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Preventing Scalding Water from the Water Heater

shower-head-runningFor most homeowners, the idea of living life without a water heater in their homes is absurd. There are a lot of different systems and appliances that we rely on each and every day in order to make our lives more comfortable and convenient. The water heater, though, is one of the hardest working of them all.

Unlike your dishwasher or garbage disposal, which only run when you need to use them — and briefly, at that — your water heater is working throughout the day, every day. Vital as the water heater is, and considering how much you use it, you need to know that you are using it safely. Here are some tips for preventing scalding water from your water heater in Las Vegas, NV

Maintaining Safe Temperatures Is Trickier Than You Think

When a new water heater is installed, its thermostat is typically going to be set at 120°F. This is a safe temperature for using hot water in one’s home, but you have to keep in  mind that keeping your water heater set at this temperature does not guarantee that the water coming out of fixtures throughout the house will all be at this temperature. It’s just not the way that a thermostatic control on a water heater actually works.

Think about it this way. When you hop in the shower, you don’t turn the hot water all the way up, right? No, that would be way too hot for comfort, generally. There is going to be some difference between the water at the bottom of the tank and that at the top of the tank, which is just one reason why the thermostat readout is not the final point of consideration when it comes to water temperatures.

Problems and Solutions

One of the most common problems that can cause scalding water in one’s home is that of thermal stacking. This occurs when cold water is pulled into the bottom of the water heater tank when there is a short draw on hot water somewhere in the home. Because the water at the bottom is cold, the burner will come on to heat it up.

Should this thermal stacking occur when someone is in the shower, the water at the top of the tank — which is very hot due to the heat being generated to warm the water at the bottom of the tank — could scald that person. Of course, water temperatures could spike if a lot of cold water is used at once, too, such as when flushing the toilet. There are safety measures that you can take, fortunately.

  • Keep the limitations of thermostat controls in mind.
  • Discuss available safeguards with your plumber, which may include automatic compensating mixing valves, temperature limiting devices, and temperature actuated mixing valves.

You should be able to use hot water as safely in your home as you do conveniently. Always test water temperatures before jumping under the shower head, and teach your children to be cautious of the dangers that very hot water can pose. Contact The Sunny Plumber Las Vegas with any questions that you may have.

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