Sometimes the water coming from your hot water tap can be hotter than anticipated. When this happens, you need to discover the cause of the problem in order to resolve it. Learn more about the best hot water temperature and why your water might be too hot. 

What Is the Ideal Residential Hot Water Temperature?

The U.S. Consumer and Product Safety Commission recommends that residential water heaters don't exceed 120°F. Many water heaters can reach temperatures as high as 140°F, but temperatures this high can potentially lead to scalding. Furthermore, hot temperatures require more energy and deteriorate your pipes and plumbing appliances more quickly. Homeowners will have to replace the plumbing more frequently. 

You can save money on your utility bills and protect your plumbing system by setting the temperature lower than 120°F. However, you still want to keep the water hot enough to kill bacteria when cooking and cleaning.  

Why Is the Water So Hot?

Thermostat Problems

When you notice your water reaching unsafe temperatures, start by checking the thermostat. You may notice that the temperature is higher than the intended setting. In this case, you'll be able to adjust the setting to resolve the issue. If that doesn't work, you may have a faulty thermostat on your hands that can't communicate with the sensor correctly. In this case, you'll need to replace the thermostat. 

Sediment Buildup

Sometimes, sediment buildup in the water heater can cause the internal sensors to go awry. The unit will keep heating the water despite the sediment accumulation preventing the sensors from getting an accurate reading of the temperature. This can lead to the water reaching scalding temperatures. Flushing the water heater can resolve the issue.

Faulty Pressure Relief Valve

Pressure levels inside the water heater increase as temperature increases. The pressure relief valve inside the unit allows pressure to escape the unit when necessary. When the pressure relief valve isn't able to release some of the pressure, it will cause the pressure to remain inside the tank, where it will increase the temperature of the water. A broken pressure relief valve could prevent excess heat from escaping, leaving it to warm up the water more than intended. A new pressure relief valve will fix this problem. 

When you have excessively hot water coming from your water heater, you should get an expert's opinion to save on unnecessary repairs. Contact a local service, such as Rooter Express Plumbing & Drain, to learn more.