June 13, 2024


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How to Adjust Water Heater Temperature?

How to Adjust Water Heater Temperature?

Do you want to know how to adjust the water heater temperature?

Adjusting the right water heater temperature is not only for comfort as you can also save a lot of money. If you reside in cold areas and the winter is just around the corner, nothing can irritate you as much as cold water coming from the water heater.

Apart from all such scenarios, it can also be harmful to you. Don’t worry if you are dealing with this situation because this guide will assist you how to adjust the temperature in the easiest way.

How to Adjust Water Heater Temperature?

  1. Firstly, examine whether you need to change the settings of your water heater or not.
  2. Now adjust the temperature by turning off the power supply for your safety.
  3. The normal temperature for any water heater is 120 °F or 140 °F.
  4. Get rid of the access panel and insulation in order to reach the thermostat control setting.
  5. You will find out a screw that you need to twist counterclockwise to increase the temperature and clockwise to decrease the temperature.
  6. Once done, do not forget to test the water by using a cooking thermometer.


Adjusting the Water Heater Temperature Setting

You are in an alarming situation if the water heater’s temperature is too low or too high. You must know how to keep a balance so that you get warm water in winter without getting a lot of bills.

You do not need to call someone for this purpose as it can be done at home with a little attention. Below is the method that defines how you can do it in a perfect way. The steps include:

The first step is to examine whether your water heater needs any type of adjustment or not. Whenever you install a new water heater, they are mostly set to 120 °F temperature which is normal and should not exceed for safety reasons.

Examine the Water Heater

Moreover, in order to protect yourself and your family members from different unpleasant accidents, better leave it alone.

If you witness cold water then the issue might be due to any damaged water heater elements or the problem might be due to poor insulation. In such a case, a plumber can guide you to the actual cause because you are not a pro at it.

Turn the Knob of the Water Heater

There are two different types of water heaters including a gas water heater and an electric water heater. If you are using a gas water heater it will be easy for you to set the temperature just by turning the knob that is located at the bottom.

If you turn up the water heater knob counterclockwise, it will heat up the water and if you will do it clockwise, the water will cool down. Normally the lowest temperature of a gas water heater is 90–110 °F and the highest temperature is 140–150 °F.

The knob or a dial doesn’t contain any numbering so it will be difficult for you to set it at the required temperature. For this purpose, you can examine the temperature a few times after changing the settings as it will give you a clear idea.

Increase the Temperature

There is nothing more soothing than being able to enjoy warm water at a cold temperature. Not only for bathing but you also need warm water for cleaning purposes. Your dirty appliances that need a good wash can be thoroughly cleaned with warm water.

Hot water can better deal with bacteria and let you get rid of them as compared to cold water. Hence, never enhance the temperature above 120 degrees because it can be dangerous, especially for your kids.

Decrease the Temperature

Have you experienced high heating bills but don’t know the exact reason? It is mainly due to the high temperature of your water heater that resulted in high bills. It is always great to set them at the normal range especially if no one is using water.

Now you have fully examined the water heater, if there is any adjustment needed, follow the below steps.

Adjust the Temperature

Turn off the Power

Before jumping into any electrical work, the first task is to turn off the main supply to avoid unpleasant accidents. Once you have tuned it off, double-check because you can not take any risk.

Eliminate the Access Panel

With the help of a flat-blade screwdriver, loosen the two screws that will be located at the bottom and top of the panel in order to access it. Once you are successful at it, carefully place the panel and do not misplace the screws otherwise you will be in a trouble.

Eliminate the Insulation

In order to reach the water heater thermostat controls, you have to remove the insulation that is placed inside the water heater to cover the thermostat. This insulation comprises styrofoam material.

Change the Settings

You will clearly see the settings of the water heater once you reach the thermostat control. If you want to decrease the temperature, you can turn the screw counterclockwise but if you want to increase the temperature, you can turn it clockwise.

Once you are done, put everything back at the right pace including the panel and screws, and double-check whether everything is tightly fixed or not. Once done, turn on the heater.

It is important to test the water heater temperature in order to know whether you have successfully completed the task or need a plumber. For this purpose:

Take a Hot Water Glass

Turn on the tap and let the water run for at least a minute. Now get your hands on the glass and fill it with water. If you want to get an accurate result, it is better to pre-heat the container.

Use a Cooking Thermometer to Check the Temperature

Before adding hot water to a glass, ensure you have already prepared the cooking thermometer because the water might cool down if you let it wait for even some seconds.

Cooking Thermometer to Check the Temperature

Once you have checked the temperature, do not forget to note it down in order to get the perfect temperature setting. If the temperature is 120 °F, you do not need to change the settings but if it is above or below this rating, repeat the above-mentioned process.

Retest the Temperature

After making the changes, you have to retest the temperature after at least 3 hours. While doing this work, be concerned about all the safety precautions in order to fully protect yourself.

The Correct Temperature Range

There are numerous reasons that depict why you should pay special consideration to adjusting the water heater temperature.

Keeping the water heater temperature setting too low invites Legionella bacteria and you will never experience the water warmer, especially in a cold environment. Hence, the ideal temperature where you should keep your water heater is 120 or 140 degrees.

On the other hand, too hot water can also cause different issues especially if you have elder people or kids at home. Moreover, the sudden spike in bills will also leave you surprised.

In some situations, you can not keep the temperature at 120 or even 140 degrees because every house is different. You better know what temperature will be suitable so do your own analysis and balance it carefully.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

We have a lot more information to cover in this guide as there are a few frequently asked questions that people are curious to know. Let’s have a look at those queries below.

Is 130 Too Hot for a Water Heater?

No, 12o or 140 degrees is the normal temperature of the water heater and according to the recommendations, you should always keep the temperature in between these figures.

However, it also depends on different factors, and sometimes you have to increase the temperature.

How Do I Make My Water Heater Water Hotter?

If you are finding it tough to get warm water even in winter, check for any damaged element or insulation pipe. If they are working fine, you can turn the knob counterclockwise in order to get the warm water. The process is already mentioned in this article.

What Temperature Should a Hot Water Tank Be Set at?

The average temperature where you should set your water heater is 120 degrees to 140 degrees. If the temperature is above or below the figures, follow the steps mentioned above and keep a proper balance in order to avoid any accidents.

Can You Control the Temperature in the Water Heater?

If you have a gas water heater at home it will be easy for you to control the settings. All you have to do is twist the knob located at the bottom of the water heater. You can also control an electric water heater’s temperature with a bit of complexity.


I hope this guide has helped you enough to understand how to adjust the water heater temperature. It is important to keep an eye on your water heater because if the temperature is too high or too low, you can be in trouble.

You do not need a plumber every time you do electrical work as with a bit of care, you can perform this task at home with proper safety measures. I have mentioned all the important points that you should examine while doing this process.

Hence, if you have been finding it challenging to change the settings of your heater, this article will fully assist you in this manner. Follow the steps and save some cost by doing this DIY work.