What are the best hot water temperature settings?

Hot water is a vital aspect of our daily lives, but many homeowners may not be aware of the importance of setting the right temperature for their hot water systems. The Plumbing Code of Australia has laid down specific rules and regulations for hot water storage temperatures to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, such as Legionella, which can cause serious health issues.

What is Legionella?

Legionella is a bacterium responsible for causing Legionnaires disease, a severe form of pneumonia. It thrives in damp or wet environments and spreads through mist, often from air-conditioning units. This dangerous illness poses a particular threat to vulnerable groups such as those over 50, people with chronic illnesses, smokers, and individuals with weakened immune systems.

What temperature should my hot water system be?

The ideal hot water temperature for storage in hot water systems is regulated at a minimum of 60°C to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, such as Legionella, which can cause serious health issues.

However, this high temperature can result in scalding injuries if the water comes out of faucets at the same level. To ensure a safer and more user-friendly temperature for daily use, it is recommended to install a tempering valve. This valve mixes cold water with the hot water, maintaining a controlled temperature of around 50°C at the taps, reducing the risk of scalding.

There are certain establishments and areas in a home may have specific temperature requirements, such as:

  • Early childhood centres and schools require a thermostatic mixing valve to set the hot water at no more than 45°C.
  • Nursing homes or facilities catering to vulnerable populations also require a thermostatic mixing valve to set the hot water at no more than 45°C.
  • Certain areas in a home, like the laundry or kitchen, may need hot water set at a higher temperature, such as 60°C, to operate appliances efficiently.

What is a Tempering Valve:

To comply with Australian Standards (AS3500) and ensure hot water temperature regulation, a tempering valve is a must-have for all hot water systems in QLD. This valve is installed on the water pipe to regulate the temperature of hot water in personal hygiene areas, such as bathrooms, keeping it at a safe level to prevent scalding.

Key Points to Remember:

  1. Hot water stored in your hot water system must be maintained at a minimum temperature of 60°C to prevent bacterial growth.
  2. A tempering valve should be installed in your home to ensure a safe hot water temperature at all times.
  3. The water coming out of faucets in areas used for personal hygiene should not exceed 50°C to avoid scalding injuries.

Stay Safe and Compliant:

If you’re unsure about the hot water temperatures in your home or need assistance with tempering valve installation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact Fallon Solutions at 1300 020 128, and one of our experienced plumbers will ensure your hot water system operates efficiently and safely. Alternatively, you can reach us online for any hot water system-related queries. Your safety and well-being are our top priorities.

For more information about your hot water system valves click here: