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Using a dialer to adjust the water heater temperature.

The Ideal Water Heater Temperature Setting for Efficiency and Safety

What is the recommended temperature setting for water heaters? Knowing this can save you money and keep your family safe from scalding hot waters, so read on to find out.

How hot should your water heater be set? The ideal temperature for a water heater depends on several factors, such as your home's design and whether you use space heaters or not. Still, many people are surprised to learn that it's not the same temperature in every state. The best way to determine your ideal water heater temperature setting is to consult licensed Austin plumbers… or continue reading this article.

What Is the Best Water Heater Temperature Setting?

You're not alone if you're wondering what the recommended water heater temperature setting is. Many people are unsure what setting to choose, or how to set their temperature, and as a result, they either use too much energy or put themselves at risk of scalding.

Factors to Consider When Adjusting the Temperature of The Water Heater

Here are some factors to take into account when adjusting the temperature of your water heater:

Energy Efficiency

You can save money on your energy bill by setting your water heater to the recommended temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting a safe temperature for water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for electric and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for gas water heaters.

Number of People Living with You

If you have a family of four or more people living in your home, you'll want your water heater system to function at optimal capacity, so you would need at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that there's enough hot water to meet the needs of everyone in the household. Plus, setting your water heater to a higher temperature can help reduce energy costs. However, it's essential not to increase the temperature too much, as this can pose a safety risk. The ideal hot water heater temperature setting for a water heater is between 120- and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Risks of Setting the Temperature Too High

Getting the right normal water heater temp may not always be as easy as you think. While you may enjoy hot or steamy baths, several downfalls come with setting the temperature of your water too high. Not only will this affect your utility bills, but it can also cause harm to your skin. That said, let's take a look at the risks of making the wrong temperature too high.

Scalding Accident

The recommended temperature for a water heater is between 120-140 degrees to avoid scalding accidents. This temperature range is hot enough to kill bacteria but not so hot that it will scald you. If you have young children or elderly family members living in your home, you may want to exercise extra caution and set your water heater to the lower end of this range. You can constantly adjust the temperature up if needed. Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry!


This is a type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria, which thrives in warmer water below 122°F — it can be caught when you breathe in tiny droplets containing the bacteria that hang in the air. Moreover, it's noteworthy to mention that the risk of contracting Legionnaires' disease caused by Legionella bacteria is low when one showers with water temperatures that range between 60°F to 140°F. When considering what temperature a hot water heater should be set at, you need to consider Legionella.

High Electricity Bill

If your electricity bill is higher than usual, you can check a few things to see if your water heater is the culprit. First, check the temperature setting. The average hot water temp is between 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's set any higher, you're wasting energy. Second, check for leaks. A leaky water heater can not only waste water but also drive up your energy bill. Finally, make sure your home is well insulated.

How to Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature Setting

If you are still wondering what temp should a water heater be set at, you need to consult your water heater manual before making any changes to its settings. Locate the knob on the valve and set the temperature for gas-powered ones.

Electric ones are slightly trickier: first, ensure power is turned off - indispensable. Now remove both of the thermostats' covers using a flathead screwdriver; some models will have an upper and lower one each, while others only have one or none. Adjust your water heater temperature accordingly - typically turning up the top one slightly higher than you had before.

Find the Ideal Water Heater Temperature Setting for Your Home

Now that you know the ideal water heater temperature setting, you can ensure your home is as safe and efficient as possible. Plumbing services can help you ensure that your heater is operating at peak efficiency, saving you money on your energy bills and extending the life of your appliance. Do you have an emergency or are you just looking to optimize your system? Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!