How to Turn Up Water Heater | How to Adjust Hot Water Heater Temperature

How to Turn Up Water Heater

If you're staying in a vacation home or moving into a new place, there is a decent chance the previous occupants turned down the water heater before leaving. It's a smart cost-saving measure. But that means you need to know how to adjust the water heater temperature to meet your needs. You're in luck because here, we outline the process.

cutting off power at breaker before turning up water heater

Getting Started

Before we get started, we need to establish the kind of fuel you are dealing with. The procedure for an electric water heater is different from natural gas. Anything above 120-degrees Fahrenheit is unsafe, and we do not recommend it. At 130-degrees, you can suffer severe burns in just 5 seconds. Gas is easy to turn up; electric is a little more involved, so we'll start there:

How to Adjust Temperature on Electric Hot Water Heater

  1. Cut the power at the breaker - since most water heaters operate off 240v, you're probably going to need to flip two switches. Don't get electrocuted! If you are uncertain about which switches go to the water heater, turn them all off.
  2. Remove the access panel and insulation - you might have a tank with double access panels. You need to remove the panel(s) and any insulation to change the temperature.
  3. Adjust the temperature - using a flat head screwdriver (in some cases, you won't need one), rotate the dial to turn the heat up. It should have notches marked with temperature readings, so set it to your desired level.
  4. Replace insulation and panel(s) - that's it, you're done! It will take a few hours for the water to heat up to the new temperature, so be patient.

How to Turn Up a Gas Water Heater

You'll want to remember to prioritize safety first when dealing with gas appliances. There should be no open flames anywhere near you when you adjust the temperature because it requires turning up the gas. The process is straightforward:

visual of hot water with thermometer
  • You don't have to turn off the gas to change the temperature.
  • Locate the control knob, which is probably labeled with settings for warm and hot (but may include more options).
  • You want to be conservative about the adjustment. Don't just crank it to the max/hot.
  • Wait a few hours for the tank to heat the water and then test the temperature with a hot water tap in the home.

What About Tankless?

If you have an on-demand water heater, it should be as simple as pressing a button that is in plain sight or turning up a dial. If you're having any trouble, consult the manufacturer's instruction manual.

In Conclusion

No matter what type of water heater you have, it's easy to learn how to turn up a hot water heater. If you found this article helpful, please share it. At PlumbersStock, we carry trusted brands like Bradford White. If you are in the market for a new water heater, this is a great place to save. Check out this water heater Wiki article if you want to learn more about this topic in general.

Related resources:
How to Reset a Water Heater
How to Light Water Heater
How to Turn Off a Water Heater
How to Drain a Water Heater
How to Turn on Water Heater
What Should Water Heater Temperature Be?

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