Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?

 
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:46 PM   #1
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Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


My hot water heater is electric and about 3 years old. What is the deal with using water from the hot water heater for cooking and such. I understand that some real old hot water heaters are full of rust and stuff, but what if it's somewhat new?

Thanks

Rob
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:46 PM   #2
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


Have no fear it is the same water you drink from the cold side.

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Old 02-01-2007, 04:36 PM   #3
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


Please let us know if you do get sick. JK
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:41 PM   #4
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


Quote:
Please let us know if you do get sick. JK
LOL
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:38 AM   #5
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


I'm not sick yet , but seriously. Why are we told not to drink it? Is it just because older hot water heaters are full of rust and sludge?

Thanks

Rob

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Old 02-02-2007, 02:13 PM   #6
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


Rust my not taste so great.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:27 PM   #7
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


It is because hot water dissolves things better. It could dissolve anything in the pipes or tank, including trace amounts of metals. This was probably more an issue when lead solder was used. I never let my kids drink hot water from the tap, be it formula or cocoa mix. They are still developing and I wouldn't want to mess they're brains up any more than they are now.
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:02 PM   #8
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


Everybody needs trace elements. Most water heaters provide iron, zinc, copper (unless you have Pex), what could possibly go wrong?
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:22 PM   #9
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


Water from a hot water heater is not considered 'potable'. It should not be used for cooking or drinking.

The reason is this. The danger zone for most bacteria is 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F. There are several harmful bacteria that can live in your water heater, including legionella, if the temperature is maintained below 140 degrees F.

The danger increases with less frequent use of the heater, meaning that freshly treated water is not being introduced regularly to kill or knock down these bacterial populations.

The bacteria can be introduced several ways; when installing any new water line, breach in city main, native to well water, new water heater, etc.

Most plumber and health care professionals will recommend a temperature of 120 degrees F or less.

I prefer a high setting with a tempering valve serving the whole house, but this is not a 'cheap' solution, but is one of the safest.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:33 PM   #10
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


Actually one should NEVER drink tap water, hot or cold. It needs purification first. Alcohol makes a good purifying agent, so just drink Beer.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:34 PM   #11
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Double-A View Post
Water from a hot water heater is not considered 'potable'. It should not be used for cooking or drinking.

The reason is this. The danger zone for most bacteria is 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F. There are several harmful bacteria that can live in your water heater, including legionella, if the temperature is maintained below 140 degrees F.

The danger increases with less frequent use of the heater, meaning that freshly treated water is not being introduced regularly to kill or knock down these bacterial populations.

The bacteria can be introduced several ways; when installing any new water line, breach in city main, native to well water, new water heater, etc.

Most plumber and health care professionals will recommend a temperature of 120 degrees F or less.

I prefer a high setting with a tempering valve serving the whole house, but this is not a 'cheap' solution, but is one of the safest.
danger zone between 40 and 140 ?

that puts everyone in danger at the cold or hot tap...... as most water coming from the ground is near 55

i am on a well so both cold and hot have a tank (pressure tank) ..no chemicals added anywhere....been drinking it for 35 years...well is old..was drilled in 1956....i hope my luck holds out
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:08 PM   #12
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


thom, I have the same mindset. Why take chances?

Here the water varies greatly. I get medium Iron and the guy 2 blocks away doesn't get any. I'm sticking with beer!
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Old 02-03-2007, 08:43 AM   #13
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


So the water enters the heater and it gets hot as well as a lot of settling goes on. Then the water kind of "filters" out alot of the minerals and other stuff that is "bad" into the bottom of the tank. In the end isn't the hot water actually cleaner than the cold? I'm not buying into the alleged bacteria farm just yet.
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:28 PM   #14
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


I agree that a lot of minerals fall out in the tank.

The point I was making is hot water will dissolve more than cold water. Thus it may dissolve some undisirable things also.

I'm not sure about the bacteria, haven't know it to be a problem where I'm at.
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:11 AM   #15
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Re: Is It Safe To Drink Water From Hot Water Heater?


Quote:
Originally Posted by billie-t View Post
danger zone between 40 and 140 ?

that puts everyone in danger at the cold or hot tap...... as most water coming from the ground is near 55

i am on a well so both cold and hot have a tank (pressure tank) ..no chemicals added anywhere....been drinking it for 35 years...well is old..was drilled in 1956....i hope my luck holds out
Billie, you have a good well, with little if any harmful bacteria, but make no mistake, unless you treat the well, there is bacteria in there. Not all bacteria is harmful.

My only point in posting this is to inform, not to scare. Hot water from a heater is not considered potable. So, take it FWIW.

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