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: 346

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?

Featured Forum Discussions

Lighting replacement - 300 watt LED flood light

Started by Mary Sinkler in General Forum. Last reply by Dennis Heidner 8 hours ago. 2 Replies

Glass Block Windows

Started by Ken Kalke in Best Practices. Last reply by Sean Lintow Sr on Saturday. 1 Reply

What's the Most Profitable HVAC Job for Your Company?

Started by Wayne Melancon in HVAC. Last reply by Ken Kalke on Friday. 1 Reply

EZ Green Home is Hiring!

Started by Chloe Chapman in General Forum Jan 5. 0 Replies

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Dennis Heidner replied to Mary Sinkler's discussion Lighting replacement - 300 watt LED flood light
"Have you looked how much light you need in the backyard and where you need the light?  Often a…"
8 hours ago
Nate Adams liked tedkidd's discussion Home Performance is Failing - let's turn that around?
12 hours ago
Nate Adams replied to tedkidd's discussion Home Performance is Failing - let's turn that around?
"Ira, you're not alone. Here in Cleveland the gas company uses their own auditors, it killed…"
12 hours ago
Nate Adams replied to tedkidd's discussion Home Performance is Failing - let's turn that around?
"Website is finally up, albeit still imperfect. You can check out the very detailed case studies.…"
13 hours ago
Paul Mausteller liked Bruce Fillmore's photo
13 hours ago
tedkidd replied to tedkidd's discussion Home Performance is Failing - let's turn that around?
"Thank you Ira! We need more stories like yours to hold the evidence of harm to the faces of…"
13 hours ago
Profile IconPaul Mausteller, Mark Freeman and Bruce Fillmore joined Home Energy Pros
13 hours ago
Ira Eisenstein replied to tedkidd's discussion Home Performance is Failing - let's turn that around?
"I have been a home inspector since 2003 and evolved into energy related issues and became a home…"
16 hours ago

Home Energy Pros

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (supported by the U.S. Department of Energy) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network. Please honor our Guidelines

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service