The Great Water Heater Temperature Debate

Posted by on Jan 26, 2014 in Water Heater Repair Warren MI

There are varied views on what is the very best temperature level at which to set ones water heater. Water Heater Repair Warren MI will be sharing some of the different views with particular proof from those sources in order for one to make his/her own decision on the topic.Water Heater Repair Warren MI

To begin with, the default setting most water heater manufacturers have their tanks set at is 140 degrees. If you have never checked this already, that could be what it is set at. Also, it can be difficult to know for sure what the temperature setting is because sometimes the temperature dial does not have actual degrees printed on it, simply warm, hot, really hot … something to that effect. Some people feel they are pre-set at a higher temperature level so it feels excellent to have a great deal of hot water – type of like trying to create good brand awareness in consumers.

In regards to energy savings, by turning a water heater down from 140 to 120 degrees, it will conserve in between 6 to 10 percent of energy usage. That equates to in between $6 to $20 a year most of the time.

Let’s begin off with the most likely the most renowned source, the U.S. Department of Energy. They suggest a setting of 120 degrees. The link with their website above provides a great deal of good info on the best ways to minimize ones hot water usage and costs. It is definitely worth a read.

Now for the health threats of too low of a temperature level setting. It can be revealed that Legionella bacteria has the optimal growth range between 68 to 122 degrees. Treehugger states that “25 percent of all water heaters have differing levels of Legionella bacteria contamination.”

According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information: “There are two opposing risks when it comes to water temperature inside domestic water heaters; exposure to Legionella, the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires’ disease (pulmonary legionellosis), and the risk of scalding.” (read more…)

Legionella bacteria triggers a kind of pneumonia and is passed to people when one breathes in water contaminated with the bacteria – usually in showers, whirlpool baths and even a/c systems. Drinking the water is generally ok. It is an issue with having the germs get in ones lungs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 8,000 to 18,000 Americans contract the condition yearly. 5 to 30 percent of the cases are deadly.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, here are some of the factors that can increase the risk of getting the disease:

  • Organ transplants (kidney, heart, etc.)
  • Age (older persons are more likely to get disease)
  • Heavy smoking
  • Weakened immune system (cancer patients, HIV-infected individuals)
  • Underlying medical problem (respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, renal dialysis, etc.)
  • Certain drug therapies (corticosteroids)
  • Heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages

Cases to not have the water heater temperature set at 140 degrees would be if there are kids in your home or possibly with elderly individuals too. The threat of being burnt if the faucet was completely on hot water can be too great. Obviously, any individual living in the home that is at risk of contracting Legionella Disease must have it set at 140.


So choose if there are any concerns of individuals burning themselves if the water temperature is too high. Likewise, be mindful of any individual who has issues of contracting Legionella Disease. Given that the annual cost savings of turning the temperature down is only about $20 most the time with the typical home’s hot water use, it may be an excellent choice to keep the temperature level above 120 degrees just for the health related benefits; nevertheless, Water Heater Repair Warren MI will let you make the call.

The following two videos demonstrate how to adjust the temperature level on both an electric and a gas water heater in case you are unsure the best ways to do so.

How to Change the Temperature on an Electric Hot Water Heater

How To Change The Temperature On A Gas Water Heater

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