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A Low Thermostat Setting Means No Hot Water

If the thermostat setting on your water heater is too low, your device will stop heating water before it gets hot. Ideally, you want your thermostat set at 120°F for the best balance between safety and convenience.

Check Your Water Heater's Thermostat Setting

The last thing you want is for your hot shower to run cold. If the setting on your water heater’s thermostat is too low, the temperature of your water will follow suit. It’s best to check the thermostat setting on your water heater to make sure it’s both safe and comfortable.

How to check your water heater's thermostat setting

  • Heat pump water heaters typically have a touch screen display on the front of the unit, and some even work with phone apps. Use the display or app to check the hot water temperature setting. Your water heater should be set at about 120°F for the perfect balance between hot and safe temperatures. If you have a tempering valve, your water heater could be set as high as 150°F, but if you're not sure, you want it around 120°F.

  • Check that the temperature of your hot water is close to your water heater's thermostat setting. Before checking, make sure no one is using hot water or has used a large amount of hot water (e.g., running a hot shower, dishwashers, or washing machines) in a little while.

  • You can test your water temperature with a standard cooking thermometer. Find the bathroom or kitchen tap closest to your hot water heater and turn on the hot water to full. Let it run for three minutes to ensure you're getting water from the tank instead of the leftover water from your pipes. Place a cup or bowl under the tap to collect some water, then put the thermometer end into the water until it finishes reading the temperature. The reading on the thermometer may not be equal to your thermostat, but it should be close.


    CAUTION: Be careful not to burn yourself whenever you're working around hot water.

  • If the water temperature and your water heater's thermostat setting aren't close, avoid using hot water for 6 hours and then try testing it again. If the readings are still not close, you may have a faulty thermostat.

If your thermostat setting isn't the problem, you can explore other causes of no hot water.

What to Do if Your Water Heater's Thermostat Setting Is too Low

Monitor your water heater’s thermostat setting to make sure it’s always set close to 120˚F. If your water is still running cold at this temperature, it’s likely you have a faulty thermostat that will need to be replaced.

NOTE: This content is for informational purposes only, and HomeX and its affiliates disclaim all liability related to it. If you decide to perform any tasks based on this information, you assume all risks, including the risk of loss or damage to property or personal injury.

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