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Should I Adjust My Water Heater’s Temperature?


The temperature of your water heater can be a fantastic place to start if you’re searching for a solution to reduce your energy expenses this year. But, there are a few things to think about before you lower the temperature on your water heater a few degrees…


If you set the temperature too low, your water heater could begin to grow dangerous bacteria. Set it too high, and you could be scalded the next time you take a shower.  


Not sure what temperature to set your water heater’s thermostat? Our team at Frank Gay Services discusses how to set your thermostat to get the most energy savings! Read on for steps to take at home, and remember to give our experts a call if you need a hand.  



How Low Should You Go?  


When it comes to your water heater temperature, the lowest you should ever set it to is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The U.S. Department of Energy advises not going below this temperature, which is pre-set in the majority of new water heaters.


At 120 degrees, harmful pathogens that can cause Legionnaires’ disease are prevented from multiplying. Pathogens die more quickly when the temperature rises. OSHA advises a safe water heater temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit as a result.


If everyone in your home is healthy and has a strong immune system, 120 is safe, but remember, this is also the minimum setting. Choosing a temperature that is closer to 140 degrees is safer, especially if any family members have weakened immune systems.


You may also need to set the temperature higher if your dishwasher doesn’t generate its own heat.  


It’s Too Hot: Scalding  


Since it takes several seconds for hot water to travel through your pipes and reach your showerhead, you never know exactly when scalding water might arrive.  


In just five seconds at 140 degrees, water can result in third-degree burns.


Children and elderly adults are more susceptible to hot water burns because their skin is thinner, and they may have a slower reaction time to remove themselves from the heat.  


Anti-scald valves are an option if you want to walk a fine line between pathogenic and scalding safety. By installing these at every point of contact with hot water, you can keep your water heater set to 140 degrees while making sure that the water never exits the faucets at a temperature higher than 120 degrees.


An competent amateur plumber can install anti-scald valves, but due to the project’s complexity and how crucial it is that these valves function properly, we recommend calling a plumber from Frank Gay Services to get the job done right.  



Should I Set the Temperature to 120 Degrees or 140? 


We recommend setting your water heater temperature within 120-140°F.  


If you have a larger water heater or a commercial unit, it can be set between 130-140° F. If you have children, 120°F is safe for the majority of households.  



Water Heater Life Span: What to Keep in Mind 


Higher water temperatures inside your water heater tank can quicken the accumulation of hard water mineral sediment, especially calcium carbonate. This accumulation can trigger water heater tank corrosion, which can result in a shortened lifespan or failure of the unit.  


To lengthen your water heater’s lifespan up to 12 years or more, we recommend having annual water heater maintenance performed by our team at Frank Gay Services. We will flush your tank to release sediment buildup and will ensure the entire unit is performing efficiently.  


Ready for water heater maintenance? Call Frank Gay Services to schedule today; (407) 329-5145!   



Energy Efficiency for Your Water Heater 


While saving money on energy costs is important, it is not as important as saving you and your family from harmful waterborne illnesses. That said, it is possible to cut costs without needing to set your water heater’s thermostat too low.  


You can: 


  • Use less hot water: Take shorter showers and use the dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes.
  • Insulate your water heater and pipes: These easy-to-install pieces of insulation can help converse energy.
  • Replace your water heater: If it is maintained, the typical home water heater lasts 8 to 12 years. Older or in need of maintenance water heaters are probably far less energy efficient than they once were. Look for a replacement that complies with ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements while buying.


Installing Energy Efficient Water Heaters  


If you are in the market for a new energy-efficient water heater or would like help setting your water heater to the optimal temperature, our 5-star rated team at Frank Gay Services is here to help! We will ensure that your water heater is safe and running properly to protect your family.  


Schedule water heater installation or maintenance with Frank Gay Services today; (407) 329-5145!   


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