Adjusting the temperature of your water heater, whether it’s a gas or electric model, can help optimize the heat of your tap water and potentially lower utility bills. Here are step-by-step instructions for both types of heaters:
For Gas Water Heaters:
- Locate the control knob on your gas water heater, typically found near the bottom of the tank.
- You should see a dial with markings such as “Low,” “Medium,” and “High,” or it may display temperature degrees.
- To adjust the temperature, simply turn the dial. For energy efficiency and safety, it’s often recommended that your hot water heater is set around 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius). However, some households prefer setting the temperature up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for higher temperature water.
- Once adjusted, you may need to relight the pilot light following the instructions specific to your model.
- Allow a few hours for the water heater to heat water at the new setting before you test the water temperature.
For Electric Water Heaters:
- For safety, first turn off the power to the water heater from your home’s main circuit breaker.
- Remove the access panel cover on the side of your electric water heater with a screwdriver. Some models have two panels: an upper and a lower one.
- Pull back the insulation to reveal the thermostat.
- Use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the temperature. As with a gas water heater, it’s generally recommended to set it between 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After you adjust the temperature, replace the insulation and the access panel cover.
- Restore the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker.
- Wait a few hours for the water heater to heat water to the new temperature before you test the tap water.
Remember, setting the temperature too high can risk scalding and increase utility bills, so adjust cautiously. And always test the water temperature after adjusting the settings to ensure it’s at a comfortable and safe level.
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