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Water Heater Tips: Preventing Scalds

red-thermometerOne of the great things about modern living is all of the conveniences that we have at our disposal in our homes. Garbage disposals, for instance, and dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, central HVAC systems, etc. Perhaps the hardest working in any given household is the water heater. After all, when you are washing your dishes, taking a shower, or doing the laundry, you are depending upon the hot water that is heated by this appliance. When it comes to your water heater in Carrollwood, FL, there is just no such thing as a day off.

We are so used to using our water heaters as part of our daily routines, in fact, that it is easy to overlook that they can potentially be dangerous. This is true of many appliances. The major risk with a water heater is being burned or scalded by the water that it delivers to points of use throughout a home. Preventing scalds may not be as straightforward as you think, so we want to share some information with you that can help you to avoid such dangers in your home. 

Problems That Cause Scalding Temperatures

Well, “problems” may not exactly be the right word for these situations. “Realities” may be more appropriate. Tank water heaters remain the most popular of all water heaters on the market today. They are dependable, increasingly efficient, affordable upfront, and, most importantly, they are effective. The way in which they operate can lead to water that is significantly hotter than you’d expect to come out of your faucets occasionally, however.

First of all, we need to stress that you should never, ever assume that the temperature you’ve set on your water heater’s thermostat is the max temperature of the water that will come out of your faucets. That’s not how it works. This is a target temperature for your water heater to attain and maintain.

However, when multiple short draws of hot water drain some water from the tank, cold water will refill the tank at the bottom. The system will start heating this water, but there is plenty of hot water still on top of it. That can lead the top water to get much hotter than it otherwise would, and if it is used right away scalds are possible. This is known as thermal stacking.

What You Can Do About It

Okay, so you cannot really depend on the thermostat of a water heater to keep you safe from scalding. What can you do, then? Well, if you have kids, you should always be reminding them to check water temperatures before they step under the water. You don’t want to leave the water running to heat up, and then just jump into the shower. Because of issues like thermal stacking, however, even this is really not enough.

Working with a professional plumber to guarantee safe water temperatures is your best bet. A professional plumber can install controls such as temperature-actuated mixing valves, automatic compensating mixing valves, or point of use temperature limiting devices for you.

If you have any questions or require any water heater services, contact Experts Plumbing Services, LLC.

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