Tankless Water Heater Safety

tankless water heater mounted to a shower wall
  • 1-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-3000

For safe operation, ensure that you are using your tankless water heater properly. Unlike a system with a tank that stores hot water for later use, a tankless system heats water on demand.

Safe Temperature Setting

A standard safe setting for your water heater is 122 degrees. Many tankless systems have computer controlled thermostats that keep a consistently safe setting so make sure your tank doesn’t reach scalding temps.


Tankless systems employ a fan-operated venting system that removes any harmful fumes. The venting seals exhaust from the top of the unit and uses a built-in fan system to expel exhaust every time water shuts off.


Modern tankless systems employ computerized monitoring systems and adjustment controls that allow the unit to be “self-monitored” without constant physical inspection. LED readout panels provide access to a variety of operating information, including temperature settings, flow rates and more.

Tankless Is Safer

tankless water heater unit

Without the need for a tank, this type of system provides for greater safety since there is no storage unit subject to rupture and leaking. Standing water in a stored container can present a number of other problems, such as sediment buildup requiring labor-intensive maintenance by monthly flushing or CLR cleaner treatments. Tank systems also can allow bacteria buildup that produces bad odors.

In a tankless system, off-color or rusty water is eliminated due to the absence of standing water in a steel tank. Also, without tanks, water heaters in earthquake-prone areas are safer because they eliminate the risk of heavy tanks falling over, ripping pipes from the walls, or the unit rupturing itself.

Separate Applications Provide Safer Operation

Tankless water systems are available in two choices:

A large unit supplying hot water to the entire building or a POU (point of use) unit that will supply water for a specific application

These applications can include:

Household hot water and hot water recirculation

Indoor wall and floor heating


Laundry machines





Vegetable cutting sinks

Radiant hydronic in-floor heating


POU tankless units provide a safer alternative to many traditional water heating systems. These are separate units that are located near the delivery point for hot water demand. Since these are separate units, each can be set to a different temperature customized for that particular application or device. For example, a device can have a lower—and safer—setting for children’s use.

Temperature settings higher than 120 degrees can present a safety hazard for young children. Experts recommend never setting a water heater higher than 120 degrees in a home where young children are present. A 150 degree setting can produce third degree burns on a child within two seconds of exposure. An exposure at 140 degrees can produce burns even on an adult after six seconds of exposure. Using a POU tankless water heater system can provide you with greater control of your hot water and general safety in your home.