Hot Water Safety

Hot Water Safety Advice

Hot water, brings with it many dangerous hazards that must be carefully recognised and adequately prevented. There is a lot of misinformation in regards to hot water safety and this leads to inadequate safety. Hot water systems must follow stringent protocols to be considered safe for use. Hot water can cause scalding and burns which can be very serious and even lead to permanent disabilities if immediate treatment is not followed. Hot water burns can even cause shock which can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is critical to properly understand the dangers of hot water in order to protect yourself from the consequences of improper hot water safety.

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Situations to Look Out For

Tap Water

One of the most common places that scalding occurs is with the use of tap water. Many people do not realize just how hot tap water can be and they often underestimate it. Hot water can pose a danger as people often realize too late how hot the water is. The most common location in which scalding occurs is usually in the bathroom. This happens when the temperature is too high from the taps and someone uses this tap for a time that is enough to cause severe scalding. This length of time is much shorter than most assume, and it is a crucial reason why scalding often occurs before a person has a chance to turn off the tap. At a mere 60 degrees, it only takes a second to cause severe scalding. This shows how high temperatures can be hazardous. At 50 degrees it would take 5 minutes to cause scalding. The difference in temperature may seem small, however, this difference can be the difference between something minor and something life-changing. Therefore it is crucial to ensure that the bathroom temperature is adequately regulated.

Drinks and Liquids

Hot tap water is not the only situation that may pose a threat to you and your family. Another typical case involving hot water is potential scalding from hot drinks and other liquids from the kettle. Many people often underestimate just how hot water can become in a kettle and how fast water can become boiling. The signs may not be evident as to just how hot the water has become. Scalding can occur when someone drinks a liquid from a kettle that they perceive to be much cooler than it is. Liquids from saucepans and other pots can also reach very high temperatures in a short amount of time. It is critical to be wary of any situation where water is likely to become hot. It is essential to remain aware of the dangers that hot water can pose even if it is only being heated for a relatively short amount of time. The kitchen can pose very serious problems, and it is, therefore, essential to give your full attention to all activities that involve hot water.

 

How Hot Is Too Hot?

Many people are simply unaware of the specific temperatures to look out for in hot water. This lack of knowledge is a key reason why hot water injuries have become so common. It is important to understand how hot is too hot and to understand how quickly certain temperatures can cause injuries. The current regulations state that the maximum temperature for delivery to bathrooms is 50 degrees. All bathroom areas must adhere to this limit. The temperature is this number because numbers higher than this can cause injury and scalding within seconds. It is therefore critical to follow this regulation to ensure that hot water hazards are kept to a minimum. The regulations allow for kitchen and laundry water to be hotter, however separating the hot piping to allow for these differences is not easy. All Australian Hot Water installations come with full home tempering. Many new houses and renovations can have the scope to run individual piping to give only the bathroom area the 50 degrees regulation.

Why are there regulations?

This limit is set by the law; there are legal ramifications if new buildings have water hotter than this temperature. Water at 54 degrees has the potential to cause a major burn within 30 seconds. Water that is 57 degrees can cause a major burn within a few seconds. This highlights just how dangerous water can be over the 50 degree temperature mark even if it is only a few degrees. In the case of how hot is too hot, the absolute maximum should be 50 degrees for every appliance located in a bathroom area. Other hot water appliances such as those involving laundry and kitchen areas may be higher than this limit. You are able to set higher temperatures for cleaning and sanitary purposes.

Recommended bathing temperature

The recommended bathing temperature is 37-38 degrees. This should be regarded as the maximum for young children. Some older hot water systems do not have mechanical or electronic tempering systems which limit how hot the water can get. This makes it very important for you to regulate the temperature and keep it below these thresholds. There are steps you can take to add tempering functions onto your older hot water systems that a licensed hot water plumbing specialist can recommend and install .


Hot Water Safety Checklist

This is a checklist that you should follow carefully to ensure you are protected from the risks of hot water. Many steps and checks must be taken to guarantee a safe home. One of the most critical steps to follow in regards to your hot water system installation is to ensure it is undertaken by a professional. They should be appropriately licensed, otherwise you run the risk of inadequate installations that may skip over essential safety standards. You should also be sure to have your system inspected by a professional once a year. An inspection and subsequent maintenance is vital to find problems before they develop into something more serious and potentially more expensive to fix. There will be occasions where failing systems aren’t immediately detected and this can pose a significant safety threat to your home which is why it is crucial to conduct these annual inspections from a licensed professional. Australian Hot Water are licensed professionals who can handle both the installation and inspection of heating systems. They can manage all hot water systems and their vast range of experience means they can give you peace of mind.

Protecting Your Children From Hot Water

A necessary precaution to take is to ensure you keep your children far away from heating water systems at all times. Young children, in particular, should be supervised to ensure that they have no access to these systems which can cause serious injury.

Essential Devices

An installation that should be considered on every hot water outlet in your home is an anti-scald device. These devices can minimize the risk of scalding and they are therefore recommended to be installed where possible throughout a home. Another installation that can prevent hot water injury is a thermostatic mixing valve. This valve regulates the output of your hot water heater and minimizes the risk of scalding to you and your family. Australian Hot Water are experts at installing these devices.

Recommended Storage Tank Temperature

The temperature of your storage water tank should be kept at a minimum of 60 degrees at all times (but not delivered to taps at above 50 degrees). This is to prevent legionnaires disease which can become very serious. Legionnaires can be contracted by inhaling droplets of contaminated water. This is why you need to ensure your water heater is correctly heating the water inside the storage tank. Whether it is fueled by gas or electricity the water heating appliance should be serviced regularly by licensed hot water plumbing specialists to maintain its optimum performance.

Other Installations

There are some other recommended installations which are not essential but should be given consideration. These include a tankless hot water heater which can give you better control of your output temperature and a sealed combustion hot water heater which ensures outside venting of gases. Both of these devices can greatly reduce the risk of hot water-related accidents.


Installing Tempering Valve

The installation of a tempering valve is one of the most important components of your hot water system. There are a number of regulations to follow in all installations to ensure safety. There will be new regulations added in 2020 for all NSW installations. This means that all hot water systems replacements must be installed with some form of tempering control. This device must also be installed when there are alterations to new or old hot water pipes installed on a home renovation. There are many options out there to handle your installation but you should entrust this installation with professionals who are licensed. Australian Hot Water comply with all regulations and safety standards. They conduct all work in a highly-professional manner and have rigorous high standards of themselves. This article will have shown you the various dangers that can arise from hot water, and it should have highlighted how crucial the proper installation of hot water systems and devices are to ensure the safety of your family.