What Temperature Should I Set for My Water Heater?

Which condition is better - scalding yourself in the shower or getting infected with pneumonia that is associated with look warm or stagnant water (especially during winter)?

The question is hard to answer because no one wishes to experience any of the above conditions and that is why most people are curious to know the right temperature they should set their water heater.

The good news is that experts from Just Water Heaters are here to help by providing the right information in this article, so you’ve got to read through.If you need water heater repair, replacement and installation in Atlanta area, please call us anytime.

Let’s get this simplified!

There are conflicting views on this subject matter; some people prefer to leave their water heater at the preset temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit while others believe that reducing the water heater temperature to 120 is perfect.

The two distinct schools of thought on the right water heater temperature are right based on the following reasons.

Water heaters set at 120ºF helps to prevent scalding

As recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), water heaters should be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celcius) to prevent scalding. Additionally, the US Department of Energy also recommends that households should set their water heaters to 120ºF because, at that temperature settings, mineral buildup and corrosion are slowed down. 

Other benefits of setting the water heater to 120ºF include:

  • Decreases your energy bills
  • Good for the environment
  • Prevents scalding and 
  • it’s a money saver

Heating water at 140ºF is a precautionary measure against bacteria.

According to the paper ‘Legionella and the prevention of legionellosis’, delivered by the world health organization; heating water at 140ºF will help fight pathogens, particularly Legionella, LDB bacteria (which causes legionellosis). More so, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are in support of heating water at 140ºF.

Some of the safety experts argue that 120ºF is too low and cannot kill the dreaded pneumonia-causing bacteria. However, there are some factors that may cause an increase in LDB bacteria:

  • Using rusty pipes
  • Older system with stagnating water and more

So what’s the right water heater temperature?

Setting the right temperature that will suit the needs of members of your household depends on your peculiar situation.

We recommend that you reduce the preset temperature of your water heater to 120ºF if you have kids and older relatives at home. The elderly and toddlers are likely to be exposed to the dangers of scalding. So, to be at the safe side, and for energy savings, you can leave the temperature at 120ºF.

However, if you have older piping systems and a higher risk of getting the LDB bacteria (based on a compromised immune system), then you need to keep your water heater temperatures at 140ºF

The bottom line

Increasing or reducing the water heater temperature significantly depends on the condition of the members of your household. To make things easier, you can also purchase and install a tankless water heater because it is energy efficient.

If you need water heater installation or to adjust the temperature of your water heater, experts from Just Water Heaters are ready and willing to help, call us now.