Tip: Don't drink hot water from the tap

Tip: Don't drink hot water from the tap
January 4, 2019

It’s cold outside – the wind is bone-chilling, the sun is nowhere to be found and you might have just seen a few snowflakes floating in the air. You need something to warm you up and a cup of coffee should do the trick. By filling up your coffee maker with hot water from the tap, you hope the coffee will get to your cup a little faster. Surprisingly, that might be doing you more harm than good.

Louisville Water produces high-quality, award-winning water, and that finished water is distributed to homes and businesses all across our service area. In Louisville, finished water temperature varies depending on the time of year, as well as which plant produced it. Once that finished water reaches your home, some of the water goes to your hot water heater. When you turn your hot water knob, the water that comes out of the faucet is water that has been heated in your hot water heater. Water heaters are made of metal parts and most hold hot water in the heater until you need it. Over time, there is more of a chance for those metals to penetrate the water that is being heated.

“Hot water from a water heater is not recommended for consumption mainly due to the fact that hot water can reside for extended periods in a hot water tank,” said Emily Fritz, a scientist at Louisville Water. “Hot water also has a greater tendency to leach metals from plumbing components, and hot water heaters/boilers have a life span which means they slowly degrade over time. The surest way to make sure you are consuming the highest quality product is to always use cold water from the tap.”

When consuming or cooking with water, take water from the cold water tap and heat it separately – by boiling, microwaving, or letting your coffee maker do its job. Hot water from the tap is fine for washing, bathing, cleaning and most other activities.

So next time you want to brew some coffee, make sure you fill up from the cold water faucet with high-quality Louisville pure tap®!