What are the temperature requirements for classrooms and restroom water delivery?

Everyone is always asking if there are temperature requirements for this and that.  Well, yes and no.   Here’s what our research has found:

With regard to water in schools, the only requirement that I could find was in Title 22, Div 12, Article 7 (Child Care Facility Regulations) Section 101239(e)(1) to keep hot water between 105-125 degrees F for personal care faucets.  Technically, you will need a warning sign if the water temperature is over 125 degrees, but as a good risk management practice, you should placard it anyway.

Here’s some of the codes:

(e) Faucets used by children for personal care shall deliver hot water.

(1) Hot water temperature controls shall be maintained to automatically regulate temperature of hot water delivered to plumbing fixtures used by children to attain a hot water temperature of not less than 105 degrees F (40.5 degrees C) and not more than 120 degrees F (48.8 degrees C).

(2) Taps delivering water at 125 degrees F (51.6 degrees C) or above shall be prominently identified by warning signs.

(3) Notwithstanding (e) and (e)(1) above, handwashing fixtures shall not be required to deliver hot water.

(4) All toilets, handwashing and bathing facilities shall be maintained in safe and sanitary operating condition. Additional equipment, aids and/or conveniences shall be provided as needed in centers that serve children with physical disabilities.

The Child Care Regulations Section 101239 requires a temperature between 68-85 degrees F for air temperatures in Child Care Classrooms.

(a) A comfortable temperature for children shall be maintained at all times.

(1) The licensee shall maintain the temperature in rooms that children occupy between a minimum of 68 degrees F (20 degrees C) and a maximum of 85 degrees F (30 degrees C).

(A) In areas of extreme heat the maximum shall be 20 degrees F (11.1 degrees C) less than the outside temperature.

ASHRAE provides us with guidance on general classroom temperatures in their Standard 62.1-2007.  They suggest that the temperatures for classrooms should be based on the season. 68-76 winter; 72.5-80 summer.

ASHRAE/ ANSI Standard 55-2004, “Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy” This standard is designed such that 80% of the occupants will find the temperature to be acceptable. So, it does not truly set a temperature, but states that if 80% of the occupants say it is fine, then it is fine.

Cal/OSHA has no minimum temperature standards outside of Section 3366, however, section Section 5142 states that you will need to run your HVAC system to ensure that you are getting fresh air to your staff.  These really aren’t about temperature, but supply good quality air to workers.

5142. Mechanically Driven Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems to Provide Minimum Building Ventilation – This deals with quantity of ventilation delivered as required by theCA Building Code at the time the building was permitted.

Title 8, Cal-OSHA, provides for a minimum of 85 degree F water temperature if certain conditions apply, see the bold section below in quotes.

Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 2. Safe Practices and Personal Protection
Article 9. Sanitation

New query

§3366. Washing Facilities.

(a) Washing facilities for maintaining personal cleanliness shall be provided in every place of employment. These facilities shall be reasonably accessible to all employees. (Title 24, Part 5, Section 5-910(a)2(A))(b) Washing facilities shall be maintained in good working order and in a sanitary condition. (Title 24, Part 5, Section 5- 910(a)2(B))

(c) Lavatories, including those associated with toilet rooms shall be made available according to the following table:

                              Number of       Minimum Number
Type of Employment            Employees        of Lavatories
Nonindustrial-office          1  to 15             1
   buildings, public          16 to 35             2
   buildings, and similar     36 to 60             3
   establishments             61 to 90             4
                              91 to 125            5
                              over 125             1 additional
                                                   for each ad-
                                                   ditional 45 em-
                                                   ployees or frac-
                                                   tion thereof.
Industrial-factories         1 to 100              1 for each 10
  warehouses, loft                                 employees.
  buildings, and similar
  establishments             over 100              1 additional for
                                                   each additional
                                                   15 employees or
                                                   fraction thereof.

In a multiple-use lavatory, 24 lineal inches of sink or 18 inches of circular basin, when provided with individual faucet, shall be considered equivalent to one lavatory.


