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Do you manage a commercial facility? Whether it’s a gymnasium, restaurant, hotel, assisted living facility, or another type of business, the right commercial water heater temperature setting is important to your business’s health and safety.

Your water heater piping could be a breeding ground for several potentially dangerous pathogens that could pose a risk to your customers. For this reason, it’s extremely important to keep it at the right temperature. But what temperature is that? Here are some things to weigh when deciding.

The Balancing Act of Comfort and Safety

Balancing between the comfort and safety of your guests and customers is at the top of your list. You want to make sure they have ample hot water for bathing, showering, and washing their hands. But you’ll also need to consider their safety. If the water is too hot, scalding can be a risk. If it’s not hot enough, you have to worry about making it easy for certain pathogens to thrive.

Prevent Pathogens

One of the most dangerous pathogens is the bacterium Legionella that can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease, which can be fatal. These bacteria can also cause a much less serious illness called Pontiac fever.

According to the World Health Organization, here are some guidelines to how legionella responds to various water heater settings.

  • 90° F – 108° F – The ideal temperature range for legionella growth
  • 118° F – 122° F – Legionella survives but is not able to multiply
  • 122° F – Depending on the type of legionella strain, 90% of bacteria die in 80-124 minutes
  • 140° F – 90% die within two minutes
  • 158° F – The bacterium dies nearly immediately

While other bacteria can find their way into your hot water supply, legionella is the more serious. Legionella and other bacteria are present in natural water sources. But setting your water heater at the appropriate temperature will kill the bacteria. So, what is the right commercial water heater temperature?

The Right Commercial Water Heater Temperature

Overall, the ideal temperature to balance comfort and safety is between 120° and 140°for many business applications. If you can’t decide between the two, split the difference. At 130°, you can kill off most germs while reducing the risk of scalding and saving on utility bills.

If you have questions about what water heater temperature setting your business needs, contact a commercial plumber.

Do you need a new, energy-efficient commercial water heater for your business? Wallingford Sales has a wide variety of top brands at wholesale prices. Shop our easy-to-use online catalog now.

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