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Water Heater Thermostat Temperature: What Should I Set Mine At?

setting water heater temperature middlesex county norfolk county

If we asked you for ideas on how to save energy at home, one of the first that might come to mind is lowering the thermostat setting on your home heating system. But there’s another thermostat in your home that can also help you save money: your water heating thermostat.

When most water heater manufacturers set their thermostats, they use a default setting of 140 degrees – a temperature that is hot enough to scald, and higher than most people need. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a 120°F setting is more than enough to slow mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes while keeping your water supply safe to use. By dropping the thermostat on your water heater by 20 degrees, you’ll burn less heating oil, saving money in the process.


While most people can get by setting their thermostat to 120°, certain homeowners should keep to 140°. For example, if in the house has a suppressed immune system, a 140-degree setting is preferred to prevent water-borne health risks. Also, if your dishwasher doesn’t pre-heat water, you might want to maintain the higher temperature.

Checking and changing your water heater temperature

Not sure what temperature your hot water heater is set to, or how to change it? Take a look at this video from the U.S. Department of Energy. If you’re still having trouble, give us a call – we’ll walk you through it.

If your water heater is having trouble maintaining its temperature, or if you’re experiencing other water heater problems such as strange noises or smells or a buildup of sediment, contact us today. We offer expert water heater repair in Middlesex County and Norfolk County, MA, and can provide a FREE estimate on a water heater upgrade for your Massachusetts home.

For expert water heater service and professional water heater installations in central Massachusetts, no one beats the pros at Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling. Contact us today to learn more.