The water heater is a key component of a home’s plumbing system. Because of that, it’s also important part of a thorough home inspection. One thing a home inspector should check is the temperature setting on the control valve.
You use the control valve to set the temperature on the water heater. (Most water heaters are gas-fueled.) High temperature settings can cause severe scalding at sink and shower faucets. A proper setting ensures against that safety hazard. Plus, you’ll have a lower energy bill with a lower valve setting.
All manufacturers preset a temperature on this valve. 120℉ is the most common setting. You can determine the setting on your heater by noting where the arrows on the dial and the metal plate align. The dial in the picture above shows a very high setting. A home inspector would usually identify this as a safety hazard and recommend you adjust the temperature to a lower setting.
The temperature setting is just one component of water heater safety. For more information on water heater safety, check out this article from Nationwide.