Warning – Legionnaires disease in your hot water system

The Fallon Solutions plumbing team are issuing an urgent warning to customers to check that their home hot water systems are storing water over 60C to avoid breeding the dangerous legionella bacteria.

The recent hospitalisation of an Ipswich woman who contracted the potentially deadly disease from her hot water system has prompted the alert to Brisbane residents to review their homes’ water storage temperatures.

The legionella bacteria thrive in warm, damp areas such as hot water systems, commercial air conditioning cooling towers and spas. The bacteria has an ideal breeding temperature of between 35 to 46C which is why it is so important to ensure your hot water is being stored above 60C.

The Ipswich Legionnaires disease incident was caused by a failed solar hot water system circulating pump.

How can you prevent legionella growth at home?

These legionella prevention tips apply to all gas and electric storage hot water systems, including heat pump systems.

  • Have your hot water system checked regularly by a licenced plumber to ensure it’s running correctly and is storing water at a safe temperature.
  • Check for leaks in the hot water tank and valves.
  • Don’t leave your system off for extended periods of time.
  • Check solar hot water system circulation pumps are in working order.
  • Don’t reduce the temperature of your hot water system in an effort to save money and power, leave it as your plumber installed it.
  • Have your plumber fit a tempering or thermostatic mixing valve to maintain the temperature of the water coming out of the tap at a safe 50C to avoid scalds or burns.

Hot water system service Brisbane

If you are unsure whether your hot water system is working correctly or heating your water to over 60C give our team of master plumbers a call on 1300 762 260 or complete our online service request today.

For more information on the effects of Legionnaires Disease speak to your health professional.