How to Prevent Legionnaire’s Disease by Proper Water Heating Maintenance

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Legionnaire’s disease is basically a lethal type of pneumonia. Every year, thousands of people are infected with the disease. People who are exposed to the bacteria are often taken to intensive care unit due to the severity of the health complications such as fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, fever, etc. The symptoms can be mistaken for other common diseases which makes this malady very dangerous. The bacterium that’s causing condition is called Legionella pneumophila and can reproduce in potable and non-potable water systems, like water heating units. You need to learn how to prevent Legionella bacterium from developing in your water heater, check out the tips below.

How do these bacteria develop?

The key to preventing the production of the Legionella bacterium is to know what conditions enable its growth. Here are some of the reasons why this bacterium develops.

Low temperature

One of the common reasons why Legionella grows is because of low temperature. Your water heater should never go below 322K. A lot of homeowners believe that lowering the temperature of the heating system is a smart way to lower the energy usage and thus, save more money when it comes to the utility bills. It may sound good in theory, but the negative effects outweigh the energy-saving benefit. Besides, it’s not worth risking your life j to save a few dollars from your electric bills.

Sediment build-up

It’s not enough to maintain a high temperature for your water heater in order to prevent bacterial growth; you also need to clean the tank. If you don’t clean or flush your water heater’s tank, then it will cause a sediment build-up. This sediment can harden and can become the perfect breeding ground for Legionella since the effects of the heat are minimal. Apart from that, the hot water production is lowered.

Plumbing lines with no circulation

It’s not just the heating system that you have to look after but the plumbing lines well. There may be little to no circulation on your plumbing lines which allows the hot water to stagnate and lose its heat. The low temperature will cause bacterial growth.

Preventing Legionnaire’s Disease

Now that you know the causes of the bacterial production, you need to be learning how you can prevent it.

Invest in a Tankless Water Heater

If your water heater is old or you just want a new one, then we suggest that you purchase a tankless heating system. Obviously this water heater doesn’t have any tank which eliminates the threat of bacterial growth. It also has other benefits like energy efficiency, long life span, etc.

Drain the water heater

To prevent sediment accumulation, you need to flush the tank once or twice a year and thoroughly clean the internal components of the tank.

Temperature control

Again, don’t set the temperature below 322K as it promotes bacterial growth.

Have the plumbing lines check

It’s very difficult to inspect the plumbing lines in your home if it’s circulating well. Enlist the services of a local and licensed plumber for this issue.