10 Water Heater Tips to Put Safety and Savings on Tap

Keep safety and energy savings on tap year-round with these simple tips for your home water heater.

  1. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.
  2. Set the water heater thermostat to 120°F or less to save energy and reduce the risk of scalding. (If your dishwasher lacks a booster heater, a setting of 140°F may be needed.)
  3. Hand-test water temperature before bathing or showering. A child’s bath water generally should be no hotter than 100°F.
  4. Securely install water heater restraints to wall studs to prevent movement or toppling during an earthquake, as required by state law.
  5. Keep flammable products away from the water heater and vent system to help prevent fire hazards.
  6. Keep the area around the water heater clean and well-ventilated.
  7. Fix leaky faucets to prevent heated water from dripping away.
  8. Use cold water to wash clothes and rinse dishes when possible.
  9. Run full loads in the clothes washer and dishwasher.
  10. Install low-flow devices on faucets and showerheads — less water, less heating.

Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.

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