On the 21st of July,1976, around 4,000 World War II veterans were reunited with each other at the 58th American Legion's Convention in Philadelphia. It was supposed to be a day of reminiscing and revelry; but something went wrong a few days after the celebration: 34 people died from a mysterious illness.

It was later discovered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that an entirely new strain of disease had killed these people: Legionella or Legionnaire's Disease. The investigation team reported that the bacteria had thrived in the hotel's cooling towers; and these structures spread the deadly pathogens through the hotel's air conditioning system. But plumbers in West Vancouver believe that it's more than an HVAC issue, as it's also a plumbing problem.

Legionella can thrive in water, and spread throughout unmaintained plumbing and HVAC systems. This is important to consider since you brush your teeth, wash your hands, and bathe with water delivered by your plumbing. If the water in your system is at an ideal temperature range for these microorganisms to thrive, the Legionella will continue to threaten the health of your family.

Cannot survive above 60 degrees

According to the U.K. Health and Safety Executive, the ideal condition for Legionella to thrive is water with a temperature of between 20 and 45 degrees Celsius. Below 20 degrees, Legionella will continue to survive, but lapse into a dormant state. Your best bet in eliminating the nefarious bacteria is by setting your Vancouver water heater to above 60 degrees.

Experts say the disinfection range happens around 70 to 80 degrees, at which temperature these bacteria die. In fact, Legionella would only last two minutes at best in water heated to a temperature of 66 degrees. It's for this reason that health officials strongly recommend keeping the water at temperatures no lower than 60 degrees.

What about scalding?

Of course, with water at these germ-killing temperatures, there's also an increased risk of being scalded. Experts say that people can suffer second-degree burns from a three-second exposure to water at 60 degrees. As a result, officials are calling for an amendment of the current National Plumbing Code in Canada to lower the prescribed temperature to 49 degrees Celsius.

Keep in mind that the temperature pertains to the storage temperature for tank-type heaters. Experts say hot water can eventually be delivered at a lower temperature to prevent scalds.


Practitioners of some professions never seem to run out of clients, or jobs to take on. One such occupation is plumbing-wherein practitioners seem to be called upon to attend to just about every little issue homeowners may have with their plumbing. Many of these issues are the results of simple misdemeanors at home.

Indeed, households throughout Canada seem to be besieged by an endless stream of difficulties that require the services of qualified plumbers. The situations that lead to the need for plumbing services in Vancouver or elsewhere in the country, for that matter-often result from the homeowner's carelessness or negligence. While a plumber may be only too glad to attend to such problems, he's also certain to advise you against doing things that can lead to nasty plumbing situations. Here's a list of common crimes against plumbing that you can easily avoid:

For instance, leaving hoses connected during winter is not a very wise thing to do, especially in chilly British Columbia. It can cause freezing of the outdoor faucet or the water supply pipe and can even damage the hose, itself. Overlooking this minor gardening task would lead to another visit of your friendly neighborhood plumber.

Using vent pipes for purposes other than venting is another common mistake committed by homeowners. People often pass data cables for their internet or TV reception through these vents as they conveniently lead out to the rooftop. They may not realize that vent pipes should be completely unobstructed as they admit outside air to maximize drain function, and prevent sewer gases from coming up into the house due to negative pressure caused by draining. This is likely to bring about another issue for plumbers to address.

Drilling, cutting, attaching screws, or nailing into walls which harbor concealed pipes is another careless homeowner practice that provides contractors for plumbing in Surrey with more tasks. The worst thing you can do, however, and a practice akin to plumbing suicide, is to use your toilet as a trash can. The inconvenience and hygiene problems this will bring to your household will be enormous; and will also keep your plumber busy.

Homeowners are not likely to be free of the need for plumbers at any time soon. While their services are available, however, homeowners should pull their weight in looking after their plumbing systems. Plumbers are essential, but homeowners must act responsibly too.