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Set your water heater at a safe temperature

State law advises that residential water heaters should be set no higher than 120 degrees. This temperature setting reduces the risk of accidental scalding, especially to children and the elderly. It also saves energy and helps reduce your utility bill. To set the temperature, turn the water heater off at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box, remove the face plates on the tank that cover each element, and use a screwdriver to turn the temperature control dial to “120.” If you feel you can’t handle this task safely, contact an electrician.

Sometimes 120 degrees isn’t hot enough to activate detergents or dissolve greasy food in automatic dishwashers. Manufacturers recommend using a liquid dishwashing detergent. Many newer models also have a water heating option that boosts the temperature in the appliance.