Every water heater I’ve ever seen had the temperature set way too hot. Why? Because no plumber (or hotel clerk) wants to hear a customer complain that there isn’t enough hot water, so they always set it on the “far, far too hot” side, just to be absolutely sure. They really don’t care if you waste a lot of money every day while running the risk of burning your guests, children, the elderly or anyone who’s absent-minded for a moment. But it’s very easy for you to remedy, even if you’ve never so much as looked at your water heater.
The cost? About two minutes of your time Armaturen. The savings? Money, every day, from now on. Some local zoning laws make it illegal to supply water that’s too hot (over 120 degrees) and scalding people is the reason. If you can adjust the thermostat on your furnace or air conditioner, it’s a safe bet you can adjust the thermostat on your hot water heater.
Leaving your water tank set too hot wastes energy (and money) every minute of every day, along with the risk of someone getting burned. Since a water heater is just about the most energy inefficient appliance in any modern home, and right near the top of the list for overall energy consumption, correcting the temperature can give you the biggest bang for your buck for saving money and energy.
Some people want the hottest possible water for laundry. They’ll never know the difference. Many decades ago, people scalded dishes washed with lye to remove diseases like cholera and TB that have long since disappeared.
Some people want the hottest possible water for their automatic dishwasher to get dishes clean, and that’s OK. Dishwashers have a heating element that you can see in the bottom of the cabinet. It looks just like the heating element in the bottom of an electric stove. Your dishwasher has a setting that lets you choose to use it or not for heating up the water — it’s your call. Bringing 120 degree water up to 180 degrees isn’t much harder than raising 160 degree water to 180, since there’s very little water in the dishwasher. If you open it up while it’s washing you’ll see just a few inches of water in the bottom.
But raising the temperature of 40 gallons of water in your water heater costs far more, and you’re paying to keep it overheated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. A lot of that extra heat just leaks through the side of the tank, wasting even more money and energy, especially in the summer when your air conditioner has to remove all that extra heat. You’re paying to create the extra heat, then paying even more to get rid of it! This is easy enough to do with a water pressure measuring gauge, which most hardware and home improvement stores carry. This simple device consists or a measuring gauge and a standard hookup like those on a garden hose that you can screw onto an exterior hose bib or your washing machine’s cold or hot water bib. To check your house’s static water pressure level, just screw on the measuring gauge, open the faucet, and the gauge will show how much pressure you have on whichever floor the faucet you are using for the check is located (the water pressure on a home’s second floor is typically 8 psi lower than on the first floor).
So, what is the proper water pressure level? For residential plumbing, it’s best to be within a range of from 50 to 70 psi. Plumbing fixtures for home use are designed to withstand a maximum pressure of 80 psi, so at 80 psi and above, you risk damaging your fixtures. On the other hand, if the pressure is much below 50 psi, you may experience annoying problems of insufficient water flow.
In the case that your water pressure is too high, you’ll need to adjust your PRV (pressure reducing valve) which should be located near your house’s main water shut-off. If you don’t already have one, then you’ll need to get one installed. The PRV is easy to adjust and will maintain the house’s water pressure at a precise level.
In the case that your water pressure is too low, you should first contact your municipal water supplier and find out if that level is normal for your neighborhood. If it is, then the only possible fix is to invest in a water pressure booster pump. These are available in a variety of designs and at a variety of prices, but it is definitely advisable to have one of these booster pumps installed by a professional plumber; this is not a D. I. Y. project.
If the pressure is lower than it should be, there may be a problem with the exterior pipes, such as a leak, blockage or crimp. Who is responsible for fixing the problem depends on exactly where it is. Home owners are responsible for maintaining the plumbing from the point at which it enters their property. The pipes outside your property line are the responsibility of the municipality.