The Great Water Heater Temperature Setting Debate

Much has been discussed over exactly what is an optimal water heater temperature level setting. Many sources, consisting of ENERGY STAR, offer the energy conserving elements of temperature levels of 120 degrees or lower. And yes, there are cost savings to be had, however realistically for those whose current setting is closer to the standard factory preset temperature of 140 degrees.

Conversely, fewer share info about the possibility of contracting Legionella bacteria with a lower setting, particularly with a temperature lower than 120 degrees. OSHA specifies some outstanding precautions for preventing this.

Valid conclusions are that it is something that each family should weigh in regards to potential health concerns mainly. For those with kids or with elderly people in the house, a higher setting can be a water scalding concern. Conversely, those susceptible to contracting respiratory infections, a higher setting ought to be used.

Views: 321

Tags: Debate, Heater, Nashville, Repair, Setting, TN, Temperature, Water

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Phil Luther on March 1, 2014 at 3:50am

Excellent questions Brad!  Let me share a document from the World Health Organization here that goes into much detail in terms of your first two questions.  I personally concur with final conclusion of saving energy from turning up the water heater setting.  I have young children so for me the risk of too high a setting is my determining factor on the topic.

Comment by Brad Cook on February 28, 2014 at 3:39pm

And what, exactly, is the risk of Legionella in your water supply? 

How does the Legionella get into your water heater (water supply)?

If 140 deg. is a burn hazard and a mixing valve is required (which often fail in HOT position), aren't you now contaminating your hot water with untreated (cold) water at the mixing valve?

I do not find any conclusive studies linking Legionella to domestic water systems in the US, particularly in private wells. In addition, according to the NIH (National Institute of Health), UV light is as effective as heat in killing Legionella bacteria. So why are we wasting so much energy cranking up our hot water temperature?

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Twitter

Latest Activity

Tom White posted a discussion

Home Energy Reader Survey

Home Energy wants to serve you better.  Please …See More
14 hours ago
George Matthews's event was featured

Proof is Possible Tour by the Home Performance Workshop at Truitt and White Lumber Conference Room

October 7, 2016 from 9am to 1pm
Building Energy Performance Testing is sponsoring the Proof is Possible Tour to come to the San…See More
20 hours ago
Profile IconAshley Noreuil, Fred Smith and Peter Moncada joined Home Energy Pros
23 hours ago
George Matthews commented on George Matthews's event Proof is Possible Tour by the Home Performance Workshop
"Here is the flyer for the Advanced Techniques and Tools in Home Performance Friday October 7th at…"
yesterday
George Matthews posted an event

Proof is Possible Tour by the Home Performance Workshop at Truitt and White Lumber Conference Room

October 7, 2016 from 9am to 1pm
Building Energy Performance Testing is sponsoring the Proof is Possible Tour to come to the San…See More
yesterday
George Matthews replied to George Matthews's discussion Shortridge 8400 Flowhood for A/C airflow testing in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"Here are the pics of the flowhood and airdata manometer"
Saturday
Sarah Holloway posted a photo
Friday
Joe Urycki added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

TEC blower door and UEI combustion analyzer for sale

For sale is one used TEC Minneapolis blower door system: Includes model 3 fan with rings A and B,…See More
Friday

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service