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Water heaters give us the luxury of a hot water temperature for cleaning, cooking, bathing, and other chores and purposes. Residents in Charleston, South Carolina, and the surrounding areas frequently wonder what the ideal water heater temperature is. Most people seem to enjoy a hot shower, but it’s important to consider the appropriate temperature for a hot water heater.

But it’s not just about having extra hot water. It’s also about finding a balance between energy efficiency, safety, and the lifespan of the plumbing system in your house. Either way, choosing the proper water heater setting for your tank or tankless water heater can have a big impact on expenses and comfort for you and the other members of your household. Contact the licensed plumbing experts at LimRic to learn more.

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Recommended Water Heater Temperature Settings

Many experts, including the U. S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, recommend that your water heater be set to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is an energy-efficient compromise between having hot enough water for showers and dishes. But other homes could choose to turn it up a little bit, particularly in the winter.

There are various benefits to setting your water heater to 120 degrees. First of all, it’s a temperature that lowers the chance of scalding, which is crucial in houses with small children or elderly residents. Second, at this temperature, you’re less likely to encourage the growth of germs like Legionella in your water tank.

Tankless water heaters reduce the chance of standing water, but they can still burn and cause skin irritation. Temperature setting is independent of pipe type, heating technique (gas or electric), and system type (tank or tankless). But when deciding on a temperature, there are a number of things to take into account.

Things to Consider When Choosing Water Heater Temperature

When to Consider 120 Degrees Fahrenheit

  • Water temperature is crucial for safety and energy efficiency. Young babies can easily burn in just two seconds of exposure to water at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Elderly homeowners are also prone to burns and injuries.
  • Smaller homes with fewer people can use lower temperatures because they won’t need as much hot water overall.

When To Consider 140 Degrees Fahrenheit

  • Individuals with suppressed immune systems or respiratory diseases may require hotter water temperatures to kill bacteria and create steam in the air during showering. If no younger children are present, a water temperature of no higher than 140 degrees is recommended.
  • Pre-heating dishwashers are becoming popular for better sanitary cleaning. If you have a pre-heating system, consider upgrading or replacing it. If not, adjust the water heater temperature to 140 degrees.
  • The number of people in a home affects showering temperature preferences, with hotter showers requiring a higher ratio of hot-to-cold water and cooler showers requiring a lower ratio. Large homes with multiple people should set higher water temperatures to prolong the hot water supply.
adjusting-water-heater What Temperature Should a Water Heater Be Set At?

Energy Efficiency & Costs

Many people are unaware that water heaters account for 14 to 18% of total energy consumption in a home. Simply lowering the temperature by 10 degrees Fahrenheit can save 3 to 5% of that amount. Legionella can withstand temperatures of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure you’re aware of your risk tolerance when aiming for your energy consumption target. 

If you’re unsure, try adjusting the temperature using a thermometer or a water tank booster. A water tank booster maintains the tank temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent germs. This hot water then mixes with cold water to provide a lower temperature at the faucet. Balancing health safety with scorching risk is more complicated than simply setting a temperature and forgetting about it.

Professional Water Heater Services in Charleston, SC

LimRic provides unparalleled water heater and tankless water heater services to the residents of Charleston, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, and other surrounding areas of South Carolina. Our commitment is unwavering as we strive to provide exceptional service that exceeds expectations at competitive prices. Our customers compliment us on our licensed expertise and professionalism. We believe in going the extra mile to meet your plumbing needs quickly and efficiently. You can count on us to do the job right, from water heater installation to emergency services.

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