We turn off the breaker to the hot water heater. In the summer, we rarely turn it on. The water is always warm. We shower in that warm water. The temperature is perfect for showering in the summer and we wash the dishes by hand in the same warm water.
We turn the breaker on for exactly 15 minutes before using the dishwasher. They are spotless! It's plenty hot! Wash your clothes in the washing machine with warm or cold water. Our clothes look perfectly clean. Try it, you'll be boasting about your lower utility bill!
Source: My inspiration in turning the hot water heater breaker came from talking to our utility company representative. She attended a seminar on electricity conservation. She said she saved a big by doing this.
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Is there really any point in having your hot water setting so high that you have to cool it down before you can use it?
In Alaska, you pretty much have to fend for yourself. I've been doing this for years, and I thought I should pass along this tip for free hot water, especially when the pipes are frozen (as they are here, a LOT).
When my old hot water heater broke, the unit went but the tank was still good. I didn't throw it out but I used it for a reserve tank.
When you add an insulating blanket to your water heater, you can save energy and money on your electricity or natural gas. This is a page about insulating your hot water heater.
This is a page about using a water heater timer. There are times of the day and night when you do not use hot water.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Lower your hot water heater's temperature to 120 degrees to save on gas or electricity. If you have a dishwashing machine be sure to consult the manual for it's minimum water temperature requirement.