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The Right Setting for Your Hot Water Heater

The Right Setting for Your Hot Water Heater

adjusting temperature dialWhen you’re looking at ways to save energy in your home, you’ll often find one of the recommended tips is to adjust your water heater settings. However, if you have never attempted to change the temperature, you may be a little wary about doing it for the first time. Here you’ll discover everything you need to know about switching the settings safely.

What should the temperature be?

As standard in Virginia, the majority of water heaters are set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the safest temperature to prevent scalding (especially with young children in the home). It’s also the right temperature for saving energy and reducing build-up of minerals that cause corrosion within the pipes and the heater itself.

If you suspect that your water heater is set below 120 degrees, or that it has been bumped up to a higher temperature, you should prepare to change the settings.  

How to change the settings

Changing the water heater settings is actually really simple. All you need to do is turn the dial. If the dial isn’t numbered you will need to play around with it and test the different temperatures to see what you are most comfortable with. Finding 120 degrees Fahrenheit on an unnumbered dial is hard work; especially if it isn’t numbered. There is a quick method you can use to find the temperature though, simply follow the steps below.

Step 1 – Start by running the hot water tap nearest to the heater and leave running for around 3 minutes.   

Step 2 – Fill a glass with the hot water to test the temperature with a thermometer. If it is higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, adjust the dial, leave for 3 hours and then test again. Continue doing this until you reach 120 degrees.

Step 3 – Test again in the morning before anybody uses the hot water to check the temperature is now constantly set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

It really is simple to lower the temperature and it could save a reasonable amount of money each year. Not only that, but it also helps to reduce the risk of accidents. If you have children, they could scald themselves if they use the hot water tap when the temperature is too high.

If you’re having difficult with your water heater and can’t seem to get the temperature right, our plumbers can help. We want to make sure that every aspect of your home is comfortable, and nobody likes a cold shower!


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