How to best adjust my water heater temperature?
October 8, 2008 8:25 AM Subscribe
How should I adjust the two elements of my water heater?
posted by SNACKeR to home & garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a new electric water heater with two elements, one near the top and one near the bottom. Each has its own temperature control. Both are currently set at 140 degrees. I am thinking about conservation of energy, and besides setting the temperatures as low as is comfortable, would it make sense to set the upper element's temperature higher than the lower one?
My thinking is that a) hot water rises, and b) the outgoing water comes out of the top of the tank, so it seems that I could set the upper temperature a little higher than the lower, since the water in the lower part of the tank gets used more rarely (only when there is heavy sustained demand). On the occasions that demand is heavy enough to use the water in the lower half of the tank as well, it is fine if it is a few degrees cooler.
This all sounds good to me. The only hesitation I have is that perhaps the water in the lower part of the tank will stay there too long, as it gets used rarely, and that I will have water a few weeks old or more hanging around in the tank. Maybe Brownian motion and the general current of incoming water will be enough to negate this....maybe not?