What Temperature Should a Hot Water Heater Be Set At?

It is recommended that your water heater be set to 120 degrees because this is the ideal temperature that is hot enough to prevent bacteria from growing but not too hot that it will scald you. This temperature normally supplies enough hot water for smaller families while being energy efficient, which is why your water heater should not be set to anything below that mark.

It’s important to remember that your water heater makes up roughly about 18% of your home’s energy bill, so if you set it too high, you will see an increase in your monthly energy bill. On the other hand, if you set it too low, you may not have enough hot water, which would result in uncomfortable showers or worse, cause bacteria to grow because of the stagnant water inside the heater.

While 120 degrees is ideal, it does not mean it’s the perfect setting for everyone because the best setting is different from one household to another. It varies based on certain situations that can affect the setting you choose and some of the factors that could affect your preferred setting include:

  • Households with small children should have their hot water heater set to 120 degrees so that there are no risks of a potential burn, which could occur with a 140 degree setting. The same is true of elderly homeowners who would benefit from the recommended setting of 120 degrees.
  • Households that have a dishwasher that is incapable of pre-heating the water can set their water heater to 140 degrees.
  • Anyone with a suppressed immune system or those who have respiratory issues should also keep their hot water heater set to 140 degrees.
  • Those who live alone can try a lower temperature setting so long as it falls within the acceptable range because the demand for hot water will be a lot less, so they can save money in this aspect. Those who live in larger households will not have this option and a higher temperature will be necessary to accommodate the demand for hot water, which will be a lot more than a person living on their own.

If you’re having trouble deciding on the ideal temperature that’s right for you, try setting it to the recommended 120 degrees and increase it in small increments as you see fit. Once you find the shower temperature that’s perfect for you, you’ll know you’ve found the right temperature setting for your hot water heater. Keep in mind that for every ten degrees you turn down your water tank thermometer, you will save anywhere from 3-5% on the following months energy bill.

If you want to make sure there are no issues with your hot water heater, contact Blue Planet Plumbing & Heating Ltd for all of your furnace repair and plumbing needs. They service the Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver areas, so whether you need a drain cleaner or anything else plumbing related, contact them today!

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