Tips To Prevent Hot Water Injuries

Posted on: 27 September 2022

Extremely hot water increases the risk of scalding. Take the following measures to reduce the risk of scalding from your hot water system.

Adjust the Temperature Properly

First, ensure your water heater is set to the right temperature. The degree of scalding injuries depends on two main factors:

  • The duration of exposure to the hot water
  • The water temperature

Say two people experience scalding accidents with 120oF and 150oF water, respectively. The 150oF water will likely cause more serious injuries than the 120oF water, assuming similar exposure durations.

Reduce the water temperature to or slightly below 120oF to reduce the seriousness of scalding injuries. Don't lower your water temperature too much; otherwise, dangerous microorganisms will thrive in your water heater system.

Water heater systems come with different temperature control panels. Review your user manual or consult your installer on how to set the water temperature. Regular inspection and calibration will help you maintain a safe water temperature. 

Install Anti-scald Devices

The plumbing industry has several anti-scald devices. Below are three common ones:

1. Thermostatic Mixing Valves

The valve mixes hot and cold water to ensure safe water temperature. The valve controls the mixing ratio to ensure constant safe water even when the incoming water temperature rises. The valve cuts off water flow if it cannot produce safe water, for example, should something cut off the cold water supply.

2. Thermostatic Mixing Valve

Water temperature and pressure go together. An increase in water pressure increases its temperature even without additional heating. The thermostatic mixing valve controls the pressure to ensure the water temperature doesn't rise above the set level.

3. Temperature-limiting Devices

A temperature-limiting device provides thermal shock protection to prevent scalding. Thermal shock occurs when cold water rushes into boiling water. The reaction causes a rapid expansion and contraction within the system, a reaction that can damage valves, pipes, and water heater tanks and cause hot water leakage.

Ensure TPR Works as It Should

Tank-system water heaters have temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valves to regulate temperature and pressure within the tank. The TPR valve is an integral safety mechanism. For example, the TPR valve may be useful if the thermostat malfunctions and the tank temperature rises.

The TPR allows steam to escape, reducing temperature and pressure if the tank temperature rises to dangerous levels. Again, maintain the TPR valve alongside other parts of the water heater system to ensure it can always protect you.

Regular water heater maintenance goes a long way in preventing scalding injuries. Remember to contact a plumber for a prompt repair in case of a water heater or plumbing system malfunction.

Reach out to a plumbing company for more information.