Back Safe Hot Water Temperature Change

Date: 20 March 2024

Did you know the NZ Building Code has been updated recently? The safe water temperature amendment requires the maximum temperature of hot water delivered to taps used for personal hygiene to be lowered an average of 5 degrees. Below we outline what these changes mean for you.

Important Notice:

NZ Building Code 6.14 Safe Water Temperature

The NZ Building Code was updated in November 2023. As stated in NZBC G12, 6.14 Safe Water Temperatures and 6.14.1 Maximum Temperatures regulations require reducing the maximum temperature of hot water delivered to plumbing / sanitary fixtures used for personal hygiene in buildings. These changes need to be made by November 2024.

Learn more about commercial water tempering > and or water tempering for homes >

Who's affected by new max hot water temp regulation?

Everyone. Those putting in new plumbing fixtures for personal hygiene such as handbasins, baths, showers and bidets are affected by the new hot water set temperatures. Plus, all facilities and buildings required to remain NZ building Code compliant, particularly the education and age care sectors.

What is NZ’s new hot water temperature requirements?

In most cases buildings are required to drop the maximum delivery temperature of hot water at the outlet of any sanitary fixture by 5 degrees, with specific settings as detailed below.

REQUIRED hot water tap temperature in sanitary fixtures

Old Max Temp  New Set Temp

Education / Early Childhood         45                          40

Education / Schools                       45                          45 (40 if accessible to children)

Facility for Disabled                       45                          45 (40 if accessible to children)

Aged Care & Hospitals                   45                          45

All Other Buildings                       55                         50                         

NOTE:   Non sanitary fixtures such as those used for cleaning in laundries, kitchens and industry require hotter temperatures. Water must be stored at a minimum of 60 degrees.

What is a sanitary fixture classified as?

Personal hygiene fixtures such as hot water being delivered to hand basins, baths, showers, and bidets.

Why have these changes been introduced?

To reduce the risk of scalding injuries to New Zealanders, particularly those who are more vulnerable to burns.

  • It takes less than a second for scalding water to result in a third-degree burn

What groups are higher risk of scalding from hot water?

Get in touch nowYoung children, elderly and disabled are more at risk of burn as they can’t regulate their body temperature as easily; so anyone dealing with these groups, particularly the commercial sectors identified as education, aged care and hospitals are of particular concern.

Note: It is the ministry of education who dictate the lower temperature for early childhood centres to be set to 40 degrees maximum for any taps that are accessible by children.

What’s the deadline for these changes to be made by?

November 2024. One-year from when the announcement was made in November 2023.

Why is it important changes are made by Nov 2024?

It is necessary for water tempering adjustments to be made to be NZ Building Code compliant, which in turn effects health and safety, insurance and can have legal implications if someone suffers injury or loss.

What is required to make the temperature adjustment?

A licensed plumber will need to come in and tweak the water tempering valve (TV) or thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) to ensure it is set to the correct new temperature, so the hot water will be compliant with the new regulation. This is not something anyone can do; a certified plumber must make the change.

Learn more about commercial water tempering > and or water tempering for homes >

Water tempering code of compliance

Once the hot water tempering device is set correctly to ensure the hot water is delivered to the fixture at the correct maximum temperature, our licensed plumber will issue a code of compliance certificate.

Topline, Auckland’s plumbing experts

Ensure your site is on board with the new water tempering requirements.

Our experienced trades team keep up to date with best practices and industry standards, so you can expect a professional and efficient service.

Get in touch now

Give our team a call on 0800 111 818 or book online now >

What temperature should hot water be set to in NZ?

40 – 50 degrees               Taps and fixtures used for personal hygiene        

50 degrees                         General building facilities

55 – 65 degrees                Laundry, commercial kitchen

60 degrees min.                Stored Hot Water

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