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Commercial Water Temperature Regulations and Your Hot Water Heater

Hot Water Heaters: A Critical Part of Many Businesses

For companies that rely on hot water from their hot water heater for everyday tasks, making sure water is at the appropriate temperature in the appropriate parts of the business is critical. Although there are a number of businesses that can be described this way, restaurants are the most common. They serve as a good example of how requirements can change even within the same building.

Hot Water Heaters in Restaurants

The average restaurant has at least four different routine uses for hot water: the sinks in their public restrooms, hand washing sinks for employees, the dishwasher’s wash cycle, and the dishwasher’s rinse cycle. Each of these has a different required correct or maximum temperature. For example, Massachusetts safety regulations require public restrooms to have a maximum sink temperature of 110 degrees. Hand washing sinks for employees, on the other hand, can reach 120 degrees, as they are not considered public and employees are trusted to better know what temperature they can handle. (Higher temperatures are not allowed to prevent accidents; scalding can occur almost instantly at 130-140 degrees.)

For dishwashers, the industry standard is 150-160 degrees during the wash cycle and 180 degrees during the rinse cycle for proper sanitation. In some places, low-temp dishwashers can be used in conjunction with a chemical sanitizing agent. These wash at 120-140 degrees for both the wash and rinse cycle.

These requirements put a major onus on the reliability of your hot water heater and your plumbing system. In most restaurants, the hot water heater must be able to heat water to 180 degrees as well as supply the substantial quantity required all day, every day. A tiny slip in the performance of your hot water heater can throw off the functioning of your restaurant; a failure in the plumbing controls can lead to improperly sanitized plates and silverware, or worse yet, unexpected burns.

Make Sure Your Hot Water Heater is Professionally Installed

Your commercial hot water heater should be top-of-the-line, but it also needs to be installed by experienced professionals who know how to keep it running for years without issue. If you’re in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, or southern New Hampshire and you need a plumber, contact us today!