Optimize Your Water Heater Temperature

Did you know that you can change and optimize the temperature of your water heater? That’s right. You can change it. However, what you consider the optimal water heater temperature can differ from what others consider optimal.

At General Service Plumbing, people have different opinions on optimal hot water temperatures. In light of that understanding, we decided it would be a great idea to put together a guide on setting your water heater temperature to fit your needs. So, let’s get started!

Different Hot Water Uses Demand Different Water Heater Temperatures

The optimal water temperature varies depending on what tasks you plan to use hot water. For example, if you run a commercial kitchen, you’ll need your water hot enough to sanitize dishes. However, water hot enough to sanitize dishes (around 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit) is far too hot for bathing. Additionally, if you have children, you’ll want your water hot enough to kill most bacteria. However, you don’t want to set it so high as to scald yourself or your children. Water heater temperatures closer to 120 degrees Fahrenheit will do just fine for those situations.

When optimizing your water heater temperature, the only hard-set rule is never to set your water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures lower than that provide an ample breeding ground for harmful bacteria, mold, and mildew species. Additionally, for every ten degrees above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you will increase your overall energy usage by about three to five percent.

Specific Use Cases and Their Appropriate Water Heater Temperature Settings

Besides the examples we described above, several other use cases have water temperature requirements. Let’s break them down.

Dishwashers that don’t pre-heat

Some dishwashers (usually older models or ones in commercial settings) don’t pre-heat water to help sanitize and clean your dishes. If you have a dishwasher that doesn’t pre-heat, set your water heater temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures are far less effective at killing harmful foodborne pathogens and bacteria species.

Small children and the elderly

Suppose your home or business regularly visits or provides housing for small children or the elderly. In that case, the optimal water heater temperature setting is around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, higher temperatures are much more likely to injure children and the elderly than average-aged adults. In fact, according to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

“The majority of injuries and deaths involving tap water scalds are to the elderly and children under the age of five. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges all users to lower their water heaters to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. ” – CPSC Safety Alert Publication 5098

People with respiratory illnesses or suppressed immune systems

Suppose you or anyone else in your home has a respiratory disease or suppressed immune system. In that case, you should set your water heater temperature to 140 degrees. Doing so will help prevent the sick from contracting other diseases that healthier people may ward off without medical aid.

How to Pick the Right Temperature for You

Let’s assume you’re a healthy adult living in a household with other healthy adults. To optimize the water heater’s temperature for this assumed household, start by setting the temperature to 120 degrees. Then, if you’re not satisfied, increase the temperature in ten-degree increments until you’ve found your optimal water temperature.

What is the Most Environmentally Friendly Water Heater Temperature?

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the optimal water heater setting for a happier planet and safe usage is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, water heaters still account for about 17 percent of your home’s energy bill (DirectEnergy.com). Moreover, as mentioned earlier, for every ten degrees over 120, you will increase your energy consumption by three to five percent.

Still, Having Trouble? Contact General Service Plumbing

Suppose you have trouble either figuring out your ideal temperature or with the actual process of changing the heat for your water heater. In that case, you can always contact us at General Service Plumbing. We employ some of the best water heater technicians in the state. So don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re always here to help!
We offer both tanked and tankless water heater installation services in the following areas:

If you want to leave us a review or learn more about us, click on a service location below:

And, if you’re looking for help with Albuquerque water heaters, then give our friends over at Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling a call today!

How To Flush Your Water Heater

As a homeowner, you may not think about your water heater often, but it is an essential appliance that provides hot water for your household. Unfortunately, mineral deposits and sediment can build up inside your water heater over time, reducing efficiency and even causing damage. Regularly flushing your water heater can help remove these deposits and extend your appliance’s lifespan. So here’s a step-by-step guide on how to flush your water heater from General Service Plumbing.

Step 1: Turn off the Power

Before beginning, turn off the power supply to your water heater. If you own an electric water heater, you can turn off its power at the circuit breaker. But if you own a gas water heater, you’ll turn off the gas supply valve, which you can find near the gas pipe leading to your thermostat.

Step 2: Turn off the Cold Water Supply

Locate the cold water supply valve near the top of your water heater and turn it off. This will prevent new water from entering the tank while flushing it.

Step 3: Turn On The Hot Water

Turn on the hot water at one of your sinks or tubs. Let it run while draining the tank to alleviate pressure in your lines.

Step 4: Drain the Tank

You can find a drain valve near the bottom of your water heater. Attach a garden hose and run the other end to a drain or outside. Next, open the valve and let the water drain from the tank. Be careful, as the water will be hot. You can stop draining the tank once the water appears clear and sediment-free. Tanks with large amounts of sediment may have to be drained completely.

Step 5: Flush the Tank

Once you drain the tank, turn the cold water supply valve back on to allow fresh water to flush any remaining sediment out of the tank. Let the water run until transparent, then turn off the cold water supply.

Step 6: Refill the Tank

Close the drainage valve and remove the garden hose. Turn the cold water supply valve back on and let the tank refill. It would be best to leave the hot water faucet (that you turned on in step 3) running to allow air to escape from the tank.

Step 7: Turn the Power Back On

Once the tank is full, turn the power supply back on at the circuit breaker or gas valve, depending on whether you own an electric or gas water heater. Your hot water should run like usual again after 20-30 minutes.

Need Help? Contact General Service Plumbing Today

Flushing your water heater is a simple task that can help improve its efficiency and extend its lifespan. We recommend flushing out your water heater at least once a year, although this may vary depending on your water hardness and appliance’s age. If you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, contact a licensed plumber like General Service Plumbing to assist you. We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns and ensure your water heater functions properly.

We offer both tanked and tankless water heater installation services in the following areas:

If you want to leave us a review or learn more about us, click on a service location below:

And, if you’re looking for help with Fort Collins water heaters, then give our friends over at Lion Home Service a call today!

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