Knowing the right temperature for your water heater can be a major household problem especially when you consider the potential risks that are associated with the two extreme temperatures, that is, very cold and very hot. Actually, there is no standard temperature for your water heater as there are various situations that call for varying water temperatures.

Low and high temperatures

Before setting any temperature, it is important that you get to know the risks associated with both low and high temperatures in water heating systems.

First, it is obvious that high temperatures can be dangerous especially when you have unsupervised children at your home. High water temperatures can cause burns and scalds, a very unfortunate situation. Therefore, it is important to always make sure your system has been set at a good temperature to avoid such cases.

Even though setting low temperatures can prevent cases of burns and scalds, low temperatures can also lead to other problems. Low temperatures create a suitable environment for the development and survival of legionellae bacteria that causes legionnaires’ disease. At low temperatures, this bacteria multiplies faster thus putting you and others at a great risk of getting legionnaires’ disease.

What is the ideal temperature setting?

With these two factors in mind, we are left with the big question, what is the best temperature setting for water heaters? OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) and most manufacturers of water heating systems recommend that you set your water heater at around 120 degrees to help prevent scalding, development of legionellae bacteria and most importantly, to save energy. OSHA also advises that your thermostat should be set at 140 degrees occasionally to eliminate all pathogens including legionellae bacteria. When it comes to water heating, there is also the aspect of energy cost. Make sure that you set it at a temperature that will serve you right while your energy costs concerns are also put into consideration.


In conclusion, we can see that neither high nor low water heating system temperatures are ideal. When you set it at high temperature you risk getting burn and scalds while at low temperature you risk getting legionnaires’ disease. In case you are not sure of how you will set your water heating system temperature, it is advisable that you seek the services of a professional, in this case a qualified plumber. Fortunately, we are here to help, give us a call today and we will be glad to assist you in setting the right temperature for your water heating system.

Call our offices today at(941) 845-6711 to schedule a quote with Bill The Plumber!