Getting into Hot Water
October 18, 2008
Whilst doing some dishes in my sink, my friend Teresa was commenting about how hot my hot water was and that in her house she can’t get her bath hot enough. How hot should our water be? This brings up questions we’ll need to consider. In my house, I love to take a hot bath and do not want to run out of hot water or deprive someone else of a hot shower, either, so we keep our setting high.
According to Wisegeek.com there are a few important issues to consider: Setting a lower temperature can help avoid serious burns. Temperatures above 125 degrees can seriously burn a child. The suggested safe temperature for hot water setting is 120 degrees. Dropping the water temperature setting by ten degrees typically saves approximately 4% on one’s cost to heat water each year.
It seems that the factory setting for water heaters is 120 degrees. Asktooltalk.com says: “120 degrees seems low for a family of four, so I recommend setting the temperature between 130 and 140 degrees. This will make the water hot enough so you are forced to mix it with cold water to achieve a comfortable temperature. Mixing it with cold water will also help make the hot water last longer.”
Natural Handyman.com has some interesting ideas on energy saving, including turning off your water heater when you go away and yet points out that to really disinfect with your dishwasher you’ll want the water to be as hot as 140 degrees. “Lowering the temperature too much can have unintended consequences as you will need to use more heated water to obtain the same temperature at the faucet or shower. Thus, if your tank currently gives your family three showers in the morning, you might find the last person screaming!!” This site does give good step by step directions to determine your tap temperature and how to adjust your gas, oil or electric water heater.
Tankless water heaters are a wonderful energy saver as are solar panels-and that is another post as is water conservation and the therapeutic nature of hot baths for women.