Setting the Correct Temperature for Your Hot Water Heater

Correct Temperature for Your Water Heater

If you move into a new home, apartment, or office the last thing on your mind is checking and/or adjusting the temperature of the hot water heater. This is not a priority; however, it should be since your water heater accounts for almost 20% of your home’s energy bill. Having a water heater set too high can increase your monthly bill, setting it too low can put you and your family at risk for bacteria growth. The EPA recommends a temperature of 120 degrees. This temperature is recommended for 3 reasons:

  1. It is not hot enough for scalding.
  2. This temperature will keep bacteria and diseases at bay.
  3. 120 degrees will provide enough hot water to the average American family, while being relatively energy efficient.

The recommended temperature set by the EPA may not be the best for you and your family, so we have listed a few factors that can affect how hot or cold you may need to set your water heater.

Factors That Will Affect How You Set Your Hot Water Heater’s Temperature

Your plumbing systems (PVC, PEX or Copper) will not have any bearing on the temperature you choose. Nor will the type of water heater you have (Electric, Gas or Tankless Water Heaters). Rather the variables that will affect how you determine water temperature are based more on personal factors.

  • Do you have a dishwasher that does not have a pre-heat cycle? If so, you will want to set your water heater temperature to 140 degrees.
  • Are you caring for small children or elderly parents? If so, you will want to keep the temperature at 120 degrees. A water heater set to 140 degrees can scald a child in five seconds and one set at 150 degrees can give a child 3rd degree burns in just two seconds.
  • Does anyone in your home have respiratory issues or are immune-deficient? Is so you will want to keep the hot water heater set to 140 degrees.
  • Do you live alone? If you are looking to be more economical and save money we recommend setting your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Every 10 degrees you lower your hot water heater thermometer decreases your energy bill by 3 to 5 percent.

Still unsure how hot you should set your water heater? We recommend setting it to 120 degrees and slowly increase the temperature until you find a temperature you are satisfied with.

What’s the Current Temperature?

You can find the current temperature setting on a standard electric water heater by removing the top and bottom panels located on the front of your water heater. Prior to removing these panels, we recommend shutting off the power to the water heater so you don’t shock yourself. If you don’t want to mess with the water heater you can get a reading from a faucet. Turn on the hot water tap and let it run for a few minutes prior to taking a temperature reading. Either of these methods will provide you with your current hot water temperature.

Professional Plumbing Services

If you do not feel comfortable in checking or making adjustments to your hot water heater thermometer contact Metro-Rooter today. We specialize in water heater replacement and repairs. Since 1978 Metro-Rooter has been helping residential and commercial customers with all of their plumbing needs. As one of the largest and most trusted plumbers in Jacksonville we have the resources and the equipment to handle any job large or small.

If you feel your hot water heater is not working properly or need us to trouble-shoot an issue, contact us today at (904) 695-1911.

When Should You Repair or Replace Your Hot Water Heater?

Have you ever gotten up in the morning ready to start your day and rather than being able to take a nice warm shower, you figure out real quick you are going to have to shower in icy water? Or you may have found a nice puddle of water in your garage. If you have ever experienced any of these situations, not only can it be extremely frustrating but your very next thought is “how much will this cost me?” You now have to decide should I call someone to repair my water heater or just bite the bullet and have it replaced?  Below are several factors that will help you make an informed decision prior to calling a licensed plumber in Jacksonville FL that you can trust.

Common Water Heater Problems:

1. No Hot Water
2. Insufficient Hot Water
3. Leaking Water Storage Tank
4. Rust Colored Water
5. Low Water Pressure
6. Leaking Pipe Connection

If you are looking to troubleshoot the water heater yourself, please make sure you take the proper safety precautions by turning off the circuit breaker or fuse powering the water heater.Now let’s review each common problem and the potential reasons for experiencing each.

  1. No Hot Water– if you are experiencing no hot water there are a few potential reasons this could be occurring:
    a. Lack of power to heating elements due to tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse handling water heater circuit
    b. Defective electric thermostat
    c. Defective upper electric heating element
  2. Insufficient Hot Water– the water is luke warm or does not stay hot for long periods of time could indicate the following:
    a. Water heater may be undersized for your home.
    b. Crossed connections for cold and hot water due to faulty plumbing installation.
    c. Faulty electric lower or upper heating element or high or low heating element thermostat. (A constant supply of lukewarm water during a shower is indicative of a defective upper heating element. Short duration hot water supply during a shower is indicative of a defective lower heating element).
  3. Leaking Water Storage Tank– if you notice water coming out of the tank, puddling in your garage, below are the most common reasons:
    a. Corrosion of the tank
    b. Leak from plumbing connection
    c. Loose heating element bolts or faulty gasket
    d. Defective Temperature & Pressure Valve (T&P) Valve
  4. Rust Colored Waterwater having a rust color is due to:
    a. Corrosion within glass lined tank.
    b. Sacrificial Anode Rod is failing (this can also cause a rotten odor smell in your tank)
  5. Water Pressure Low – this could occur due to the following reasons:
    a. Water Heater Dip Tube went bad, causing white or gray sediment to build up in faucet strainers
    b. Hard Water Build Up

As with all water heaters, they will eventually break or need to be replaced. Most hot water heaters have a life span of about 10-12 years. If your water heater is only a few years old, repair will probably be the best option.

