Turn down the Heat!

If your hot water heater is set to hotter than 120 degrees F. (49 C.), you might get scalded if you have the tap on hot.  Today’s challenge is to turn down your hot water heater* to 120 degrees F. (49 C.).  If yours is already turned down, do one of the Optional Activities today.

Share in the Comments section if you use an on demand hot water heater or other suggestions on saving water and energy.


  • 1.) Find the current temperature.
    Measure the beginning temperature of your hot water using a thermometer at the tap farthest from the water heater. Thermostat dials are often inaccurate.
  • 2.)  Mark the setting, then turn down the thermostat.
    Mark the beginning temperature on your water heater thermostat with a marker, and then turn the thermostat down.
  • 3.) Measure and adjust.
    Wait a couple of hours, and then measure the water temperature again at the farthest tap from the water heater. Several adjustments may be necessary before you get the temperature you desire.
  • 4.) Mark the new temperature.
    If you are satisfied with the temperature, mark the new temperature on the water heater thermostat with a marker, so that you can make adjustments in the future if necessary.
  • 5.) Turn down or off when away.
    If you plan to be away from home for at least 3 days, turn the thermostat down to the lowest setting or completely turn off the water heater. To turn off an electric water heater, switch off the circuit breaker to it. For a gas water heater, make sure you know how to safely relight the pilot light before turning it off.

Interested in more green hot water heater options? Check this out:

Eco-Friendly Energy Saving Hot Water Heater Options

*You may have to look up how to turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater.


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