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Richard Moore

Minimum hot water temp?

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A small condo in a large 2006 complex with common hot water supplied by a pair of Lars 715K BTU boilers ("looked at", not really inspected). My unit was at the other end of the complex from the boilers, probably 250' as the crow flies and obviously much further by pipe. I ran a lot of hot water at the unit, including the tub, dishwasher and laundry but at no time did the water temp get above 99°F (kitchen and bathroom sinks).

This was the middle of the day and there probably wasn't a lot of activity or water use going on in the complex, but does that really matter? It seems to me that water, hot enough to get rid of grease at the kitchen sink or to have a good hot shower with, should be readily available, even if it is included in the dues. I know I would want more than this unit had by feel and thermometer.

I'm recommending the client seek more info from the HOA. What say y'all?

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There might be a malfunctioning or mis-adjusted tempering valve.

Maybe. There were a number of holes rough cut into various hallway ceilings around the complex for plumbing access and the building super/manager had a story about improper boiler grounding causing problems with various soldered joints(???). Frankly, he didn't seem to know what had really happened or what the fix had been other than it had been very recent (that's another "investigate further" for my client). So, yes, this might be someone messing with the controls.

But...I guess my main question is what you would consider an acceptable minimum temp.

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2009 IRC, section 202 Definitions:

HOT WATER. Water at a temperature greater than or equal to 110 degrees F.

CRC (California) has it at 120 degrees.

Depends on your state, etc. I guess. Max recommended temp. is 120 for scald safety.

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I work with a lot condo associations.......all the things you're saying are "high alert" things.......super's talking vague mysterious repair stuff on new buildings.......beware.

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