It is easy to take for granted the luxury of having hot water whenever you need it in the home or business. But losing it makes you realise how essential it is to you. For your heating, your showers, dishes, washing, drinking and so on. You want to make sure you have the best system in place to avoid having constant problems and to avoid burns and injuries. A good plumber would suggest that this means having the right system for your needs and making sure it is well maintained. For your family’s and your own safety, you should also make sure there is a hot water tempering valve in place.
What exactly is a hot water tempering valve?
So what exactly is a tempering valve? This important hot water system part is the best way to ensure people using hot water do not suffer from burns or scalding when they turn on any of the taps. It is essentially a tool that mixes hot water with cold water to produce the right temperature so when you turn on the tap upstairs, downstairs, they both meet the required temperature. Then you might wonder how that differs from a TMV or thermostatic mixing valve. While both do act to blend hot and cold water together to reach a suitable temperature, here are the key differences between the two parts.
- Tempering valves are more affordable though their lifespan is shorter
- Tempering valves when they break tend to just need replacing, whereas a plumber may take steps to repair a TMV depending on the issue and its age
- For a plumber to install a TMV in a hot water system they must have a license
- TMVs respond more quickly to temperature changes making them the preferred choice over tempering valves in certain places where the required temperature lowers to 45 degrees celsius for more vulnerable places such as nursing homes, schools and hospitals (standard is 50)
Different types of tempering valves
There are different types of tempering valves and the type you need depends on the size of your hot water system and the type of hot water system you have. A plumber is the best person to judge what kind of hot water mixing valve is needed if yours needs replacing. Some examples of types include:
- A black cap valve – suited for systems with a large capacity so larger homes and properties and sometimes commercial properties
- An orange cap valve – suited for homes that use solar systems to produce their hot water needs and heat pump systems
- A blue cap valve – suited for electric powered water heaters
- A green cap valve – suited for hot water systems powered by gas
How do you know if your hot water system needs one?
Wondering if your hot water system really needs one? Then the answer is absolute yes, it needs a hot water system tempering valve. It is a requirement according to Australia Standards (AS3500) which state that the hot water in your system is set to a safe temperature. Rules include that stored water be at least 60 degrees Celsius to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria but that when it comes on of a tap in the home it should not be any hotter than 50 degrees Celsius.
Additional rules include that the hot water temperature control valve must be installed by a plumber that is licensed. If you have a new hot water system installed, or replaced, or moved from one property to another, a tempering valve is required. If you are unsure if you have somehow ended with a system that does not have this valve call in your professional licensed plumber to investigate straight away. You can ask for recommendations from neighbours or family or you can look in your local phone book or online. It is very important you choose the right plumbing services, but there are other qualities that can play an important role in the kind of plumber you end up with like experience, what online reviews are saying, years in business and such.
A hot water tempering valve is a very important component to have as part of your hot water heating system. It protects you and the people that use the taps on the property. To make sure the water does not come out far too hot and cause real injury and pain, make sure your hot water system has a valve and if unsure call in a local plumbing expert.
Regular maintenance of your system is also advisable as components can wear down more quickly than the whole system and need repairing or replacing to extend the lifespan of the hot water system and keep it working to your requirements.