people, there’s nothing better than a hot shower to start the day. Even though that may be a fantastic way to wake up and start the day, experts say it’s possible to set your water too hot.

Setting your water heater to a temperature that’s scorching can waste power and cost you money. It also can pose a safety challenge for members of your home. But, if you set your water heater temperature too low, it can allow growth of potentially harmful bacteria and not produce sufficient hot water for your dwelling.

So, what temp should you set your water heater? In this article, we’ll establish the most effective temperature to use, when there could be cause to set it a little higher and how hot is too hot for your own water heater.

What Temperature for my Water Heater Is the Most Energy Efficient?

Although many manufacturers suggest setting the water temperature at 140 degrees, a better temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Specialists say 120 degrees strikes the right balance between safety and energy use.

The U.S. Department of Energy states that setting a home water heater temperature at 120 degrees could save up to 22 percent on energy bills. Energy waste is especially a challenge for water heaters because traditional tank models constantly heat a tank of water in case it is required. If you have the water heater temperature set too high, your water heater is constantly heating a tank full of super-hot water.

What Temperature Should I Set My Hot Water To?

In most cases, the suggested efficient temperature of 120 degrees is the right setting for your water heater. At 120 degrees, the water is heated enough to meet the desires of most homes, but not so hot that it could cause burning skin on contact. This makes it a safer option, especially in homes with younger children or elderly men and women. Lower temperatures also cut down on mineral deposits in your water heater, which could cause it to break down or need replacement.

Should You Ever Set Your Water Temperature Higher Than 120 Degrees?

While many energy experts say 120 degrees is the preferred water heater temperature if you’re wanting to save money, is it OK to set it higher? Beyond personal preference, there are some scenarios where it could be a good idea to set your water temperature a little higher, between 130-140 degrees:

  • Bacteria: Higher water temperatures can be helpful in eliminating harmful bacteria that can cause or aggravate certain health conditions. This also may be useful if you know your home has trouble with bacteria, or if any people who live in your home have a compromised immune system.
  • High usage: If your home tends to use a large volume of hot water simultaneously—showering while also running the dishwasher and washing machine, for example—a hotter water heater temperature may be necessary to make sure there’s adequate hot water for everyone.
  • Old dishwasher: If your dishwasher is old and doesn’t heat water as part of its process, you may need to set your water heater to a higher temperature for it to work properly.

How Hot Is Too Hot for a Water Heater?

Even though some people like their water extremely hot or would rather blend hot and cold water to create their perfect water temperature, there is such a thing as water that is too hot. Plumbing and heating specialists say any temperature higher than 140 degrees is too hot for a water heater in a residence. At 150 degrees, which is considered way too hot, it takes only seconds for the water to lead to third-degree burns. This is why a water heater temperature of 150 degrees is particularly unsafe in residences with children or the elderly.

Call Western Mechanical, Inc. for Your Water Heater Service Needs in Cache Valley

Water heaters can sometimes feel a little mysterious, but the skilled specialists at Western Mechanical, Inc. know these appliances like the back of their hands. They’ve fixed many brands and types of water heaters throughout the years, so they have the experience to handle your water heater repair in Cache Valley.

We also are skilled in water heater replacement, so contact us at 435-753-5515 if you think you need water heater installation in Cache Valley. We are happy to examine your system and provide a free estimate!