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Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
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reply to Bob4

Re: Deadly Amoebas Found in Tankless Water Heater

said by Bob4:

I think avoiding exposure to things like Legionnaire's Disease by setting the water heater to 135 F is a valid trade off to the slight risk of being scalded. The single-handle, pressure balanced faucets makes that very unlikely.

No I think you have it backwards. The slight risk of contracting Legionnaires Disease is very slight. The chance of getting scalded is very high.

There is no rational reason to exceed the CDC recommendation of 120 degrees for the the setting.


Jack_in_VA
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reply to scooper

said by scooper:

40 gallon electric tank is set to 125, 1 Gallon per minute tankless in kitchen (for sink / dishwasher) is set to at least 135, maybe 140. Just two middle aged, nondisabled adults in our house.

I have mine set at 120 degrees. NO tankless for kitchen. I just run the dishwasher on Sanitize and that takes care of the potential dish problem.

Mr Matt

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reply to AVonGauss

The magic number for pasteurization is 144 degrees Fahrenheit. That is the temperature that commercial pasteurizers are set to.

My sister in law insisted on setting the hot water temperature at 150 degrees. First of all it was scalding hot and it made taking a shower a high risk situation. Whenever someone turned on a cold water faucet or flushed a toilet the water became scalding hot.

I understand she finally reduced the temperature when one of her guests got scalded by one of those shower valves that rotate from cold to hot. The guest got mixed up and turned the valve the wrong way toward hot rather then off. When I visited them I got out of the shower first and then turned the water off.


Bob4
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New Jersey
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reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

There is no rational reason to exceed the CDC recommendation of 120 degrees for the the setting.

Or maybe there is:
said by CDC :
Households with water heater temperatures <=125°F were significantly more likely to harbor nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) compared with households with hot water temperatures >=130°F...

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are opportunistic pathogens found in the environment (e.g., water and soil) and cause life-threatening infections in humans, other mammals, and birds. The incidence of NTM disease in Canada and the United States seems to be increasing... NTM are not transient contaminants of drinking water distribution systems; rather, the NTM grow and persist in plumbing.
»wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/17/3/p···1510.pdf

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
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2 recommendations

reply to Bob4

If you use a tempering valve, you contaminated your hot water with healthy amoeba from cold water.



Jack_in_VA
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join:2007-11-26
North, VA
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·Millenicom

said by patcat88:

If you use a tempering valve, you contaminated your hot water with healthy amoeba from cold water.

I think that little "Inconvenient Fact" negates most of the arguments for having the temperature so high on the water heater.

You don't even need a tempering valve for this to happen. Just adding cold water to temper the temperature low enough to keep the water from scalding will contaminate the 140 degree water.

iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25

said by Jack_in_VA:

said by patcat88:

If you use a tempering valve, you contaminated your hot water with healthy amoeba from cold water.

I think that little "Inconvenient Fact" negates most of the arguments for having the temperature so high on the water heater.

You don't even need a tempering valve for this to happen. Just adding cold water to temper the temperature low enough to keep the water from scalding will contaminate the 140 degree water.

no, the amount of harmful bacteria etc. is much lower in cold water, so much lower that the governing body of the water agency you get the water from deems it safe to use!. it's the vastly increased amounts of bacteria etc. in WARM water that makes it unsafe, they grow to dangerous levels in WARM water!!. have the condensate from your A.C. tested sometime!!.


Jack_in_VA
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North, VA
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·Millenicom

said by iknow:

said by Jack_in_VA:

said by patcat88:

If you use a tempering valve, you contaminated your hot water with healthy amoeba from cold water.

I think that little "Inconvenient Fact" negates most of the arguments for having the temperature so high on the water heater.

You don't even need a tempering valve for this to happen. Just adding cold water to temper the temperature low enough to keep the water from scalding will contaminate the 140 degree water.

no, the amount of harmful bacteria etc. is much lower in cold water, so much lower that the governing body of the water agency you get the water from deems it safe to use!. it's the vastly increased amounts of bacteria etc. in WARM water that makes it unsafe, they grow to dangerous levels in WARM water!!. have the condensate from your A.C. tested sometime!!.

iknow again you do realize you can and are entirely free to set your temperature to any value you want and are comfortable with. Nobody here I don't think will try to force you to do differently. I'm entirely satisfied with the 120 mine is set for and I'm still alive.


