Hand setting temperature for the water heater

What Temperature for Water Heater?

A critical factor determining the efficiency of a water heater is the temperature setting. The right temperature for your water heater ensures an adequate hot water supply and helps save energy and reduce utility bills.

In this article, we will explore the ideal temperature range for different types of water heaters and discuss the factors that affect water temperature.

Best Water Heater Temperature to Save Money This Winter

During winter, water heaters work harder to provide hot water, which can lead to higher energy bills. Therefore, we recommend adjusting the water heater temperature to an optimal setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save money.

Also, the Department of Energy suggests setting the water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

This setting reduces energy consumption, prevents scalding accidents, and extends the water heater’s lifespan. In addition, insulating the water heater tank and pipes can reduce heat loss and improve efficiency.

However, setting the water heater temperature too low can promote bacterial growth, while setting it too high can be dangerous and increase energy consumption.

What Temperature Should a Hot Water Heater Be Set At?

Adjusting temperature of a tankless water heater

The water temperature in the heater is a critical factor affecting its efficiency and performance. The ideal temperature for a water heater varies depending on the type of heater and its intended use.

For instance, a water heater used for bathing and cleaning should have a temperature of about 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature below 120 degrees Fahrenheit suits cooking and other domestic uses.

Factors such as the water heater tank size, the type of water heater, and the presence of cold water inflow, which we will discuss in the following paragraphs, will affect the water temperature.

Electric water heaters typically have a thermostat to regulate the water temperature, while gas water heaters have a gas valve that controls the temperature.

Factors That Affect Hot Water Temperature Setting

Various factors can influence the temperature setting of a water heater, and they are;

Type of Water Heater

One of the primary factors is the type of water heater. For instance, tankless water heaters may provide a different temperature setting than conventional tank-style water heaters due to their other heating mechanisms.

Size of the Water Heater Tank

A larger tank may require a higher temperature setting to ensure a steady hot water supply, while a smaller tank may require a lower temperature to avoid overheating.

Cold Water Temperature

The cold water temperature entering the water heater can also impact the temperature setting. The water heater may need a higher temperature setting in colder climates to compensate for the lower incoming water temperature.

Intended Use of the Hot Water

The temperature setting may need to be adjusted based on whether the hot water is primarily used for bathing, cooking, or cleaning.

General Recommended Electric Water Heater Temperature

The temperature setting of an electric water heater can significantly impact energy usage and costs. The generally recommended water heater temperature for optimal efficiency and safety is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also recommends this temperature setting to prevent scalding.

However, the temperature setting may vary depending on the type of water heater. For instance, a tankless water heater may require a higher temperature setting to provide hot water quickly. Conversely, a conventional tank-style water heater may need a lower temperature setting to avoid overheating.

It’s also important to consider the hot water tap’s temperature setting and the water heater’s cost. If the hot water tap is set too high, it can waste energy and increase the risk of scalding.

Solutions to Common Hot Water Tank Problems

Hot water coming from shower head

No Hot Water

If there’s no hot water coming from the faucet, the first thing to check is the pilot light or heating element. If it’s out, relight the pilot or replace the heating element.

In case there’s still no hot water, it may be a problem with the thermostat, in which case you may need to call a professional.

Not Enough Hot Water

If there’s not enough hot water, it could be due to an undersized tank or high demand. You may need to upgrade to a larger tank or consider a tankless water heater. If the tank is sized correctly, but there’s still not enough hot water, it could be a problem with the thermostat or heating element.


If you notice water pooling around the base of your tank or leaking from the top or bottom, you may leak. A loose or damaged connection, a corroded tank, or a malfunctioning pressure relief valve could cause this. You should call a professional to diagnose and fix the issue.

Strange Noises

If your tank makes unusual noises, such as popping or cracking, it could be due to sediment buildup. Flushing the tank and removing the sediment may solve the problem. However, if the noise persists, it could be due to a malfunctioning heating element or a faulty thermostat.

Rusty Water

If your hot water looks rusty or discolored, it could be due to sediment buildup or corrosion inside the tank. Flushing the tank and replacing the anode rod may solve the issue. However, if the problem persists, you may need to replace the tank.


The ideal temperature for your water heater depends on your personal preferences and household needs.

Setting the temperature too high can waste energy and increase the risk of burns, while setting it too low can result in bacterial growth.

It’s essential to find the right balance and regularly check and adjust your water heater’s temperature to ensure optimal performance and safety.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?


The Link Is Copied To Clipboard

Leave a Comment