Save money through proper temperature settings.

Have I set my water temperature too high? Do I really need the water to be “That Hot”? Well, just think what a few degrees can save you when you pay your energy bill! By the way, many children in this country are burned by water coming out of an ordinary spigot. It is a great deal safer to have your water heater turned down a bit!

Ever hear that Geen warm water gets things cleaner? Don’t believe everything you hear. Most dishwashers have an element that will heat incoming water to the appropriate temperature as recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer. Most clothes washers will clean your clothes just fine with warm water. Detergents today are designed to work as well in warm water, as they would in hot water.

Let’s look closer. Most water heaters have calibrations by individual hash marks and / or letters, and not temperature settings. Is this confusing? It can be but let’s make it simple.

Some thermostat settings range from “Very Hot, decreasing down to “Vacation.”

Others will go from “Hot” to “Warm” and down to “Vacation.”

Still others have letter increments, with common settings like:


“Hot” = 120F
A = 130F
B = 140F
C = 150F
Very Hot = 160F

In a gas heating unit, you turn the dial to the preferred setting.

In an electric heating unit, you turn the dial with a small straight edge screw driver to the preferred setting. In electric tanks, be sure to first shut off the power supply before changing the temp.

Regardless, keep this in mind. Temperature on your water heater varies, as much as 25F. Water heater thermostats maintain a range, not a precise temperature. Residential water heaters are not designed to exceed a temperature greater than 160F. If you start at the maximum setting, knowing it is 160F, each increment, dot, hash mark or letter equals a difference of 10F. Simple…go from “A” to “B” and you raise the temp 10F. Change from “Warm” to the next setting, and you changed 10F. Look at your temp settings closely to see if you lower the settings to the left (counterclockwise) or to the right (clockwise). Both types do exist.

What about safety?

I suggest changing the temp half increments at a time, or by 5F increments. Try it, and see if the temp is suitable, before changing again. Why in half increments. I said keep it simple, look at it this way. You are perfectly healthy with a body temp of 98.6F. 10F more, or 108F, and you’re probably dead. 10F according to skin temp is a lot. Try changing 5F at a time. Likewise, 120F might seem too warm, and 130F too hot, but 125F, or half an increment, just right.

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