Why Your Hot Water Tank Could Save Lives

Why Your Hot Water Tank Could Save Lives

Your plumbing is one of the most essential systems in your home. It keeps you supplied with clean drinking water, heats up your water, and helps keep you and your home clean. Did you know that your plumbing can also protect you and your family from getting sick from Legionnaires’ disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is a fairly rare disease but it does occur across North America, including in Ontario. The good news is that the risk of contracting this disease can be easily reduced through one important piece of plumbing equipment; your hot water tank.

In this post, Caldwell Plumbing will explain what Legionnaires’ disease is and how your hot water tank can help prevent you from getting it.

What is Legionnaires Disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia and when it does occur, it can be quite severe. You can catch Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in bacteria inside water droplets. This bacteria is known as Legionella. You might contract this bacteria by being in areas containing moisture such as showers, spas or air-conditioned rooms that have been infiltrated by Legionella. Although it is more common in public or busy places like a hotel or a hospital, the disease can be caught inside your home in places such as the bathroom or any home spas like hot hubs or pools.

If you catch Legionnaires’, you will start to feel unwell and may experience symptoms such as:

  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • High temperature
  • Flu-like feelings

Not everyone that comes into contact with the bacteria will get the disease. However, you are more at risk of experiencing symptoms if you are over 40 or have pre-existing conditions like diabetes or lung disease.

If you suspect you have Legionnaires’ disease, please contact your family physician, or visit a hospital or medical clinic as soon as possible. For more information, see official health advice from Public Health Canada.

How Your Hot Water Tanks Helps

A hot water tank is a complex heater that pulls cold water in from your water supply, heats it up, then releases it into your home’s plumbing for use. While heating water, sometimes pressure and high levels of heat naturally accumulate which can be released through a valve.

As well as keeping your home supplied with hot water, a hot water tank also plays a role in preventing Legionnaires’ disease. This is because Legionella bacteria dies at a temperature higher than 60°C – meaning it will not put you at risk of infection. Do note that this temperature should only be seen inside your tank. If you have temperatures exceeding 50°C coming out of your taps, it can scald your skin and cause painful burns. Your local plumber can help ensure your plumbing system stays hot enough in the tank but cool enough when it leaves your tap.

Hot Water Tank Services for Durham Region

As you can see, a hot water tank is an essential piece of your home’s plumbing. Not only does it keep your water supply well-heated during colder months, but it can also offer you some protection from unwanted bacteria like Legionella.

However, your hot water tank can only do this if it is working properly. If you are looking for a new hot water tank, need an inspection or a repair, contact our professional plumbers at Caldwell Plumbing. We service the entire Durham Region area, including Oshawa, Pickering and Ajax. Learn more about our hot water tank replacements or visit our contact page to get in touch today!