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My Water is Too Hot

You're not a piece of pasta, so when you take a bath, you probably prefer your water to stay below the boiling point. Don’t scold your water heater if it decides to scald you. Too-hot water is your system’s way of telling you it’s not well.

Why the Water Is Too Hot

Your unit may act like it has a fever, but faulty thermostats, or incorrect temperature settings are usually at the root of the issue. Before you call in the doctor, here are a few things you can try to get that temperature down.

Potential Issues

  • water is too hot

Sometimes the easiest answer is the right one. If your heating element is getting too hot, it may be as simple as turning the temperature down. The thermostat on the front of the unit controls how much heat the heating element puts into the water. To turn it down, you can simply twist the dial. If only all home issues were so simple!

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  • no hot water
  • water is too hot

Water heaters have two thermostats, one for each heating element. These thermostats are in charge of measuring the temperature of the water and telling the element if it should keep heating the water or not. If the thermostat is damaged, your water heater won't know when to heat the water in the tank, which can cause the water to be too hot or too cold. In some cases, it may also blow a circuit breaker. Thermostats can break down over time or in a single event like a power surge. Once a good thermostat goes bad, there's no way to reverse it. The thermostat will need to be replaced.

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  • water is too hot

When you turn on the hot tap, your water heater pulls cold water into the tank from the main lines. This cold water blends with the pre-heated water, which lowers the overall temperature. The thermostats inside the tank are constantly measuring the temperature, and when they sense that it drops below the setpoint, they turn on the heating elements until the set temperature is reached. But if the thermostat doesn't tell the heating element to turn off, the heating element will continue heating the water until it overheats. Water heaters have safety devices to stop it from causing any serious damage, but your water could still come out of the taps too hot and give you a shock on your monthly bill.

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  • water on the floor under the T&P relief valve
  • water is too hot

The T&P relief valve is a safety device that releases water if the temperature or pressure inside your water heater gets too high. If it releases a drop now and then, it may not be anything to worry about. It's only doing what it's supposed to do. However, if it's trickling water often or continuously, then either another issue is causing the temperature or pressure to rise above normal levels, or the valve itself has worn down with age.

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