Hot Tap Water: A Hidden Menace

Close up of kitchen sink with water running

Tap water is an often overlooked miracle that we cannot get enough of in our homes! Access to clean tap water is extraordinary, from washing dishes to cooling off from a hot day outside. There is one tiny bit of info that we do want to extend to homeowners everywhere, and that is hot tap water might not be great for cooking and can potentially be hazardous!

Reality Check

While it may sound scary to hear that hot tap water is not safe, the reality is a little more nuanced, so do not just think all hot tap water will suddenly poison you. Often hot water systems store hot water in water heaters with material that can corrode over time, letting elements such as rust or lead easily dissolve into the hot tap water. This problem is more commonly caused by old pipes that can contaminate hot water sources with trace amounts of lead in old homes.

Thankfully most water sources across the country are treated and safe to drink; the issue of contamination usually is connected to old plumbing fixtures found in homes when using hot water. To help alleviate any stress, the chances of having lead contamination affect individuals are low. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Staying Safe

What can you do to stay safe? For starters, get into the habit of using hot tap water primarily to clean yourself and your dishes, not for drinking or cooking! While it may seem like a pain at first, if you ever need hot water, try to use cold water first, then bring it to a boil. Also, a quick tip for home chefs is never to use hot tap water to defrost meats like chicken! Defrosting too quickly with hot water may seem intuitive, but you are running the risk of bacteria growth.

To get to the root of the problem, you want to ensure your plumbing is routinely inspected, especially if you live in an older home. Old pipes can wreak havoc on your plumbing, but thankfully replacements can alleviate most of your health risks. Likewise, even in a newer home, inspecting water heaters can help detect potential malfunctions that impact your water quality.

Calming Nerves

If you have been using hot tap water for cooking often, do not panic, as contamination from these sources can take a long time to impact an individual’s health. We extend this knowledge so you can take proactive steps to stay healthy!

At TriState Home Services we always want to help our customers and treat them like family. So if you're going to get any old plumbing fixtures inspected to stay safe, call (301) 969-9353 today, and we can help schedule an appointment!