How to Kill Viruses in Your Home's Water Supply

Can You Filter Viruses and Bacteria Out of Your Water?

With so much talk in the world about viruses and other contaminants, homeowners are looking into all the ways in which they can successfully kill viruses.

Treating the water in the home to either inactivate or totally remove microbial pathogens becomes incredibly important to keep everyone safe and sound.

While most of the time the water filters in the home take care of this, it is essential that everyone knows how to kill viruses in the event of an emergency.

How to Kill Viruses in the Water 

Viruses can be incredibly destructive, spreading quickly through everyone in the home. They can cause minor symptoms like nausea or vomiting or can progress to larger, even potentially fatal issues.

One of the best things any homeowner can do to kill viruses is to know how to appropriately boil water. Luckily, this is just as easy as it sounds. The water just needs to reach a “rolling” boil, where large bubbles rise up the surface of the water quickly, which is around 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once it reaches that temperature, bacteria, protozoa, and viruses will be inactivated. It should then be removed and allowed to cool down naturally before being considered safe. This method has been used to kill viruses for centuries.

Boiling water can kill viruses including adenovirus, enteroviruses, and hepatitis A, as well as bacteria like legionella and salmonella. While the amount of time it will take to kill them may vary, over time, it does work fairly across the board.

Do Freezing Temperatures Kill Viruses? 

The fact that freezing temperatures kill viruses has been a persistent myth for decades. Unfortunately, it simply isn’t true. There is some good news, though. While low temperatures don’t kill viruses, they do have the potential to make them dormant until they are thawed back out. But, as soon as those viruses reach room temperature again, they immediately come back to life and can infect people again.

A specific example of this is E. Coli, which is one of the bacteria known to cause food poisoning, which is inactive in the freezer but immediately dangerous as soon as it starts to melt.

It’s best to look into alternative methods to kill viruses, like water purifiers, water filters, and point of use filters that attach to your faucet instead of relying on the cold weather to do the job.

140 Degrees Fahrenheit - the Magic Temperature 

While 212 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature to boil and kill viruses, 140 degrees Fahrenheit is actually the magic number. This is also why boiling water has continued to be a popular survival trick throughout the world.

One problem that exists with the 140 degree Fahrenheit range is that it likely is not a temperature that homeowners can set their laundry machines too, which means that most germs will end up surviving a wash cycle.

However, the vast majority of germs, bacteria, and viruses start to die off at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

About Miracle Plumbing Inc.

San Jose, California is home to Miracle Plumbing Inc. Open since 1992, the staff uses their hassle-free service methods to provide quality workmanship for the many services offered. They do both emergency and routine plumbing as well as water treatment and water heater care.