The elderly and babies are especially vulnerable. It is estimated that up to 24,000 children younger than 14 are burned by scalding ever year. Some of these victims' injuries result in death.
With statistics like that, lowering the water temperature in water heaters sounds like a no-brainer. Luke warm water can't burn anyone, and it even conserves energy.
Unfortunately, Legionella bacteria thrive at 120 F. If you want to keep your hot water tank safe from this bacterium the water has to be at least 140 F.
Water is a very legitimate safety issue. Water heated more than 120 F can scald a person, resulting in emergency rooms treatments.
If water is really hot, it doesn't take more than a second or two for a person to get a burn that will scar them for the rest of their life.
Many new homes have pressure-balancing systems that should eliminate this problem. Unfortunately, a majority of us have older houses with systems that do not have these safeguards.
The dilemma is that we have to keep people from being scalded, yet retain the ability to have scalding hot water when needed. It doesn't matter if you are young or old, if you are going to use water heated above 114 degrees F, some type of antiscalding device should be retrofitted into every home.
About 112,000 people are scalded every year.
90% of all scald injuries occur in the bathroom.
Tap water scald injuries are the second most common cause of serious burn injuries in all age groups.
The disabled and the elderly have delayed reactions to sudden rise in water temperature.
With assisted bathing, temperature changes are not felt by the person controlling them.
Bathers may be left unattended for extended periods of time, even though they are unable to change the water temperature.
All worldwide safety organizations recommend antiscald devices.
Antiscald Inc., antiscald devices do not mix or adjust the water temperature but reduce water flow to a trickle when the water temperature exceeds 120 F at the point of discharge.
The mechanisms are activated when too much hot water is being used or the cold-water pressure drops off. They automatically resume full flow when the temperature reaches approximately 98 F.