Too Hot to Touch! Oklahoma City Plumbing Tips

Well, folks, spring is right around the corner. The crazy weather this year makes it hard to tell whether it’s coming or going. There’s one thing for sure, when spring does come in, there’ll be plenty of outdoor chores to go around. Winter always seems to add a few more projects too.

Along with that comes dirt, water, sweat, sore muscles, or a hurt back. Usually, a hot shower or bath is needed at the end of the day, and more than likely, you’ll use up all the hot water in the middle of your nice long shower.

There are some people who only want to take really hot showers, while others not so much. Some may take a much longer shower instead of a hot one. When there’s not enough hot water to do that, one of the things many people do is turn the water temperature up at the water heater. However, there are important considerations to take into account when you do this. On purely a financial point, heating the water to that higher temperature consistently will reduce the lifespan of your water heater, so you might want to include some of that cost into your budget so you will be prepared when it comes.

The most important consideration is scald burns caused by hot water. Burns are one of the most painful injuries to heal from. Scalds coming from hot water faucets in a home are almost always 100% preventable.

One of the devices our plumbers in OKC use to prevent those types of burns is what is called a pressure-balancing spindle. Basically, what it does is control the temperature of the bathwater by equalizing the water pressure. So, if there is another person who turns a faucet on somewhere else, the pressure change would automatically be adjusted at the tub or shower faucet and maintain the water temperature. These work great and have had very few problems with any of the models.

Another very important feature of this faucet is the high-temperature limit. Depending on the brand of the faucet, it is easily accessed and adjusted. Basically, what it does is limit how far you can turn the faucet handle that adjusts the temperature. This device works very well; however, it must be set manually. If it’s not, then it doesn’t do anything at all. It may have been set up properly originally, but if someone either replaced the cartridge and didn’t set the replacement temperature or if the temperature on the water heater had been set to a higher one, in those cases, that high-temperature stop does nothing to protect you.

I think overall, most people have used or are used to using two-handle or non-scald resistant faucets and never have a problem. For most of us, this is not a matter of much importance, but where we are running into issues is scalding hot bathwater. It is the source of almost all household injuries for children under six months of age. Whether you’re using a scald-resistant faucet or not, if the water temperature is higher than 120゚F, it will cause damage to their skin. Children’s skin will have a much worse burn than someone older. One of the ways this can happen is if, while filling the bathtub, someone got distracted and left a faucet on and unattended. Somehow the temperature was set too high or if someone came in after they left and adjusted it. If a child is either placed in the tub or manages to get in by himself or herself and the temperature is over 120゚F, the scald burns could be over much more of their body. These situations do happen, and when they do, it is always tragic. It’s also very preventable, whether you have a scald-resistant faucet or not. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure that this type of injury never happens to you or your loved ones:

Always turn the cold water on first and off last. It’s always safer to warm the water up than to cool it down.

Always test the bathwater before putting a child in it.

If you use your hand to test the water temperature, always use the tender part of your skin.

Never leave the care of a child with an older child in the bath or bathroom.

Never leave your child alone in the bathroom.

Always keep the bathroom door closed when it’s not being used.

Install faucet locks on the handles.

Of course, all those steps require consistent practices to work. There are other options available, and in general, they are required in all new installations. Here are a few:

Install a code-approved pressure balance faucet with a maximum temperature setting.

Install a thermostatic mixing valve at every bathroom fixture set to 120゚F.

Set the temperature at the water heater no hotter than 120゚F.

If you reduce the temperature of the water being supplied, you will prevent any of the other methods from being necessary. If you have to increase the water temperature to have enough water, installing a water heater designed for your needs would be best. If you have a higher capacity tank or a tankless water heater, you can maintain the amount of hot water without increasing the overall temperature. This will prevent any scalding from occurring.

For some people, when we initially talk to them about it, they see it (and sometimes rightly so) that it’s some new thing to charge them for that didn’t need to be there before. But the truth is, in this case, it’s very important that your water heater operates at the capacity it was designed for. By sizing it based on your usage, you’ll be able to maintain a lower water temperature and not compromise the amount of hot water.

Reach out to our plumbers in OKC today to check your water situation. If you are looking for an Oklahoma City plumbing company you can trust, Lakeshore Plumbing is the right option for you! 

Here at Lakeshore Plumbing Heating and Air, we offer top-tier service, the best materials, and the best warranty. Spring will sneak up on you, so call us to schedule an AC Tune-up. We can check your plumbing, make any repairs that are needed, and maybe even save some heartache at the same time. We offer the best Oklahoma City plumbing solutions. 

405-365-7379. Please call! 

Don’t forget to ask for your $100 first-time customer discount!