Did you know that by lowering the water heater temperature, you can save a good amount of money!
A hot shower is the best medicine to wash away the stress of the day. And, even though the low-temperature washing detergents are the choice of the day, warm water is really the best to get clean and sparkling clothes!
Most of us crave for hot water and the good old hot water heater is really used to its maximum capacity in most households. Unfortunately, water heaters consume a lot of energy and that means high utility bills, which isn’t such a good thing. However, by lowering the water heater temperature, even by a few degrees, spells savings! In fact, you can save between 3 – 5% per 10 degrees of temperature you reduce.
Depending on the manufacturer, every water heater will have a different temperature adjustment method. So before, we give you the step-by-step instructions on how to adjust the water heater temperature, it’s important to know how and why, besides the saving, is it good to lower the temperature of this appliance.
How Hot Should Your Hot Water Be?
While many people like really hot water coming out of their taps, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 120 degrees is the optimal temperature for most household work. Setting that temperature on your water heater ensures best energy efficiency as well. But this is the temperature at the faucet and not inside the water heater tank. The water heater temperature should not be less than 130 degrees as that prevents growth of bacteria, which may otherwise lead to Legionnaires disease.
Appliances like the dishwasher require hot water temperature over 140 degrees for optimal cleaning and disinfection.
Alternatively, if you lower the temperature to very low, that could also lead to unforeseen consequences like consuming more hot water to get the desired temperature of hot water at the outlet point. So, if you tank is good to supply hot water for 2-3 showers each morning, the last person in the shower may not get any hot water!
Why Adjust Hot Water Heater Temperature?
If you don’t mind a shorter shower or a cooler shower in the morning, by all means turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater and save on your utility bills. It is a proven fact that a lower water heater temperature discourages sediment buildup, besides slowing down the process of hot water pipes corroding.
However, the reason to adjust the temperature is to increase the overall efficiency of the appliance.
Note: reducing the temperature to a very low range can directly impact the cleaning power of your washing machine and dishwasher, especially if they don’t come fitted with an internal water heater. Increasing the temperature to a very high range can also prove to be very dangerous and could result in burns due to scalding temperature of water.
Note: The ideal hot water temperature at the outlet point should be 120 degrees – 125 degrees.
Steps to Adjust Hot Water Heater Temperature
Tools: Phillips-head screwdriver – 1
Flat-head screwdriver – 1
Step 1: Cut the power supply
Always flip the breaker box or pull out the fuse to cut the power supply to the water heater, so that you don’t suffer any electric shock nor damage the heating elements.
Step 2: Identify the two thermostat covers
There are two thermostat covers: one each at the top and bottom.
Step 3: Remove the thermostat covers
Unscrew the thermostat covers using the Phillips-head screwdriver and safe keep the screws as they are very small and can get lost easily.
Step 4: Remove the insulation
After opening the covers, take out the insulation from behind the cover doors to expose the thermostat behind.
Step 5: Read the current temperature
Check where the ‘white’ triangle is point to on the rotating dial of the thermostat.
Step 6: Set the dial to desired temperature
Now, using the flat-head screwdriver set the temperature dial to the desired water heater temperature (130 degrees).
Step 7: Repeat Steps 4 to 6 on the base thermostat.
Step 8: Replace the insulations inside both thermostat covers.
Step 9: Screw back the covers on both thermostats.
Step 10: Turn on the power supply.
Enjoy better energy efficiency, more savings and peace of mind!
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