What Should the Temperature Be for Household Water?


Household water varies greatly in temperature due to variable settings. Most people do not think too much about the temperature of their water supply, However, certain guidelines should be followed to achieve adequate temperatures.

Ideal Temperatures

  • The ideal temperature for household hot water is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, while the tank itself should be around 130 degrees F. These temperatures are hot enough to kill any bacteria that may be lurking in the system while releasing water cool enough to not scald the skin.

Temperature Variations

  • Test the temperature of the water at a faucet with a thermometer. Check the systems manual on instructions for changing the temperature on the thermostat, because each system is different.


  • Some sanitary fixtures have a tempering valve that allows the system to heat water to higher temperatures while reducing the temperature for basins, baths and showers. This means appliances such as dishwashers will produce high temperatures for efficient cleaning, but water in other areas of the home will not reach scalding temperatures.

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