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3 Reasons To Turn Down Your Water Heater Temperature

Water Heater Temperature Gauge

Most water heater manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140ºF, but most households usually only require them to be set at 120ºF. Granted, there is nothing more soothing on a cold day than a hot shower to take off the winter chill. We all know how wonderful that can feel. But there are justifiable benefits why you should lower the temperature on your home’s water heater. Here are the three most important reasons why you should consider turning down your water heater temperature and how to do it.


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if set too high, or at 140ºF, your water heater can waste $ annually in standby heat losses. Standby loss is the heat lost from the water heater into the environment.

The average household with a water heater temperature set to 140 degrees losses up to $61 annually in standby heat loss. If you opt to lower your water heater temperature, additional savings can come from the reduced energy required to heat the same amount of water to 120 degrees instead of 140 degrees.


If you are using the manufacturer’s default temperature setting of 140 degrees- you are at risk for scalding. Exposure to water at a temperature of 140 degrees can cause severe scalding in as little as 5 seconds of exposure. This is especially dangerous in homes with small children, the elderly, or others who may not be agile enough to quickly react to scalding water. Consider dialing back your water heater temperature to 120 degrees to minimize that risk.


Sediment buildup in your home’s water heater is a big factor in water heater tank corrosion that can shorten the life of your unit. Water above 120 degrees accelerates the accumulation of hard water mineral sediment, especially common calcium carbonate, inside the tank. Sediment accumulation is a trigger for water heater tank corrosion and shortens the expected service life of the entire unit. A layer of sediment in the tank also causes the burner to run longer to heat water, increasing fuel consumption operating costs. Sediment buildup can also cause your water heater to work harder and need more energy to operate.


Lowering the temperature on your water heater is an easy task.

  1. Read your water heater’s instruction manual to find your water heater’s thermostat and operation instructions. Locate the thermostat dial: Gas water heater tanks have dials near the bottom of the tank. Electric water heaters often have thermostats positioned behind screw-on panels. There might be two dials if your electric water heater has upper and lower heating elements and both will need adjusting.
  2. Discover the current temperature of your water at its hottest point by testing a faucet located the farthest away from the water heater with a thermometer.
  3. Turn down the control on your water heater if the water temperature registers higher than 120 degrees.
  4. Retest the same faucet after waiting a few hours.
  5. Repeat the steps to get the water to the desired temperature. When you’re satisfied, mark the final temperature on the dial so you can easily change the setting again in the future.

Schedule Water Heater Services with Auger Pros Plumbing

Whether you need help adjusting the water heater temperature, or you want to schedule water heater repair or replacement, trust Auger Pros Plumbing. We’ll help you save by performing water heater service repair , when able, or replacing your water heater when it reaches the end of its lifespan. Call Auger Pros Professionals today! 214-206-6580