We tend to take having hot water on demand in our homes for granted, but while we readily accept the convenience of hot water on tap, we often overlook the risks.
RoSPA statistics show that scalding is still a major cause of injury to children in the UK, and having the water temperature too high is a major risk. On the other hand, if the temperature is too low, you risk bacteria building up, which can lead to problems like Legionnaire’s disease.
It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security because when you first turn on a tap, it takes a short while for the water to reach its full temperature so you may not initially notice that it’s too hot. Remember that children and the elderly at more at risk of scalding as their skin is thinner. In addition, the elderly may not be able to react as quickly to water that is too hot.
The heat is on
What can you do to ensure your hot water system is safe? All domestic hot water systems have some sort of temperature control. On systems that have a cylinder fed by a gas boiler or an electric immersion heater, there will usually be a thermostat dial mounted on the side of the tank itself.
If you are looking for a new boiler installation Gloucester has many suppliers such as http://www.hprservicesltd.com/gloucester-boilers/boiler-installation-gloucester/. In many cases, they will install a combi system that provides hot water on demand. These systems have a water temperature control on the boiler itself.
The right temperature
What is the correct temperature to set your system to eliminate the risk of scalding while ensuring that any nasty bacteria can’t survive in your system? For combi boilers, most experts recommend a water temperature of 49 degrees Celsius. This is low enough to prevent scalding but hot enough that bacteria can’t multiply.
For systems with a hot water tank, a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius at the tank is preferred as the water will lose temperature slowly at times when the boiler or immersion heater is off. For safety reasons, you should also have a thermostatic shower valve that restricts the temperature of the water at the outlet to 49 degrees Celsius.