How To Adjust The Heat Setting On Your Electric Water Heater

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Most water heaters have two thermostats. The are attached to the side of the tank. The locations of the thermostats are beside two removable plates on the side of the water heater. You have to remove the metal covers on the outside of the hot water tank first. Then you will find some insulation that has to be removed or pushed aside to expose the thermostats and elements. Most models have a plastic cover that serves as an additional protection.

You will need to remove the plastic cover to make the adjustment.


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There is a screw that the can be adjusted with a flat blade screwdriver. The heat descriptions may vary. It may have the actual temperatures. It is not common to need to adjust the temperature on your electric water heater.

Check the Current Temperature First

The factory settings are adequate in most situations. If you are not getting enough hot water, raising the temperature is not the solution. You likely have another problem such as a ' burned out element ' or a ' faulty thermostat '. Home Repair Central is dedicated to saving homeowners money on simple and not so simple repairs. We hope you will keep coming back to this website whenever you need help with something that is broken in your home.

Copyright - Home-Repair-Central. All rights reserved. Search Search Adjusting a Water Heater Thermostat. Details Last Updated: 15 March Too Little Hot Water Are you thinking of raising the temperature because you don't have enough hot water? Categories: Water Heating Systems. Learn more Method 1. Consider whether your water temperature is in need of adjusting. A qualified plumber can help diagnose and repair a faulty water heater.

How to Change the Temperature on a Water Heater

Twist the dial on the bottom of the water heater to change the temperature. Gas water heaters are easy—they feature a single knob that controls the amount of heat being directed to the unit.

Turning this knob to the left counterclockwise will crank up the temperature, making the water hotter. Turning it to the right clockwise will cool it down. The dial on your gas water heater may not be numbered, which can make finding the perfect temperature a little tricky. One simple way around this is to take the temperature of the water a few times after altering your settings, then tag the exact degree reading or mark it on the dial itself. Increase the temperature to enjoy warmer water for cleaning and bathing.


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  • There are a couple advantages of having hotter water in your home. Doing so can present a serious risk of burns, especially for children and the elderly. Decrease the temperature to save money on your utilities. Heating large quantities of water gets expensive fast. Even a small change can save you big over the course of a few months.

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    Method 2. Shut off the power to the water heater. This will cut off the electricity flowing to the unit, allowing you to open it up without fear of being zapped. Remove the access panel from the side of the unit. Identify the two screws at the top and bottom of the panel and use a flat-blade screwdriver to loosen them.

    How To Check Your Hot Water Heater Temperature

    Pull the panel free from the body of the unit and set it aside somewhere nearby. Be careful not to lose the screws. This should come away easily with a gentle tug. Pull out or push aside the insulation covering the thermostat. Move fiberglass insulation out of the way by hand to clear a path to the thermostat controls. Use a flat-blade screwdriver to raise or lower the temperature setting.

    The high- and low-end temperature ranges will be displayed at the bottom of the thermostat. Insert the tip of the screwdriver into the colored adjusting screw to change the temperature.

    How to Adjust Electric Water Heater Temperature

    Twisting it to the left counterclockwise will decrease the temperature, while twisting it to the right clockwise will increase it. Pay attention to where the hand rests, as this will allow you to fine-tune your water temperature more precisely.