Risks of Setting Water Heater Temperature Too Low or Too High

person adjusting water heater temperature

As simple as it might appear, the temperature setting on your water heater can impact your energy bills, safety, and overall comfort levels. Setting your water heater’s temperature too high or too low can pose many risks that homeowners often overlook. To avoid these potential hazards as well as costly water heater repair in Corvallis, OR, our experts at Linn Benton Plumbing explore what can happen when the temperature on your water heater is not set correctly.

Dialing Down Water Heater Temperature: How Low is Too Low?

While you may think setting your hot water heater temperature to a lower level will save energy and reduce your monthly bills, this approach has several drawbacks. One of the major risks is bacterial growth. Water stored below 120 degrees Fahrenheit can breed harmful bacteria, including Legionella, which can cause a severe form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease.

In addition, a lower temperature setting can lead to mineral buildup in your water heater tank. This sediment accumulation not only reduces the efficiency of your appliance but also increases its vulnerability to corrosion and leaks.

The Dangers of Setting Water Heater Temperature Too High

On the other hand, turning up the temperature on your water heater can also pose its own risks, including scalding injuries. This is something to be especially mindful of if you have children, elderly individuals, or those with sensitive skin in your household. When the temperature is above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes only a few seconds to cause a serious burn.

A higher temperature setting can also increase the risk of pressure buildup in the tank, leading to potential explosions or leaks. It can also put extra strain on your appliance, causing it to wear out faster and leaving you with a broken hot water heater that requires frequent repairs.

Ideal Water Heater Temperature

So, what is the right temperature setting for your water heater? During water heater installation, we recommend setting the temperature between 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a safe and comfortable temperature that minimizes the risk of bacterial growth while preventing scalding injuries and prolonging your water heater’s lifespan.

Linn Benton Plumbing is your trusted source for water heater services in Corvallis, OR and the surrounding areas. We’re always ready to help you keep your water heater running efficiently and safely through professional installation, repairs, or maintenance. Contact us today to schedule a service visit.

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