In order to kill bacteria, hot water must be stored at a minimum of 60 degrees. However, to prevent burns and scalding the water temperature must be reduced to a maximum of 50 degrees at the water outlet.
Water that comes out of the tap over 60 degrees is dangerous to everyone and runs the risk of scalding and burning. It only takes 1 second of exposure to water temperatures of 60 degrees to inflict serious burns, at 50 degrees it takes 5 minutes.
Each year, water that is too hot causes serious burns and scalds to many young children, elderly and disabled people who cannot react quickly enough.
Not only is water that is too hot dangerous to anyone using the water, it is also dangerous for the hot water heater itself.
If the hot water boils over or heats up more than what is recommended it will drastically reduce the life of your hot water system. As water expands when it’s hot, the pipes could even split, leak and cause damage to your home.
When water gets too hot it will melt anything that is not meant for the temperature it reaches and scald or burn any skin it comes into contact with which is why it’s important to address it immediately.
Why is my water too hot?
There are various reasons that your hot water could be running too hot. There could be an issue with the thermostat, the pressure relief valve, the heating elements or the temperature setting.
If you have tried adjusting the temperature or thermostat yourself and have had no luck, it is best to contact a licensed plumber who will be able to get your hot water running at a safe temperature again in no time.