Lurch77
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join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
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reply to iknow

said by iknow:

no, the amount of harmful bacteria etc. is much lower in cold water, so much lower that the governing body of the water agency you get the water from deems it safe to use!. it's the vastly increased amounts of bacteria etc. in WARM water that makes it unsafe, they grow to dangerous levels in WARM water!!. have the condensate from your A.C. tested sometime!!.

They were found in the faucets of one of the dead victims, with no mention of a water heater in that case. Seems "WARM water" is not the only place they live and thrive.

Telling someone to test the AC condensate is stupid and has no comparison to the potable water sources we are discussing here. AC systems are full of bacteria and other contaminants due to the environment it is in. Just like we would not compare our drinking water to swamp water.


marigolds
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Saint Louis, MO
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reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

said by Jack_in_VA:

There is no rational reason to exceed the CDC recommendation of 120 degrees for the the setting.

Or maybe there is:
said by CDC :
Households with water heater temperatures <=125°F were significantly more likely to harbor nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) compared with households with hot water temperatures >=130°F...

NTM disease cases number less than 4,000 per year, and the -vast- majority of those cases are from environmental airborne exposure.
Since, you know, you have to inhale them to contact disease from them. A hotter shower is actually much more dangerous of a risk exposure because of that.
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marigolds
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reply to iknow

said by iknow:

said by Jack_in_VA:

said by patcat88:

If you use a tempering valve, you contaminated your hot water with healthy amoeba from cold water.

I think that little "Inconvenient Fact" negates most of the arguments for having the temperature so high on the water heater.

You don't even need a tempering valve for this to happen. Just adding cold water to temper the temperature low enough to keep the water from scalding will contaminate the 140 degree water.

no, the amount of harmful bacteria etc. is much lower in cold water, so much lower that the governing body of the water agency you get the water from deems it safe to use!. it's the vastly increased amounts of bacteria etc. in WARM water that makes it unsafe, they grow to dangerous levels in WARM water!!. have the condensate from your A.C. tested sometime!!.

So, that's why you should use a tankless then? Since the water is warmed for only a few seconds as compared to minutes to hours in a tank heater?

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AVonGauss
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join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL
reply to iknow

said by iknow:

no, the amount of harmful bacteria etc. is much lower in cold water, so much lower that the governing body of the water agency you get the water from deems it safe to use!. it's the vastly increased amounts of bacteria etc. in WARM water that makes it unsafe, they grow to dangerous levels in WARM water!!. have the condensate from your A.C. tested sometime!!.

Its not that there is "more" contamination in warmer water, it is the combination of the water being stagnant (i.e. hot water tank) and being in a warm environment that promotes the growth. If you take water from the same source and put it in two sealed containers, one room temperature and one warm, the warmer will grow faster but the room temperature will also grow, albeit slower.

Conversely, if you take room temperature water and warm water (120 F) and circulate both in individual closed loop environments you'll probably see negligent additional growth in the warm water loop vs the room temperature loop - the water is not stagnant, you've broken the cycle (think breaking fire triangle).

Circling back to the actual problem and original post, its the combination of the bacteria being present (which it almost always is) and using that water in a Neti pot. It doesn't matter if your water tank is set to 160 or 120, when you take that water and expose it to the thin membranes of your sinuses there is mounting evidence that you expose yourself (unnecessarily) to a greater risk of infection. What's not known is how many times someone has used a Neti pot, got infected and not had a severe enough reaction to have the incident reported - or for that matter, how many times a Neti pot is used and no infection occurs.

AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL
reply to Mr Matt

said by Mr Matt:

The magic number for pasteurization is 144 degrees Fahrenheit. That is the temperature that commercial pasteurizers are set to.

Pasteurization requires a certain amount of heat, for a minimum duration and there is no particular "standard" - it depends on the product and intended use, storage. Even then, bacteria or other "contamination" will still be present, just at acceptably lower concentrations. If this process killed all organic life in the product, theoretically, an airtight container of milk would last forever even at room temperature - which we all know, it doesn't.


SparkChaser
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reply to AVonGauss

said by AVonGauss:

Circling back to the actual problem and original post, its the combination of the bacteria being present (which it almost always is) and using that water in a Neti pot. It doesn't matter if your water tank is set to 160 or 120, when you take that water and expose it to the thin membranes of your sinuses there is mounting evidence that you expose yourself (unnecessarily) to a greater risk of infection. What's not known is how many times someone has used a Neti pot, got infected and not had a severe enough reaction to have the incident reported - or for that matter, how many times a Neti pot is used and no infection occurs.

