Serving New Orleans Since 1956

When Is Hot Water Too HOT?

Children ages 4 and under are at the greatest for burn-related injuries, according to the NYS Consumer Protection Board, scald burn injuries are the most common type of burn-related injury among young children. It only takes three seconds of exposure to water of 140° F to cause third-degree burns, which require hospitalization and skin grafts. Additionally, most tap-water burns occur in the bathroom, tend to be more severe and cover a larger portion of the body than other type scald burns.

Here are some measures you can take to protect yourfamily:

  1. The Pediatric Advisor recommends setting your water-heater thermostat between 120° – 125° F.
  2. Modern faucets are available in “anti-scalding” models that will automatically mix the cold and hot water to prevent hot-water burns.
  3. Test bath water with your wrist or elbow before submersing a small child.
  4. Supervise small children during bathing or showering and do not let them adjust the water settings.
  5. Face infants away from the faucet handles so that they do not grab or turn them inadvertently.

Most 3 bedroom homes are equipped with standard 40-gallon water-heaters which may not be adequate for active families. Add in a jacuzzi hot tub and you have bathroom and laundry loads that will far exceed the capacity of that standard water-heater. Some folks might be tempted to raise the water temperature dial to compensate for this imbalance, and this could increase your chance of a scald burn. A safer option would be to install a High-Demand Large capacity (100 gallons) water heater or even a tankless water system.

Other factors that might impede the flow of hot water could be sediment build-up in your water heater and/or the water lines themselves. Exposed water piping, either in the attic or under the house. Even under-sized supply lines can reduce the flow and leave you with a cold shower. If your family has a water concern or would like a plumbing-safety inspection, please click here.