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What is the Ideal Hot Water Tank Temperature?

I am someone that likes things HOT.  I do not even like to drink coffee if it reaches a lukewarm temperature, and I prefer for the water in the shower to be extra steamy.  In the past, we have had issues in our home with our water not feeling warm enough and have discovered that it is due to the temperature on the hot water tank being set too low.  This, of course, leads to the question:

What is the ideal hot water tank temperature?

As with most things, the answer is:  it depends.

The temperature setting of your hot water heater is not just about how you prefer your showers.  You also want to consider gas or electric bill amounts, child safety, and keeping your home clean and sanitized.

What do the experts say?

Most hot water heaters come with a factory setting of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the OSHA recommended temperature for sanitation and prevention of Legionnaire’s Disease (a disease caused by the growth of the bacteria, Legionella).

However, the US Environmental Protection Agency suggests turning down the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for energy and money savings.

The Mayo Clinic also suggests a temperature setting of 120 degrees–especially if you have young children in your home–in order to prevent scalds and burns.

Every home is different

What should you do?  Every home and business is different.  This includes the needs of the family as well as the structure of the house–both of which will impact what temperature your hot water heater tank should be set at.

For example, depending where faucets are located in the home, and whether or not the pipes are insulated, water temperature can decrease significantly by the time the water actually reaches you.

Where you choose to set your water heater temperature should be a decision based on what your home and family need, however we can say for certain that it should be in between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Looking for more information about hot water heaters or our other residential plumbing services?  Contact us at FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical!

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