What temperature do you prefer when you’re soaking up a hot bath or enjoying a soothing shower? Some like it hot, some like it not-quite-so-hot, but did you know it can’t be scorchingly, dangerously hot? And at the same time, the Queensland government also regulates a minimum temperature for stored hot water for normal, residential businesses to protect against harmful bacteria growth such as Legionella, which can be both fatal and transmissible.
Hot water temperature regulations Queensland
For bacteria minimisation, no residential building may have stored hot water at any lower than 60 degrees Celcius – well above the threshold for bacterial growth of 55°C. The 60°C metrics is also backed by the World Health Organisation and other jurisdictions across Queensland and the rest of Australia.
But the Queensland Government also requires that the temperature of hot water that actually reaches the tips of your taps and showerheads be delivered at no more than 50°C. That’s hot enough for a steaming soak but low enough to minimise the risks of scalding-related incidents, particularly among the more vulnerable members of our households and communities.
Hot water temperature – Queensland FAQ
What else do you need to know about the hot water temperature regulations Queensland wide that may be relevant to your plans or installation? Our Gold Coast plumbers put together just about everything you need to know in this helpful and exclusive collection of Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Is Legionella really a concern in Queensland?
A: Yes. Particularly in tropical regions, the cold mains water supply can often not be cold at all in the warmer months. Average temperatures of 25-32°C are perfect for Legionella growth.
Q: How is hot water temperature controlled?
A: It is easy for your hot water system to regulate the higher temperatures (60°C minimum) required for the Legionella rules – but it’s a different story for the maximum temperature of 50°C to prevent scalding. That requires a temperature control device known as a hot water tempering valve.
Q: Can I adjust the temperature myself?
A: Most modern hot water systems are not designed to be adjustable in this way for the user. If the pre-set temperatures need to be changed, it should only be done by a qualified hot water plumber. And if necessary, it will already be fitted with a hot water tempering valve.
Q: How does the tempering valve work?
A: It’s really very simple. The valve simply mixes cold water with hot water to create the safe hot water temperature.
Q: Does it need to be fitted to every system?
A: The regulations in Queensland require that a functioning and compliant temperature control device is fitted to all new and replacement hot water systems.
Q: Is the risk of scalding really a big deal?
A: Although the difference between 60°C (the stored temperature) and 50°C (the usable water) may not seem significant, it actually is a very, very big deal. At 60°C, you, a child or another vulnerable person can sustain third degree burns in just one second, but at 50°C that third-degree scalding timeframe blows out to a much safer 5 minutes.
Gold Coast’s hot water experts can help
Need help or guidance with your local hot water temperature regulations, as well as hot water system repairs, servicing and your replacement/installation options? Gold Coast Plumbing Experts are your local specialists in all matters relating to hot water plumbing, backed by our workmanship guarantee, fixed pricing and services with a smile every time. Get in touch with our team today for expert plumbing in Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads, Currumbin Waters, Miami, Elanora, Burleigh Waters, Varsity Lakes and beyond.