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Single Temp Hand Washing
Single Temp Hand Washing

Hot water is not necessary for hand hygiene. Soap, water, and technique make hands clean, regardless of water temperature. The only reason for heating water is to make washing comfortable enough that people will keep their hands in the water for 20 seconds. 

Hospitals have hundreds of handwashing stations, all currently piped with both hot and cold water, but most handwashing is already done at room temperature, since the water in the pipe is rarely hot. We can save money and energy by using a single pipe carrying tempered water – 75-80°F, which is below the level of rapid Legionella growth. The pipe is routed to each fixture in a recirculated loop. There is no temperature adjustment at each faucet – just a simple on/off control, preferably handsfree. 

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Separately heating the tempered water

We are exploring using single-pipe 75 degree water in outpatient clinics, and our focus is on improving infection prevention. Our strategy is to use a separate heating system for the tempered water than for the hot water. The advantage is... (More)

Eliminating hot water handwashing: Five reasons to act

An abstract from my recent AAH Academy Journal entry (see attachment for full article)

Health care planners, architects, and providers should consider eliminating hot water from handwashing fixtures for the following reasons:

1. Contrary to some prior suggested guidance, hot... (More)