A variety of our daily household activities and necessities rely on the availability of hot water on demand, be it cooking, washing, laundry or bathing. With anything that involves heat, it is essential to be conscious of hot water safety. Any careless mistake might cause children, elderly folks, or people with disability to suffer hot water scalding. Thus, having a safety-first approach to household water and hot water systems is non-negotiable. Here are the top six hot water safety reminders for your family:
What are the top hot water safety tips for your family?
1. Install a temperature valve
The Australian Government has released Plumbing Regulations, requiring all new hot water systems to have installed a thermostatic mixing valve or a tempering valve.
Installing a tempering valve ensures that your hot water’s temperature will not exceed 50* C. This level is sufficiently warm enough for showers and baths but not too hot to cause scalding.
2. Routinely inspect leaky taps, appliances, and pressure relief valves
Routine inspections of your hot water system and calling for repairs are crucial in ensuring the top performance of your water heater. A relief valve is essential as it protects storage water heaters by removing excess pressure. Check your valve at least once a year by pulling up on the handle. If there is no water flow or it has minimal drips, it’s time to replace it. If you discover that your tank is leaking and that a bucket to catch water under the valve fills up in just a day, it’s time to call a professional to replace your hot water tank.
3. Raise the temperature of your hot water system to 60* C
You must set hot water storage systems in residential buildings to a minimum level of 60* C to prevent the growth of bacteria like Legionella. Legionella is the bacterium that causes Legionnaire’s disease, a severe type of pneumonia (lung infection) that can be a serious health concern when you find it in high concentrations in your water. Raising the heat of your water tank to 60* C will help kill bacteria.
On this account, you shouldn’t turn off your hot water system even if you plan to go away on holiday. An alternative is if you must turn it off while you’re away, ensure that the water is heated and stored above 60*C for at least half an hour before using it again. Please note that it may take some time to get the water temperature to the right level after being turned off.
4. Keep children and objects away from your heater
A water heater is one of the most significant potential fire hazards in any home. Be sure to keep combustible materials away from your water heater about 1.5 feet away at least at all times, and avoid crowding any objects too close. Also, water heaters have buttons and knobs that might be too tempting for curious children to play with. Make sure to keep the water heater location a no-play zone to avoid accidents.
5. Install a carbon monoxide detector
If you use a gas-powered water heater, installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home is non-negotiable. Carbon monoxide is a lethal gas that’s odourless and colourless, making it undetectable. It sends hundreds of people to the hospital annually due to poisoning in Australia alone. Therefore, you can contribute to everyone’s safety by understanding what signs to watch for and what to do when you spot a gas leak.
6. Call a professional for regular service maintenance
Maintaining your hot water systems is essential by following the manufacturer’s recommendations on servicing them. A professional plumber’s regular hot water tank checkups will prevent serious problems and issues while ensuring your tank functions efficiently and safely. Diligence in this area will give you peace of mind in knowing that your hot water system is serviced correctly.
Hot water on demand is necessary, but great care should be observed to ensure household safety and minimise the risk of scalding and other accidents while maintaining the hot water supply. Call Atomic Hot Water at 1300 763 734 for reliable 24/7 service to keep your hot water systems fully functional and safe.