Your Guide To SA’s Hot Water Temperature Regulations

hot water temperature regulations

You turn on the hot tap in the shower, jump in and ‘ahh, perfect’. But did you know there are actually quite strict hot water temperature regulations SA wide? That’s right: the South Australian government enforces rules so that the hot water in your system, and what comes out of the hot tap, is not too hot and not too cold. Feeling confused? Our exclusive guide to hot water temperature in our great state should help you out.

1. Is Your Hot Water Too Cold?

We all know that our hot water systems need to produce water hot enough for a satisfying bath or shower. But did you know there’s another consideration here: Legionella?

It’s a bacteria that lives in fresh water – and it can be both fatal and highly transmissible. However, with regulations like the ones in place in SA, Australia has got its cases down to a mere handful every year.

That’s been possible because all hot water in South Australian homes and businesses must never be stored at below 60°C, which is enough to kill the bacteria before it ever gets near your hot tap.

If your hot water is cold, or perhaps you have low hot water pressure, get in touch for service today!

2. Is Your Hot Water Too Hot?

But when you turn on that tap, requesting a stream of hot water for your next bath, it shouldn’t ever be possible to hit your skin at that stored temperature of 60°C.

Why not? Because at that temperature, the most vulnerable among us – including children and the elderly – are subject to full-thickness, third degree burns after just a single second of exposure.

Drop that temperature to between 45 and 50°C, and the scalding time blows out to a super-safe five minutes. In South Australia, the water coming out of hot taps must not be greater than 45°C for facilities like aged care and schools, and 50C in your home.

If the hot water is too hot in your home, act quickly and get your hot water system repaired or adjusted by an expert.

How Is Hot Water Temperature Controlled in SA?

Your hot water system is perfectly capable of heating the water to 60°C to stave off Legionella, but how is that water then rapidly cooled to get it down to the delivered hot-tap temperature of 45-50? It’s all done with something called a hot water tempering valve.

How it works is really quite simple: the valve automatically introduces some cold water to the flow of hot, stored water as it enters your home’s internal plumbing pipe system. It can also be done with a thermostatically controlled tap, or for non-storage hot water systems like instantaneous gas hot water systems, that hot water temperature is all regulated internally.

Need to know more? You can read the actual South Australian legislation for the storage and delivery of hot water in the National Construction Code Series Volume Three, Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), Part B2.

Do You Need Adelaide’s Hot Water Experts To Help?

Or, for hands-on, fully personalised hot water plumbing services and advice, why not turn to the most trusted local Adelaide plumber? At Fawcett Plumbing, we offer same-day servicing, repairs and hot water system replacements and installations across metropolitan Adelaide and beyond. With over 250 years of combined plumbing industry experience, our hot water specialists always provide affordable pricing, fully-guaranteed workmanship and even pensioner discounts. Whether you’re in Campbelltown, Athelstone, Magill, Hope Valley, Prospect or anywhere in Adelaide and beyond, get in touch with Fawcett Plumbing today!