Hot Water Heater Settings Top and Bottom on Electric Units

how does a dual element water heater work

Are you looking for a guide that shows you how to adjust water heater settings top and bottom properly? Even though top and bottom elements are more prevalent in electric water heaters, the following article will walk you through the temperature settings guide for gas and electric powered units.

Hot Water Heater Settings Top and Bottom Which Higher?

Finding the balance of water heater settings is essential. Too hot, and you may burn or scald your skin. Too cold and the water might be an ideal breeding ground for bacteria-inducing disease.

If you have a gas-fired water heater, most of them come with a helpful, readable dial. It’s usually placed at the bottom tank of the part. Here’s how to adjust the dial easily:

hot water heater settings top and bottom
  1. Turn the unit’s settings knobs towards being cooler or hotter, according to your preference.
  2. Wait for a few hours before checking if the temperature has been set correctly.

If you have electric units, then it may involve slightly complicated work, but it’s still relatively easy in general. Most electric water heaters come with a top and bottom thermostats typically placed below two control panels. Note that smaller models may have one thermostat only.

To make the unit work efficiently, both hot water tank thermostat settings must be set at a similar temperature. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Switch off the electric water heater by turning off the unit itself and its settings on your circuit breaker panel.
  2. Find out where the thermostats are located on the water heater. They are typically placed below the control panel that requires you to access them by using a screwdriver. The insulated water heater will require you to get rid of insulation first. Your unit may provide a dial with a different display – depending on its manufacturer.
  3. After the control panel is already opened, adjust the temperature by using its dials to be more relaxed or hotter. You need to ensure that you change both of the thermostats to be in similar temperature settings.
  4. Set the covers of the control panel against and secure the screws by using a screwdriver.
  5. Turn on the water heater unit back.
  6. Wait for a few hours before checking if the temperature has been set correctly. Repeat the entire steps above if the temperature is still not quite at your wanted setting.

Are Upper and Lower Water Heater Elements the Same?

The top and bottom heating elements of your electric water heater are identical. Their temperature is regulated by the high limit device and the thermostat. They typically have a size of 12 inches (300 mm), but different models may have different sizes.

Read also: How to Replace Water Heater Element without Draining

The electric heating elements are critical right after the tank because you won’t have hot water if the elements are broken. That’s why knowing the right way to set water heater settings on top and bottom can be crucial to ensure the durability of your unit according to its intended lifespan.