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I live in Canada and tap water is drinkable, as a matter of fact, the government puts a little bit of flouride in the tap water so it cleans your teeth.

My wife and mom always tells me not to drink the tap water when it's warm/hot.

Is there something in the water that's bad for the body or is this a myth? (bacterias in warm/hot water vs cold)

Added info: The water is heated in the water heater which is in the basement of my house. It is a new water heater, only a year old. My house is built 7 years ago, which for a house it's not old. I don't know about the pipes though

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closed as off-topic by Bez, rg255, Chris, MattDMo, WYSIWYG Dec 17 '14 at 17:45

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Personal medical questions and health advice are off-topic on Biology. We cannot safely answer questions for your specific situation and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice." – Bez, rg255, Chris, MattDMo, WYSIWYG
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ No, there is no reason to not do this. Lead pipes are a danger with cold water as well, and lead will only be found in old houses. $\endgroup$ – Chris Dec 17 '14 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ This is off topic - we can not possibly know about the quality of water coming out of your tap and its not really a biology problem $\endgroup$ – rg255 Dec 17 '14 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ @GriffinEvo isn't it? I was thinking more towards bacterias in the water against the human body $\endgroup$ – Huangism Dec 17 '14 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Huangism judging by the answers it has so far it seems more chemistry (though I can understand you posting it here) - it would be interesting to post a follow up question on the Chemistry stack exchange to see why more contaminants are released in to hot water than cold $\endgroup$ – rg255 Dec 17 '14 at 16:50
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This actually depends on how your tap water is warmed. If you have a personal water heater, which is connected to your tap with non-corrodable pipes, then there is essentially no difference.

However, if the heating comes from a common source, then it would be very difficult to verify that the heater-tap connection does not contain any corrodable pipes. In this case, it might be better to not use the warm water for direct drinking, especially if the building is old.

A 7-year old house should not have lead pipes installed, since the Canadian Plumbing Code has banned lead pipes since 1975. As such, I believe that your warm water is safe to drink.

The National Plumbing Code allowed lead as an acceptable material for pipes until 1975 and in solder until 1986. All provinces and territories use the National Plumbing Code as a basis for their own regulations.

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  • $\begingroup$ The water is heated in the water heater which is in the basement of my house. It is a new water heater, only a year old. My house is built 7 years ago, which for a house it's not old. I don't know about the pipes though $\endgroup$ – Huangism Dec 17 '14 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ Edited to fit the new information $\endgroup$ – March Ho Dec 17 '14 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Added to the question $\endgroup$ – Huangism Dec 17 '14 at 16:19
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The reason for this worry is chemical--as water warms up, more contaminants can dissolve in the water. With water pipes specifically, people worry about lead contamination. Modern pipes are not as likely to corrode (or even be made of lead) as old pipes, so this is more of a concern in older buildings.

See this NYT article for more information.

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