If you try to save power by reducing your hot water cylinder temperature, you need to be very careful. The following may also happen to you:
Hot water cylinders should normally be set to a minimum 60°C. At this temperature, bacteria cannot survive, and therefore keeps your water clean. When you set the temperature lower than this, it becomes an optimal breeding ground for Legionella bacteria, which is the main concern for hot water systems in New Zealand.
Some people, however, think that by lowering the temperature that the hot water cylinder is set at, they will save power. While this can work, going below 60°C is not safe, because this is the perfect temperature range for the bacteria to grow.
What is Legionella?
Legionella is an aquatic bacteria that lives in warm water conditions. It is the cause of Legionnaires disease and is commonly found in potable water supplies, hot tubs, cooling towers, fountains, swimming pools and so on. It breeds in warm water temperatures of 20-45°C. This is why it is recommended to keep your cylinder above 60°C, they cannot survive at these temperatures.
Most cylinder manufactures these days such as Rheem have a prevention lock on the thermostat which restricts people from reducing the temperature via the thermostat. In most cases, it is only possible with older models, however we have come across several systems where DIYers have dropped the temperature through various methods despite the thermostat lock by manipulating components. This results in damage and invalidation of warranties.
If you are looking for ways to save on water heating, speak to us today about upgrading to a more efficient hot water system. Don’t risk your health to save a few dollars!