Parachute Canada: Hot Water Tank Safety

According to Environment Canada, hot water tanks account for 14 per cent of home energy use. Only home heating uses more energy. Lowering the setting of your hot water heater from 60 °C to 49 °C will reduce your heating bill, but some of this saving may be offset by an increase in the amount of hot water you use. In the end, you will likely see modest savings, in the range of $30 to $40 per year, possibly higher if energy costs rise.

Insulating your hot water tank can also save up to 10 per cent on your energy use for heating water.

Lowering the water temperature of your hot water tank does not come without health considerations. Lowering the water temperature below 49 °C may allow the growth of legionella bacteria which causes Legionnaires’ disease, a form of severe pneumonia. This bacteria can be found naturally in ponds, streams and rivers and also in indoor plumbing systems. The risks for causing illness depends on the temperature and mineral content of the water, the type / design of the water heater and whether people in the household are healthy or sick.

The positives of lowering the hot water temperature is that you can lower the risk of hot water scalds of children, older adults and people with certain disabilities or medical conditions who are more prone to hot water scalds.

For more information on lowering the temperature on your hot water heater and hot water safety, visit Parachute Canada website at

Information Source: Parachute Canada