What Does a Tempering Valve Do?

Mr Emergency Plumbing van.

What does a tempering valve do? Getting to the heart of this question is crucial for ensuring the safety and efficiency of your hot water system.

Also known as a hot water mixing valve, the tempering valve plays a vital role in regulating water temperature. It helps to prevent scalding when you turn on the hot water tap, and aids in maintaining hygiene by inhibiting harmful bacteria growth. With the right tempering valve, you can enjoy a consistent supply of hot water without the risks associated with extreme temperatures.

Let’s explore how tempering valves work, their importance, types, and installation. Whether you’re considering a new hot water system or simply want to ensure your current hot water unit setup is up to standard, this guide has you covered.

Understanding Your Hot Water Tempering Valve

A tempering valve is a crucial component in all hot water systems, including storage tank and tankless continuous flow models. It’s an essential component of a hot water system that ensures your water is delivered at a safe temperature.

But what exactly is a tempering valve?

Simply put, it’s a device that helps to provide a consistent, safe temperature at your taps by mixing hot and cold water. This serves safety and personal hygiene purposes:

  • It helps to avoid scalding, and
  • Protects against harmful Legionella bacteria growth in your stored hot water.

A tempering valve is essential in maintaining a balanced and safe hot water system, making them a must-have for every Australian home. Understanding how they function helps you appreciate their role in your daily comfort and safety.

Hot water coming from a tap with steam surrounding it.

How a Tempering Valve Works

So, how does a tempering valve work?

Inside your hot water tempering valve is a temperature-sensitive element. This element senses any water temperature changes and adjusts the hot and cold water mix accordingly. It guarantees that the water coming from your taps is always at a consistent and safe temperature, preventing scalding and protecting sensitive skin.

In Australia, regulations mandate that the maximum temperature of hot water at taps should not exceed 50°C to avoid burns. This makes the tempering valve crucial in Australian homes, where varying water temperatures can be an issue. By maintaining a stable temperature, tempering valves also help conserve energy and improve the efficiency of your hot water system.

Types of Tempering Valves

There are several tempering valve types, each serving specific needs in Australian homes:

  • Thermostatic mixing valve (TMV): Thermostatic mixing valves offer more precise temperature control. They’re often used in places requiring high safety standards, like nursing homes, secondary schools and hospitals.
  • Orange cap tempering valve: Commonly used in heat pump-powered home hot water systems, this valve blends hot and cold water to a safe temperature.
  • Blue cap tempering valve: Typically used for cooler climates, it provides precise temperature control, ensuring safe water delivery even in colder conditions.
  • Green cap tempering valve: Ideal for a solar hot water system, it handles higher temperatures efficiently.
  • Black cap tempering valve: Designed for high-performance, large-capacity systems with large hot water demands, ensuring consistent temperatures despite significant changes.

Whether you need a thermostatic mixing valve or one of the various coloured-cap options, understanding the different types helps in making the right choice for your hot water system.

Installation and Maintenance

Getting a tempering valve installed in your hot water heater is a job for a licensed plumber to ensure compliance with Australian regulations and safety standards.

Proper installation is crucial for the TMV or tempering valve to function correctly so it can provide a consistent and safe water temperature. Regular maintenance is equally important; having your tempering valve checked periodically ensures it operates efficiently and prevents issues such as temperature fluctuations or bacterial infection.

Routine inspections and servicing can extend the lifespan of your hot water system. Remember, a well-maintained tempering valve is key to a reliable and safe hot water service.

Signs You Might Need a Tempering Valve Replacement

Knowing when to replace your tempering valve is essential for maintaining a safe and efficient hot water storage system. Look out for these signs:

  • Inconsistent water temperature: If your hot water temperature fluctuates, it may indicate a failing tempering valve.
  • Scalding or lukewarm water: If water is too hot or not hot enough, the valve might be malfunctioning.
  • Visible corrosion: Rust or corrosion on the valve is a clear sign it needs replacing.
  • Frequent maintenance issues: Constant repairs could mean it’s time for a new valve.
  • Hot water system replacement: All new and replacement hot water systems must be fitted with a hot water mixing valve to ensure a lower temperature from your tap.

Regularly checking for these signs can help ensure your hot water system remains safe and reliable. If you notice any of these issues, contact a qualified plumber to assess and replace your hot water tempering valve.

Hot water coming from shower head with steam surrounding it.

Regulations and Compliance

In Australia, strict regulations govern the installation and maintenance of tempering valves to ensure safety and efficiency in hot water systems.

The plumbing code requires tempering valves be installed in hot water system replacements and new installs, ensuring that water temperatures do not exceed safe limits. Compliance with these regulations is essential to prevent scalding and promote energy efficiency. Licensed plumbers are trained to install and service tempering valves according to these standards.

Regular inspections and maintenance are also mandated to ensure the valves function correctly, providing a safe and reliable hot water supply for Australian homes.

Ensuring Safe and Efficient Hot Water Systems

Understanding what a tempering valve does is crucial for maintaining a safe and efficient hot water system in your home. These valves play a vital role in preventing scalding, inhibiting bacterial growth, and ensuring a consistent water temperature.

By selecting the right type of tempering valve and ensuring proper installation and maintenance by a licensed plumber, you can enhance the safety and efficiency of your hot water supply.

Stay compliant with Australian regulations to protect your household and enjoy the benefits of a well-regulated hot water system. Remember, a little attention to your tempering valve goes a long way in safeguarding your home.

Please note: Thank you for reading our blog “What Does A Tempering Valve Do?” This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

Need a Plumber?

Local Plumbers available 24/7

Recent Posts

Discover how severe weather can lead to a range of plumbing emergency scenarios in your ...


Have you ever thought about the link behind the bubbling noise from your toilet and ...

Discover the importance of a tempering valve and how it benefits the safety and hygiene ...

Discover everything you need to know about the CCTV camera drain inspection process and its ...