Yes, as I pointed out early in the thread, Boil the water
before using in a Neti Pot --
--
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Bob4
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New Jersey
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reply to AVonGauss

said by AVonGauss:

If this process killed all organic life in the product, theoretically, an airtight container of milk would last forever even at room temperature - which we all know, it doesn't.

In France, people buy milk which is stored at room temperature for months. It's pasteurized in a hermetically-sealed package. They only refrigerate it after they open it. What annoyed me was running out of cold milk and opening a new, room-temperature container. Our hosts didn't plan ahead and keep an extra container in the refrigerator ready for drinking.


SparkChaser
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Downingtown, PA
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Where was this? Most of my experience in Europe has been almost daily shopping.

Anyway......

Was it this

In the ultra-pasteurization process, milk or cream is sent through pipes where it's heated almost instantaneously to around 280° and then cooled again almost as quickly. This is as compared to the regular pasteurization process which heats milk to a minimum of 162° for fifteen seconds.

On the one hand, ultra-pasteurization means that enormous quantities of milk can be processed much more quickly than any other pasteurization (or safety regulation) process. The milk is also shelf-stable for several months.
--
--
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.." - Mitt Romney


neonturbo

join:2009-02-27
Lansing, MI
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

How about our young, elderly and disabled? Why heat the water to 140 degrees when it's not needed and costs fortune to do? I do just fine at 120 degrees.

I have seen the "costs a fortune" argument a couple times. My summer bill averages $20, but the cost of the gas averages only $10. (the difference is the tax, and the charge for the meter that will be there regardless of how much gas I use) I keep my water heater at 140-145 degrees, and I just cant see that I will save "a fortune" by turning the heater down a dozen degrees.

I have a 40 gallon natural gas heater, and we are not shy about showers, dish washer use, and laundry. There are two adults and two large doggies so we do plenty of laundry.

I like hot showers, I like to be able to get the dishes clean in the dishwasher, and I like to get my dirty work clothes clean, so I am not turning down my water temperature any time soon.


cowboyro
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Shelton, CT
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1 edit
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

How about our young, elderly and disabled? Why heat the water to 140 degrees when it's not needed and costs fortune to do? I do just fine at 120 degrees.

It doesn't cost more to keep at 140 than at 120 (not any amount that really matters anyway). The difference in standby losses is negligible compared to the amount of heat effectively used. You heat the water more, but you use a less of the hot water and more cold water.
Also 140F isn't that hot. And a mixing valve is a whole $35 and it shouldn't take a plumber more than 30min to install.


marigolds
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Saint Louis, MO
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reply to neonturbo

said by neonturbo:

said by Jack_in_VA:

How about our young, elderly and disabled? Why heat the water to 140 degrees when it's not needed and costs fortune to do? I do just fine at 120 degrees.

I have seen the "costs a fortune" argument a couple times. My summer bill averages $20, but the cost of the gas averages only $10. (the difference is the tax, and the charge for the meter that will be there regardless of how much gas I use) I keep my water heater at 140-145 degrees, and I just cant see that I will save "a fortune" by turning the heater down a dozen degrees.

I have a 40 gallon natural gas heater, and we are not shy about showers, dish washer use, and laundry. There are two adults and two large doggies so we do plenty of laundry.

I like hot showers, I like to be able to get the dishes clean in the dishwasher, and I like to get my dirty work clothes clean, so I am not turning down my water temperature any time soon.

The difference with a tankless is not the difference in temperatures, even though there is a difference in temperature. It is the difference in standby loss and a host of other factors.
Turning a tank heater down 20 degrees is not going to change standby loss that much. Having no standby loss at all will (but only to an extent, since you are not spending that much on heating water in the first place). I still think the biggest advantage is that a tankless heater has a 20+ year life. 2 tanks are still cheaper than 1 tankless, but the gap in cost is small enough that the tankless probably saves you money and has a lot better performance. Sometimes the extra space if very valuable or the extra leak risk from a tank comes back to bite you too.
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jester121
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join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL
reply to iknow

said by iknow:

what? you would get in a car with a driver that is drunk? or eat a sandwich that fell in the toilet?

Depends on the sandwich, and the condition of the toilet.