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How to Turn Up a Hot Water Heater? – A Complete Guide

Fact checked by Stephen Conklin

how to turn up a hot water heater

Coldwater is always an unwelcome visitor when it comes to showering and multiple chores that involve water.

There is also a likely chance that in previously owned homes, the previous homeowners have adjusted the hot water heater temperature setting often to save more on their utility bills; this is achieved by turning off the heating completely and just running cold water through the pipes.

Read the steps here to learn how to turn up a hot water heater, either a gas or an electric one.

Table of Contents

Step to Turn up The Water Heater


Step 1: Switch off the power

Before turning on the water heater in your apartment, you have to turn off the power for safety.

For electric heaters, locate the circuit breaker switch for the water heater and shut it off, effectively cutting the power.

Luckily, gas heaters do not need their gas to be shut off when you need to adjust your water temperature. However, when handling gas heaters, you should make sure that there are no other sources of fire such as candles and cigarettes since natural gas is highly flammable.

Step 2: Look for the temperature dial

For gas heaters, simply locate the temperature dial. It is located near the bottom of the tank, where you will see a knob. It is usually colored red or black, and you would see that there are labels to the two sides: warm and hot; in other instances, there would be notches alongside the knob to guide you to turn up the water heater in the temperature range you find comfortable.

For electric heaters, you’ll commonly find the dial behind an insulated panel; these usually look like rectangles and are located in the front of your water heater. After prying the panel off, remove the insulating pad, and begin to adjust your water heater temperature.

Step 3: Twist it!

  • To turn up the temperature on the water heater on your gas heater, simply turn the knob counterclockwise to increase the temperature and turn it clockwise to decrease the temperature.
  • Do not turn the knob to a hot level as this can cause scalding later on; it is best first to turn the dial slowly and just slightly towards hot. If you find that the water temperature is still not hot enough, you may adjust it further.
  • For electric heaters, you can change your hot water heater temperature setting like its gas counterpart; simply move the dial to your desired temperature range, and afterward put back the bit of insulation you have previously removed.

Step 4: Wait and test

Now that you have successfully turned up the water heater and adjusted the temperature to your desired temperature, close the panel.

For electric water heaters:

  • Turn the power back on using the circuit breakers you have previously switched off and wait for at least 3-4 hours.
  • Head on to the nearest sink and turn on the tap for 3-5 minutes to let all the water circulate through your pipes.
  • Then, catch the water with a glass; dip a finger in to check if the water temperature is just as you want it to be.

Pro tips: If you want to be more accurate to ensure that bacteria will not grow, you may take a cooking thermometer and dip it in the glass to have more accurate readings.

Take note that it is best when the water is at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius to make sure that your water is not lukewarm enough to become a breeding ground for microorganisms.

It would be best if you could ask and encourage your family or fellow tenants to check if the water temperature is just enough, take note of their opinions and find a middle ground for everyone’s comfort.

If the temperature still feels too cool or too hot for the majority, feel free to readjust the dial to your liking, constantly checking the temperature with your thermometer or fingers.

How to Turn Up the Temperature for a Tankless Water Heater?


It is as simple as adjusting our air conditioning’s thermostat. A control panel will allow us to turn the temperature up and down, depending on our needs.

Why Is Checking the Temperature Important?

Left unchecked, a water heater with a raised temperature can easily scald anybody and cause serious injuries, especially when it isn’t re-adjusted after some time. Most importantly, it is hazardous whenever you have children running about in the house.

It is also important to note that when you turn on hot water heater in an apartment, it has to be set at the right temperature. With that, it would also stop the growth of microorganisms often found in lukewarm water. Scientists have agreed that at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius is the perfect temperature. It ensures that your water heater isn’t the newest breeding ground of bacteria such as Legionella.


After following the steps in our post, we hope you can now successfully turn up the temperature on the water heater. Also, hopefully, you keep this information for future reference, especially when stepping into a new home.

If you enjoyed this post, do leave a comment detailing your experiences in your attempts to turn up the heat on the water heater. Feel free to share this post to reach other audiences struggling to figure out how to turn up a hot water heater.

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