During the summer months, we usually turn the water heater in our house to a very low setting as the cold water is already warm enough in Scottsdale. During a recent plumbing inspection, our plumber made note of the low setting and stated that we should set the temperature higher to make sure that bacteria doesn’t grow in the water heater.
This then begs the question: What about all of the homes that we watch where the water heater is set to the “Vacation” setting?
After some mutual discussion, one of our colleagues took this question directly to the Center for Disease Control. The CDC has handled cases of Legionnaire’s or other unhealthful bacteria in boilers in hotels and cruise ships, but thought through our situation and provided a careful response. The net result is that the possibility is there for bacterial growth, and we should do whatever we can to prevent this. Their recommendation was to have a high water temperature for at least a day to kill any growth as well as flush all the water lines in the house with fresh water.
Home Management Professionals are going to institute a new policy in order to err on the side of health and safety. For our weekly and bi-weekly clients, if you normally set your water heater to the Vacation setting when leaving, we will turn it back to Hot during the home visit prior to your arrival. As we already run fresh hot water each visit, we take care of flushing the system with fresh water (note that this is not be considered a water heater flushing though). By having the water temperature hot for at least a day we take care of the CDC’s recommendations.
If you would prefer that we do not turn up your water heater prior to arrival, please let us know and we’ll flag your account.
Enjoy your summer!