What Should My Water Heater Temperature Be?
A surprise cold shower isn’t fun, but neither are showers that wind up scalding you. When it comes to setting the temperature of your water heater, it’s about balancing your comfort and safety against two kinds of potential hazards. A lower yet warm temperature will keep you safe from scalding. However, higher temperatures can help you deal with certain kinds of bacteria. At Climate Control Experts, we can help you determine the best temperature for your home’s water.
Setting your water heater temperature
How you set your water heater’s temperature depends on the type and model. Fortunately, no matter what kind you have, the different methods are fairly similar. For newer gas and electric tank models, you’ll likely find it behind an insulated access panel. Electric models may also have the thermostat at the top and bottom of the tank. Tankless models have a display with a temperature readout along with controls for changing it. Whatever method you use, make sure you test the temperature from the tap before and after you change it. To do this, hold a thermometer under a sink’s running water when it’s as hot as it can get.
Make it hot, but how hot?
Expert opinions suggest that there are two temperatures that you should consider: 120°F or 140°F (which is also the default temperature for most water heaters.) The US Department of Energy suggests 120°F because it helps avoid scalding. If your shower or faucet is dispensing 120°F water, it’ll take about a minute before you get scalded, giving you plenty of time to get away or change the temperature. 120°F is especially good if your home has seniors or younger children, who are both more susceptible to scalding. Also, hard water isn’t as damaging at 120°F and it costs less energy to reach that temperature, saving you money. Don’t go any lower than this on your water heater’s temperature setting though, or you’ll risk bacterial growth.
However, OSHA says that 140°F is the best temperature for bacterial safety. Most waterborne bacteria die off around 120°F. However, Legionnaire’s Disease bacteria, which can cause serious flu-like symptoms, are more resistant to heat. 140°F, while more capable of causing scalding, can kill off the LD bacteria. You’ll often have LD bacteria show up in older water systems and water storage systems that let water stagnate for a long time or outdoors.
For most households, your best bet is to set the water heater temperature to 120°F. However, if your system is susceptible to LD bacteria or someone in your home has a sensitive/compromised immune system, go with 140°F. Also, if you have an LD risk and children or seniors in your home, add an anti-scald device to keep them safe. If the water is still too cold for you, call the professionals at Climate Control Experts to have us take a look!
Why call Climate Control Experts for my water heater problems?
For years, Climate Control Experts has proudly served our community, and we’re extremely proud to be the team that Las Vegas has come to trust and depend on when they need quality repairs quickly. Besides offering the best services in all of Las Vegas, we also have a great reputation for selling the best climate control equipment. It’s designed to enhance the look and comfort of your home. When you come to us, we guarantee you that we will fix it right the first time and if not, it is completely free. With such a guarantee, you can always be sure we will be able to live up to your expectations and deliver the best services to you. Call Climate Control Experts for any water heater problems you may have!