What Temperature Should Hot Water Be In Australia?

hot water temperature standards

How do you like your bath? Just a little over body temperature for a tepid, comfortable soak – or scorching, steaming hot like so many people we all know so well? While hot water temperature is a preference made possible by the perfect tweak of our hot and cold taps, what you might not know is that hot water temperature is actually tightly regulated across Australia.

If that seems like just another layer of frustrating control in our country, think again – because it’s all about protecting our most vulnerable people. People of advancing years, people with disabilities and children make up a staggeringly high percentage of the 6000+ Australians who – every single year – are treated in hospital for often terrible third-degree burns. You might think it’s exposure to naked flames or extremely hot surfaces or dropped pots of searing liquids and oils that are the biggest burn threats, but a serious and even life-threatening hot water scald can do its damage in a matter of microseconds.

What temperature should hot water be?

Hot Water Fact: 90% of all scalding burns occur in the home, and another 90% of those burns occur in the bathroom when using baths and showers.

In all of those hot water scalding cases, a matter of seconds made the difference between a harmless ‘Ouch’ and a full-on, full thickness burn.

  • How warm is 70°C  water? At 70°C, this type of devastating burn occurs in less than a single second of exposure to the hot water.
  • Is 60°C degrees water hot? At 60°C, the exact same damage takes five seconds.
  • Is 50°C degrees hot enough for hot water? At 50°C, the exact same damage would take a full five minutes.

At this point, while it obviously now makes perfect sense for local and state authorities to insist on hot water temperature regulations, it’s important to note that these regulations differ slightly in those jurisdictions across the country. What is presented below is therefore a careful amalgamation of all of those state and local hot water tap temperature requirements, to give you a great summary of the recommended hot water temperature Australia wide:

Hot water temperature regulations in Australia

1. 50 degrees Celcius

If you’re after a key number, here it is: 50°C. That means the water that comes out of your hot bath tap or shower head with only the hot water on should be no more than that – hot enough for a lovely bath, but not hot enough to do any instant or lasting damage.

2. 45 degrees Celcius

The main exception to the 50°C rule is for environments specifically for vulnerable Australians – like aged care facilities and schools. In these cases, the general maximum is 45°C.

3. 60 degrees Celcius

The actual water in your hot water system, however, needs to be stored at a minimum of 60°C in order to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria like Legionella.

4. Hot water tempering valve

So with stored water at 60°C, but 45-50°C the recommended temperature for those hot taps, what’s the solution? The answer is a hot water tempering valve. This feature mixes in a little cold water to bring the heat of the stored water down for delivery to the home.

Ask Best Plumbers Club about your hot water temperature

Have you got a problem with your hot water system temperature? Do you need your hot water tempering valve checked or fixed? Got another concern? For a matter of such fundamental importance from a safety point of view, you’re going to need the advice and services of absolutely the best hot water plumbers you can get your hands on. Get help with:

Here at Best Plumbers Club, you get VIP plumbing services every time. Our recommended and reviewed local plumbers near you really are the best – with fast, friendly service and top quality workmanship guaranteed. To get an approved Best Plumber out to your place before you know it, call 1300 930 880 or drop us a message right now.