Preventing scalding AND Disease
Did you know the water in your hot water tank needs to be maintained at 60ºC (140 ºF) to prevent bacterial growth? However, water at this temperature can scald within a few seconds. So how do you prevent bacterial growth and scalding temperatures at the same time? By installing a thermal mixing valve, also known as an anti-scald device. They blend hot and cold water to deliver water out of the tap at a temperature of 49ºC (120ºF). This way the stored water is hot enough to prevent bacterial growth while delivering hot water that won’t scald.
Facts and Figures
- Scalds account for 20% of all burns.
- Nationally, over 300 children, people with disabilities and older adults are treated in hospitals each year in Canada for hot tap water scalds. Children under five years of age sustained three-quarters of these scalds, with children less than two years of age sustaining more than two-thirds of these injuries.
- Water stored below 50 C increases the possibility that Legionella bacteria will thrive in the tank. In a study done for Hydro Quebec, an estimated 100 people annually were hospitalized for pneumonia-like symptoms caused by contaminated hot-water heaters.
- Came into effect in 2004. Also applies to any new water heater replacements/installationsYou may choose to have “full-strength” hot water piped directly to the dishwasher and other appliances.
- Installation of anti-scald valves is typically simple and inexpensive ($150-$200). Most models are installed in the hot-water line just above the water tank.
Further, unwanted temperature fluctuations are an annoyance and can be a safety hazard. When a toilet is flushed, for instance, cold water flows into the toilet’s tank and lowers the pressure in the cold-water pipes. If someone is taking a shower, they will suddenly feel the water become hotter as less cold water is available to the shower valve. A sudden burst of hot water can cause serious burns, particularly in young children, who have thinner skin than adults. Also, a startling thermal shock – hot or cold – may cause a person to fall in the shower as they scramble on the slippery surface to adjust the water temperature.
Anti-scald valves mitigate this danger by maintaining water temperature at a safe level, even as pressures fluctuate in water supply lines.
Heads Up! If you like really hot showers installing the mixing valve will leave you tempered… har har har