(1) Employees engaged in hand-labor operations at agricultural establishments are subject to the sanitation provisions of Section 3457.

(d) Each lavatory shall be provided with running water and suitable cleansing agents. The water shall be available at temperatures of at least 85o F in those instances where:

(1) Substances regulated as carcinogens in these orders are used; or

(2) Skin contact may occur with substances designated skin (S) in section 5155.

NOTE: This section does not prevent local health departments from enforcing more stringent standards contained in the Health and Safety Code for food handlers.

(e) Clean individual hand towels, or sections thereof, of cloth or paper or warm-air blowers convenient to the lavatories shall be provided. (Title 24, part 5, section 5-910(a)2(E))

(f) Where showering is required by the employer or these orders:

(1) Separate shower rooms shall be provided for each sex. One shower facility with hot and cold water feeding a common discharge line shall be provided for each ten employees, or numerical fraction thereof, who are required to shower during the same shift. When there are less than five employees, the same shower room may be used by both sexes provided the shower room can be locked from the inside. (Title 24, part 5, section 5-910(a)2(F))

(2) Body soap or other appropriate cleansing agents convenient to the shower shall be provided.

(3) Employees who use showers shall be provided with individual clean towels.

NOTE: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. Amendment filed 7-16-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 29).

2. Amendment of subsection (e) filed 4-27-79; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 79, No. 17).

3. Amendment filed 1-23-81; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 81, No. 4).

4. Amendment filed 10-2-81; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 81, No. 40).

5. Amendment filed 1-17-86; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 86, No. 3).

6. Repealer of EXCEPTION (2) and renumbering of EXCEPTION (2) to (1) filed 5-9-91; operative 6-8-91 (Register 91, No. 25).

7. Amendment of EXCEPTION and editorial correction of History 6. filed 12-23-91; operative 1-22-92 (Register 92, No. 12).

8. Editorial correction of printing error restoring inadvertently omitted subsections (f)(1)-(3) (Register 92, No. 26).

9. Editorial correction of printing error in subsection (d) (Register 92, No. 33).

24 thoughts on “What are the temperature requirements for classrooms and restroom water delivery?

    1. Linda, thanks for your question. 66 degrees is fairly chilly and is most likely not a suitable temperature for most learning environments. That being said, this will depend on the age of the children in the classroom. If it is a child care facility, then you must meet the minimum temp of 68 degrees, so 66 would certainly not meet the legal requirements.

      In addition, raising the temperature to 70-72 will save a bunch of money in cooling costs.

  1. My wife is a 5 th grade teacher in NJ. The classroom doesn’t have air conditioning. What is the highest maximum allowable temptation for children to be in the classroom? Without AC it sometimes can be over 85 in the late spring.

    1. Stephen,

      Not sure what the specifics are in NJ off the top of my head. 85 degrees seems very high and if the HVAC system is not running, then it is also likely that the Carbon Dioxide is building up too, causing sleepiness and other IAQ issues. Federal OSHA requires the HVAC systems to be run continuously as does California OSHA. This should be a section that your wife points to when addressing the issue.

      ASHRAE provides us with guidance on general classroom temperatures in their Standard 62.1-2007. They suggest that the temperatures for classrooms should be based on the season. 68-76 winter; 72.5-80 summer. This is not a law, but a guideline and accepted standard. I would point to this as well. At the end of the day, 85 degrees is to high for good learning to occur. While we can bring this down, we also have to be mindful of cooling costs, so shooting for something like 78 is a good negotiation. Hope that helps.

  2. In a Headstart setting should the school Distict regulate the classroom temperature. I live in Riverside, Ca. and our classroom is warm even with the air on. It’s been 95-105′ .

    1. Linda, has it been 95-105 in the classroom our outdoors? The temperature regulation may depend on the contract language – who has control of it, but there are other regulations under OSHA that govern air circulation and that the HVAC system must be operational during occupancy hours. That doesn’t mean there has to be AC though.

