Understanding Water Heater Temperature Settings

Ben Franklin Plumbing Van
Ben Franklin Plumbing Van
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Water heaters do a very important job in the home. Water heaters are responsible for providing hot water when it is needed for a variety of tasks. Hot water does a better job of removing some substances when washing hands, dishes, clothes and more. Many people are surprised to learn that water heaters can be adjusted to provide different water temperatures.

Water Heater Temperature Adjustment

Most water heaters adjust in a range from about 90 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower settings are generally only used for heaters that are not being used at the time. For example, a heater in a vacation property may be set to a lower temperature when the property is not being used. Government recommendations generally state that heaters should be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacterial growth inside the heater.

Hand Washing

Though it is widely believed that hotter water will kill germs, there is little evidence to support this. For water temperature to kill germs it would have to be so hot that it would damage skin. Obviously, washing hands in boiling water is not a good option. Studies have shown that there is no measurable difference between the number of germs removed when washing hands in warm water versus cold water. Warmer water will help remove oils and similar items from the skin as the warmer water softens the oil.

Young Children

Homes with small children should be especially careful of water heater settings. A baby’s bathwater should be about 100 degrees. Toddlers and other young children may accidentally adjust the water temperature and scald themselves with hotter water. To prevent scalding, water heaters should be turned to a lower setting when young children are living in the home.

Energy Use from Water Heaters

Modern water heaters are quite energy efficient when compared to older models. However, having a water heater set to a higher temperature setting will result in more energy consumption. To save energy and cut costs, heaters should be set to the lowest setting that meets the needs to the people living in the home or building.

If you need help with a Water Heater in the Phoenix, AZ Metro area contact our Water Heater Experts and professionals at Ben Franklin Plumbing