Advice Setting Temperature on new electric Water Heater

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Charlie Bosco

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I wish I could just download all your guys knowledge into my head at once.. But I can only ask one question at a time..

I am trying to find the best all around temp to set my upper and lower elements on my new heater.. I know the factory setting of 120/120 is for safety and I dont have little ones running around.

Just need the temps hot enough for a long shower without running out and hot enough for clothes to be clean. Also I want it hot enough to keep it free of bacteria.

I currently set it for 140 on the upper and 130 for the lower. Seems it may be a bit too hot at this point since the hot water steams pretty good now. How about 135/135?

The big internet debate is whether to set the elements to the same temp or set the lower one to a lower temp than the upper one.. Agghh.. What do you all have to say?

By the way, in another thread I am fighting the dreaded Well Water/Softener/Hot Water Stink. Not quite the straight H2S smell of my untreated water but annoying nevertheless. I have a Corro-Protec on my workbench at the moment and waiting for Amazon to deliver my Impact Driver and socket today.

The increased temps helped the smell by about 50% but I am hoping to be free of all stink after the install.
 

Fitter30

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Electric wh thermostats work where the top element calls for heat first bottom is off. When thermostat satisfies powers bottom stat heats lower 1/3 of tank so set them the same. If your concern is bacteria 135*-140* will kill.
Recommend using a mixing valve to lower temp 131* can burn as little as 5 seconds.
 

Bannerman

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If you operate a dishwasher, the detergent will typically work best @ 140F+. You could run a supply line directly from the WH to the DW while regular flow throughout the home is routed through a mixing valve as Fitter30 suggested.

For bacteria control within the WH, the temp should be at least 140F at the bottom of the WH tank. To achieve 140F at the bottom may require a thermostat setting of 150-160F.
 

Charlie Bosco

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If you operate a dishwasher, the detergent will typically work best @ 140F+. You could run a supply line directly from the WH to the DW while regular flow throughout the home is routed through a mixing valve as Fitter30 suggested.

For bacteria control within the WH, the temp should be at least 140F at the bottom of the WH tank. To achieve 140F at the bottom may require a thermostat setting of 150-160F.

Thanks, I just set both around 138.. Just realized the dishwasher has a built in heater if I want it really hot.. Clothes should be fine too.

I think I am overanalyzing the bacteria thought.. If it lives under 140 degrees then my cold water has it too in all my tanks. ;)
I did just order some sanitizer for the softener..
 

jadnashua

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The thing that is different with hot, is that the water could sit in that tank for awhile, and, being warm, tends to encourage things to grow. The cold line tends to get flushed much more, and if your utility is doing its job right, in the short time it sits there, there should not be an issue.

Many of the better dishwashers these days have the ability to heat the water. On mine, it's enabled with a front panel switch. I don't see much harm in just leaving it enabled...if the incoming water is hot enough, it won't delay the cycle to heat it up, and if it is too cool, the quality of the wash improves. FWIW, my washing machine can heat the water, too, but so far, I only use it on very special occasions, like when doing bedding or towels if someone had been sick.
 
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