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Home Care Library

Water Heater (electric)

The Home Wizard app calculates your ideal home care program to avoid problems with your Water Heater (electric), but sometimes trouble can still occur. Here are answers to questions about water heater (electric) thermostat temperature setting.


My hot water heater is 12 yrs old. If the temp. setting is too low will there be days when the water is hotter than others. Also should the heating element(s) be removed and cleaned peiodically


Dear Dan:

If the temperature setting on the thermostat on your hot water heater is too low, then you might find your home running out of hot water from time to time. Also, you may find that it takes longer for your hot water to recover after large hot water uses (baths, showers, dishwasher, etc.). But on the other hand, lowering your temperature setting on your hot water heater can help you save energy.

However, if your thermostat is operating properly, then I can't see a reason why some days would have water hotter than others, just because you set the temperature lower.

Regarding your second question about whether the heating element (or elements, if your unit has both higher and lower heating elements) of your water heater should be removed and cleaned routinely, the answer is that the heating element(s) is usually just removed and cleaned when it shows evidence of failure. You should routinely backflush your water heater (see our Maintenance Library) to remove sediment and scale, and the frequency will depend on factors such as the hardness of your water and how you use hot water in your home. But removing a heating element is a fairly involved job, and if your water heater is operating properly, it's not something that one would do without cause, that is, if your delivery and recovery of hot water has not declined significantly.

Hope this is helpful.

Water Heater (electric)