Controlling water temperature in your home is important for several reasons. First and foremost is safety: Statistics show that more than 85% of scalding incidents occur in the home when using standard household hot water right out of the faucet, shower, or tub. Another reason is comfort. Nobody likes to endure that long, long wait for cold water to finally turn warm as it comes from the tap on a chilly winter day. Finally, water temperature is related to monthly operating costs as well as water heater shelf life. Water temperature set too high may cause the water heater to cycle on and off more frequently, increasing gas or electrical consumption, as well as accelerating wear and tear on the heater tank and the burner.
Here are some helpful suggestions about controlling water temperature in your home:
- Observe safe temperature limits. 120 degrees is the generally recognized safe limit for water temperature in most homes. However, where small children — and/or elderly persons — reside, a slightly lower temperature may be even more safe.
- Verify water temperature at fixtures. Don’t rely entirely on the water-heater thermostat setting. Use an accurate cooking thermometer to measure the temperature of hot water coming out of the tap at fixtures at various locations throughout the house.
- Don’t assume the thermostat is set correctly. New water heaters may come from the factory with the thermostat set to a much higher water temperature than is safe — often around 140 degrees. Check the thermostat setting on a new water heater and adjust accordingly before contacting hot water.
- Insulate adequately. To reduce heat loss and optimize water-heater efficiency, place insulated, foam pipe sleeves on all accessible spans of hot-water pipes in the house. Also, consider installing an insulated blanket on the water heater too.
- Get regular maintenance. Have a qualified plumber flush the sediment from the water-heater tank at least once a year. This supports accurate heater temperature control and efficiency, plus prevents early failure of the tank due to internal corrosion.
For more information about controlling water temperature in your home this winter, ask the professionals at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc.