How to Change the Temperature on a Water Heater

March 21, 2016

water heater

There may be a time when you feel the need to change your water heater’s temperature. Whether your water heater is traditional or tankless, changing the temperature of it is a fairly simple task.

It is recommended by water heater manufacturers that your water heater temperature be set to 120 degrees to save energy and prevent from scalding water.

It is always best to check your water heater’s operation manual and follow your manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to change your water heater’s temperature. In the case that you no longer have access to your manufacturer’s operation manual you can follow the general guidelines below.

Traditional Gas Water Heater

If you have a gas water heater, adjusting the temperature is easy. Simply turn the dial located on the front of the gas control valve.


The hot setting will be around 150 degrees while warm will be around 95 degrees. As mentioned earlier 120 degrees is the recommended setting.

Traditional Electric Water Heater

Turn off the water heater breaker. If you have a double element water heater remove both upper and lower access panels. For single element water heaters remove the lower panel.

traditional water heater

Once you have the access panel open pull the insulation to the side or remove it so you can see the thermostat. Remove the plastic cover if it doesn’t have an access hole for the adjustment screw.

The thermostat adjusting screw is located at the bottom of the thermostat, just above the element. You’ll need a small flat blade screwdriver to adjust it.

thermostat screw

Once finished adjusting it to your ideal temperature, replace the plastic cover (if you removed it). Place the insulation back over the thermostat and element. Replace the access panels and turn the power back on.

Tankless Water Heater

Depending on your make and model adjusting a tankless water heater is usually as simple as pressing a button on your front panel command center or remote control.

tankless water heater

If you need assistance changing the temperature on your water heater don’t hesitate to contact A.J.Perri.


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Last Updated: May 29, 2024