  3. does this apply to all schools in CA? my son’s school has a water heater but they wont turn it on and the kids wont wash in cold water. ugh

    1. Yes, applies to all CA public schools. What grade is your son in? Preschool has some requirements, k-12 is different.

  4. 85 degrees is entirely too hot for any classroomore or daycare setting. I cannot believe this is policy children sweat at 80 degrees! U cannot have fans so the schools and day ares open windows… which only makes it hotter! The children are sweating and hot 75 degrees and above! This needs to be changed! Then ur allowing them to be hot and sweat and breath in all the pollen and allergens from outside!

  5. I teach in a private Catholic School in the Chicago Suburbs. Admin turned off the boilers that heat our classrooms in April, and our rooms are now averaging 58 degrees (Kindergarten-8th) daily. Can this be normal? The teachers are all walking around in winter coats. I realize a lot of these posts are related to CA rules. Just wondering if you have any insight or a website to direct me to.


  6. Would like to know what the hottest indoor temperature can be for an inpatient family drug rehab in NYC. No fans are allowed and windows open to 3 inches only. There is AC but not turned on. Children as young as 2 months are there. Main floor has AC but 2nd floor where they all sleep has no fan or AC in bedrooms. One child has history of asthma and the newborn just developed a lung infection. Want to get a thermostat to monitor room temperature so desperately need to know the highest temperature allowed by law. Thanks

    1. Lisa, sorry, I am not sure because we don’t deal with drug rehabs. I am not sure if this is state run, criminal, etc. But natural ventilation should be keeping it around 84 or below.

  7. I Have a question that I would need some clarification

    Do Preschool classrooms need constant air, fan on not fan auto.

    If the teaching in the school is one on one do the same conditions apply

    Thanking you in advance.

    1. What State are they located in? Since employees work in that room also, OSHA regulations would apply which would require the HVAC system to operate. There is an exception to this, but generally, it would need to run. Temperatures are another story. If you want to discuss further, give me a call and let me know.

  8. Our school district is investigating our Physical Education facility (floor). Physical Education teachers are directed now in December to take students outside. Medical issues prevail for students and staff. Is there any law preventing this? This is not their fault on what is happening.

    1. No, there is nothing wrong with taking students outside for PE in December. Obviously, if there are wind chill warnings, etc should be taken into consideration. Exposure to cold environments is beneficial to the human body and helps burn fat. The investigation is curious, but it sounds as though some may be overly protective here.

  9. My four year old is in preschool in Northern California and it gets warm outside 87-93 degrees at times. The classroom is very cold. My daughter has twice suffered from heat exhaustion. Headache, Lethargy, vomit and once had IV fluids to balance her electrolytes and blood sugar as a result. It appears like a flu bug but her body is super hot and this second time she bounced back more quickly (12 hours) once her temperature was regulated. I’m not sure how to ask the staff to help me keep her safe. Toddlers do not sweat and have trouble regulating thier body temp. Mine seems to be sensitive to the extreme change in temperature.

  10. My high school located is NH has a teacher that runs AC in her room despite the school’s heating being on and the outside temp. being 27 degrees Fahrenheit. The room levels out to about 65 degrees, is it unlawful for her to do this? Many students have complained to the teacher and dean and we cant get the school to do anything. I am unable to find any information on the subject of minimum temp for high schoolers some help would be much appreciated.

    1. Illegal? No. There could be a variety of reasons to run the A/C, but if they don’t meet ADA needs, then my thought would be to set the lower limit of the A/C to 72 (physically) in the winter, implement a written policy and enforce it for all.

  11. (3) Notwithstanding (e) and (e)(1) above, handwashing fixtures shall not be required to deliver hot water.

    This is confusing. Does this mean that fixtures do not need to deliver hot water?

  12. Scott, confusing yes. Leave it to the legislature to do that to all of us.

    Bottom line- a personal care faucet is only required in Child Care Facilities of the school – think daycares. And this is a PERSONAL CARE faucet so it is not your standard bathroom faucet. General regular faucets in schools do not need to. Hope that helps.

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