If the tank is over ten years old and it is leaking, a new water tank is more than likely in your future. Over time, water minerals react with steel, corroding the tank. Once a water heater tank springs a leak, it has to be replaced. If you have to purchase a new water heater, the newer tanks are twenty percent more efficient, thus saving you money over the life of the water heater. New glass liners also make water heaters less prone to corrosion.

If you are in the market for a tank less water heater, heat pump, or solar water heater, these options are more costly upfront, but they offer a longer lifespan of up to thirty years. You may also qualify for a tax incentive with your investment.

Water Heater Contractor

If you are having a problem with your water heater or are in need or a replacement call our Jacksonville Plumbers today. At Metro-Rooter our professional plumbers will assess your hot water heater and provide you with the most cost effective and honest solution to your problem. Call us today for all of your hot water heater problems (904) 695-1911.

Is Your Water Heater Tripping The Reset Button?

Most of us never think about our water heaters until there is a problem. There are many issues that can arise with a water heater, we will focus on the issues related to the reset button continuously tripping. There are a few problems that may arise causing your water heater to overheat. If this happens your water heaters emergency cut off (ECO) will kick in and shut off the appliance. To reset your water heater, you will need to press the red reset button located on the ECO, typically found on the thermostat on top.

If this continuously occurs, you will need to contact a Jacksonville plumber to inspect your water heater. The constant tripping is a good sign the water in the tank is extremely hot. This is typically caused by a faulty component. The problem will not fix itself and you will need a professional to come in to find out the issue and replace the faulty part. Below are some common causes for your water heaters constant tripping.

Bad Thermostat

Your water heater has two heating elements. One at the top and one at the bottom of the tank. The thermostats control the heating elements that heat up the water in the tank. When the water reaches the desired temperature, the thermostat should turn off the heating element. However, when if one or both of the thermostats goes bad the heating element will remain on, constantly heating the water in the tank eventually tripping the ECO.

Bad Heating Element

Nothing lasts forever, that includes your water heaters heating elements. Often times the heating elements will just stopping working. However, there are instances where an electrical short in the heating element can cause it to receive power. When this occurs even if the thermostat tries to shut is down when the water reaches the desired temperature, it won’t. In turn producing extremely hot water that will eventually trip your ECO.


ECO’s are also susceptible to failure. They can fail due to constant tripping or just overall wear and tear with age. If the ECO fails you will need to get it replaced.

Faulty Wiring

There are instances where your thermostat, ECO and heating elements are all working properly but a loose wire within the tank is causing the issue. This can be dangerous due to the potential for a fire hazard. If you suspect you have faulty wiring, contact a professional plumber to inspect your water heater.

Why Choose Metro-Rooter?

Regardless of the issue constant tripping of your water heater’s ECO needs to be inspected and fixed. If you are having issues with your water heater contact Metro-Rooter today and schedule an appointment with one of our highly qualified technicians.

Whether you need your water heater replaced or repaired Metro-Rooter is one of the most trusted names in Jacksonville. We have been serving Jacksonville residents and businesses for over 30 years. If you have a water heater issue call us today (904) 695-1911.

Water Heater Replacement

All of us have water heaters, but most of us don’t think about our water heater until we have a problem. Below we have listed some things to consider if you are looking to either maintain or replace your water heater.

Maintaining Your Water Heater

All of us take our water heater for granted, until we have to take a cold shower. To extend the life of your water heater you should perform regular maintenance throughout the year. Most of the tasks are easy. Below we have listed some DIY tasks you can perform to extend the life of your water heater.

  • Lower the temperature:Look at the tanks thermostat, if it is set to the default 140 degrees, lower it to 120 degrees. This is a one-time task which will help with your utility bill and prevent your unit from overheating.
  • Test your T & P valve:The valve on top of your unit helps relieve pressure in the event there is too much built up. To test the valve lift it up and let is snap back in place. You should hear gurgling water. If the valve fails to snap back or you do not hear gurgling have it replaced.
  • Do a flush:To remove sediment from the bottom of your water heater tank and to help your heating efficiency you should drain several gallons from your tank.

Replacing Your Water Heater

If you start to notice issues with your water heater, especially if it is old that should be a good indicator that you should have it replaced. As of April, 16th 2015 there were new energy efficiency standards that went into effect. So what does this mean and how will these new standards affect you?

  • Unit Cost/Installation Cost Increases: New technology is always more expensive, but they will provide you with more heating efficiency. The cost increase is between 20-40% more than the standard models. This also increases the cost of installation based on equipment size and the complexity of the installation.
  • Utility Bills Decrease:With the new energy efficiency standards you will have a decrease in your electric bills. On average you can save up to 16% or more with your electric bills.

New Installation

No one likes to pay for plumbing repair is new installation services. We completely understand, however a water heater is a necessity. If you need your water heater repaired or replaced contact Metro-Rooter today. We will look at your problem and let you know the best option for you based on your budget and needs. We will always work with you and provide you with honest feedback and the most economical route to take.

Regardless of your plumbing emergency Metro-Rooter is the plumbing company Jacksonville residents have trusted for over 30 years. If you need your water heater repaired or are in need of a new one to be installed, contact us today (904) 695.1911. We are available 24/7 for all of your plumbing needs.