The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that your hot water heater be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit—or that you have anti-scald devices installed. However, by default, most water heaters are set at 140. Hot water can be very dangerous. At 118 degrees, most adults will feel pain. Two degrees higher, 120 F, will make you feel immediately uncomfortable. At 140 F, in just 5 seconds of exposure, you can get a second-degree burn.
Preventing burns from hot water exposure is an important part of the safety of your home. Having a trusted, local plumber like Wagner install anti-scald devices can help you keep everyone in your home—young, old, and in-between—safe.
How to best avoid hot water burns
Right off the bat, one of the best things you can do is to set the hot water tank to 120 degrees F. This step reduces the risk of receiving a hot water burn from 140-degree water.
Water temperature can also change due to pressure. You may have experienced this in the shower if you’ve ever gotten an unpleasant shock of hot water after someone flushed a toilet.
Anti-scald devices react to a change in pressure by reducing the volume of hot water that is coming out of the faucet. Some of these devices react to a change in temperature, again by lowering the volume of water coming out of the faucet. This prevents hot water from reaching the level needed to scald someone. Devices that react to changes in pressure are inexpensive and easy to have a professional plumber install.
Who needs anti-scald devices?
Anti-scald devices are most commonly recommended to families with small children. A child’s skin burns quicker because it is thinner, making them even more susceptible to water burns. Most small children love water but don’t usually understand the dangers of the faucet.
There are others in your home who can be protected by an anti-scald device:
- Diabetics: Some diabetes have neuropathy in their extremities and can’t determine the temperature of the water upon touch. This is dangerous, since too-hot water can cause burns regardless of whether or not they can feel them happening.
- Disabled: Physical challenges can make it difficult to get out of the way of scalding water.
- Elderly: Beyond the neuropathy mentioned above, scalding water can shock an elderly person, provoking pre-existing heart issues or causing them to fall.
Call Wagner to learn more about anti-scald devices
Your local plumbing experts here in Albuquerque can recommend the right equipment for your home. Wagner installs anti-scald devices. Typically, homeowners opt to have one in their bathroom and one in their kitchen. For an estimate, contact us today.