You Shouldn’t Drink Hot Water From Your Tap

December 10, 2009 at 1:34 am 10 comments

Household tap water is usually heated in a hot water tank or by an inline water heater. Water tanks particularly, collect sediments overtime and are breeding grounds for bacteria. You might be thinking that bacteria cannot survive in hot water, but you need water above 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill most bacteria. That’s why your meat thermometer recommends you cook chicken until that internal temperature is reached.

Hot water also dissolves contaminants such as lead that may be found in the solder of your hot water pipe. Newer copper tubing and fittings or PEX (plastic) pipes would be safer in this respect.

If you’ve ever read the manual for your coffee maker, it clearly states that you should make coffee using cold water.  This is not because the temperature of the water makes better coffee, it’s because you should only consume tap water from the cold side of the tap.

If you need water that is always hot, there are food grade water heaters that you can use. For example, you may have a water cooler/heater or an installation under your kitchen sink for dispensing water that is always hot. Otherwise, always use cold water and then heat it in a kettle, microwave, pot…etc.

Sources: MIT,,

Photo: Malla Mi (Creative Commons)

Entry filed under: Around The House, Food and Drink, ProTips. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. How to Sterilize Your Toothbrush « Broken Secrets  |  March 30, 2010 at 12:20 am

    […] Heat is probably the most misunderstood method of sterilization. It is a popular practice to boil baby products in water and if the duration is long enough, it may disinfect them but it does not sterilize them. The boiling method is really good at removing particles, which can be a source of bacteria, but is not great at killing the bacteria itself. If you do use this method, be sure to start with cold water since hot water from your tap is already a bacteria risk (see: why you shouldn’t drink hot water from your tap). […]

  • 2. Demand  |  April 7, 2011 at 3:59 am

    It was a helpful experience for me to find your webpage. It definitely stretches the limits with the mind when you locate helpful advice and make an effort to interpret it correctly. I am going to glance up this web site ofttimes on my PC. Thanks for sharing

  • […] In an earlier post, I talked about hot water from your water heater. It’s great for loosening dirt in clothes and it makes your showers comfortable, but it is a breading ground for bacteria. […]

  • 4. Water drip change - Koi Forum Website  |  September 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    […] i thought you couldnt drink hot water from a boiler tank because of the bacteria that builds up plus all the pipe work it has to go through before it gets hot. the cold water comes straight from the mains so is clean. i found this… You Shouldn’t Drink Hot Water From Your Tap Broken Secrets […]

  • 5. Hot water heater  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    […] are not kept to above 165 degrees.. here is just one of many sites giving several reasons why. You Shouldn?t Drink Hot Water From Your Tap | Broken Secrets The sacrificial rod breakdown also creates a hazard in aluminum which is a known health hazard and […]

  • 6. dragon story hack tool  |  January 4, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Wow, this article is nice, my sister is analyzing these kinds of things, thus I am going to tell her.

  • 7. Bonnie  |  October 20, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    we used to drink warm water to help our powdered medicine work quicker. I never thought about bacteria but I will now!!

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  • […] and have methods to purify the water. Since all these things do happen naturally in a heater, cold water is the safest setting to drink from the […]

  • 10. Harris Enabulele  |  March 9, 2020 at 5:59 am

    Thx for the information / education. Peace & Love.


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