What Temperature Should a Hot Water Heater Be Set At?

13 July 2021


Although you may not give your water heater much thought, it is an essential component of your home’s plumbing system. Water that is either piping hot or ice cold can be the result of a malfunctioning water heater and increase your electricity bills. 

It’s critical to plan annual maintenance to ensure that your water heater is clean (hard water build-up can be harmful) and set to the proper temperature range.  This will help you save money, extend the life of your water heater, and keep you and your family healthy. 

What is the best temperature range for your water heater?

The temperature of your water heater should be adjusted between 50 and 60 degrees Celsius. Any higher or lower than this could be dangerous. 

While increasing the temperature over the suggested setting can cause burns, lowering it below the recommended setting can also be dangerous. Bacteria can grow in the water heater tank when the water is cooler. This can be dangerous for you and your family, putting you at risk for diseases like Legionnaires illness.

This is a kind of pneumonia, and the bacteria that causes it may grow in a water tank with temperatures ranging from 25 to 45 degrees Celsius. It should also be noted that this temperature range is the same for a gas water heater, electric water heater, and a tankless water heater.

When does a hot water heater need to be replaced? 

What is the normal temperature for domestic hot water?

The temperature of a domestic hot water cylinder thermostat should be between 60 and 65ºC. The thermostat will switch the boiler off once the water has reached the desired temperature, ensuring that no energy is wasted, and no water is heated needlessly. This will also be enough to kill bacteria such as Legionella. 

Not sure how to check your water heater temperature?

If you suspect your water heater is set at an inappropriate temperature — either too high or too low — call a plumber, who can quickly verify the setting with a special thermometer and make any required adjustments.

If you increase the temperature on the water tank but still don’t notice a difference in the water temperature, a professional can check for sediment accumulation and calcification in the hot water tank itself. If you hear hissing or sizzling noises, it’s possible that sediment has built up in the tank. A specialist can drain the tank and then scrape off any scale that has accumulated over time to solve the problem.

What are the factors that affect the water heater temperature setting?

There are numerous factors that influence the temperature of your hot water. They range from the sort of plumbing to the type of energy you use. Gas and electricity are two types of energy. The elements listed below describe the specifics of what influences the temperature of your water heater.


The essential mineral in this process is calcium, which forms limescale when minerals in hard water precipitate out of solution and adhere to surfaces. In high temperatures, this reaction occurs at a faster pace. As a result, the heating element in a boiler, or any other part of the house, is particularly vulnerable to limescale buildup.

The hottest areas of heating components accumulate the most limescale. The heating coil, for example, would be the most affected in a water heater. As a result of this procedure, the boiler may be damaged and need to be replaced. But why does limescale affect a heating element so much?

The fact that limescale functions as an insulator is the key factor that causes these problems. Heating efficiency is reduced by 7-10% for every 1mm of scale. Hard water has been found to impair the efficiency of heating systems by up to 50%, with a 4% reduction in efficiency for every 5 grains per gallon of hardness.


Insulating your hot water pipes lowers heat loss and can raise water temperature by 2°C–4°C, allowing you to lower your water temperature setting. You’ll also save water by not having to wait as long for hot water when you switch on a faucet or showerhead.

If you have an electric water heater, you should also consider insulating beneath the tank. A rigid piece of insulation (or bottom board) will minimize heat loss into the floor, potentially saving you another 4%–9% on water heating. It is best done when a new water heater is installed. 


The water in your water heater tank is rarely completely pure. If your area’s water is classed as hard, it contains a lot of dissolved minerals as well as sand and other debris. When the water sits and is heated, it all falls to the bottom of the tank.

Sediment can accumulate over time in the bottom of the tank, where the burner is normally located. This can cause your water heater to heat slowly or inefficiently, resulting in lukewarm water rather than hot water. Drain the heater tank and use a water softener to solve the problem.

Broken Coil

In most cases, electric water heaters contain two heating elements. If one of them fails, the other will have to work twice as hard to heat the water, making it less efficient.

If the water is always lukewarm, the problem is most likely the upper heating element. A supply of fully hot water that lasts only a few minutes indicates a problem with the bottom heating element. Regular inspection and maintenance will help to prevent damage, but if the issue has already arisen, hire an expert to test and replace the broken component.

Other Factors

Heat is lost along the route from the water heater to the faucets if they are located far apart in your home. You’ll lose even more heat if your pipes aren’t properly insulated. You may need to raise the temperature of your water heater above the recommended 60 degrees Celsius on occasion. If you heat your water above 60 degrees Celsius, you’ll need to check the temperature of your faucet on a regular basis. 

Water heater repair, replacement and installation

You have hot water tank problems?

The water heater in your home is critical for both your comfort and your health. Plomberie Prodrain’s licensed plumbers will ensure that your home or company’s plumbing systems are up to code and lawful. Work will be completed swiftly to ensure that your installations last as long as feasible.

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Feel free to contact us for any of your plumbing requirements whether they be residential, commercial or industrial.

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