Action Guide

Don't Get Burned by Hot Water

Difficulty: Difficulty: 1 Expense: Expense: 1 Savings: 111 lbs CO2 / $10 Bookmark and Share
Add to My Challenge
You've done this action before.

Turn your water heater dial to 120° to keep your energy bills low and your family safe.

Why You Should Do It

Water heaters are built to function most efficiently when they are set to 120° - any higher and not only are you at risk for higher utility bills, but also accidental scalding.  At 120° it takes 5 minutes for someone to get a 2nd or 3rd degree burn, but if your water heater is turned up just 10 degrees more to 130°, it can take seconds to get a 2nd or 3rd degree burn.  Stay safe and turn it down!

What It Costs


How to Do It

  1. Select “Add to My Challenge” and pledge to turn your water heater down to 120 degrees.
  2. Find your water heater.  We recommend starting in the basement.
  3. Turn your water heater setting to 120°, which may be represented by a triangle symbol or a has mark followed by letters (A, B, C).
  4. Make sure that you're getting sufficient hot water in your fixtures.  If it's not getting hot enough at 120°, insulate the firs three feet of hot water supply pipe leaving your water heater with self-sealing pipe wrap, which you can find for under $5 at your local hardware store.
  5. Congratulate yourself for keeping your family safe, saving energy and money, and making a difference for Minnesota!


  • sstrop7 says:

    I went home and told my Dad about this, and he told me we'd already been doing it for years!

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