It's not uncommon for a new water heater to come from the factory with the temperature set at 140 degrees fahrenheit. While this temperature ensures that the homeowner has very hot water from their new unit, it is too hot for most households. One way to know if it's too hot is to turn the hot water all the way on and try to place your hand under the faucet. If you can't comfortably hold your hand under the flow for more than a few seconds it is too hot. If there are elderly or young children in the household, the temperature should be lowered to reduce the risk of scalding.
So what temperature is the best? A good starting point is 120 degrees fahrenheit. Turning the temperature down 10 degrees will cut energy use by 3-5 percent. If you find that 120 degrees is not hot enough, try gradually adjust the temperature up until the right setting is achieved. In the winter it may need to be turned up a few degrees.
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