What is a Hot Water Tempering Valve?
In the realm of hot water systems, the tempering valve, often referred to as the mixing valve, emerges as a fundamental safety component that should find a place in every Australian household. Its presence significantly diminishes the risk of severe burns or scalding incidents, bestowing upon it a pivotal role in ensuring your safety.
At its core, the hot water tempering valve fulfils a remarkably straightforward function. It intercepts the hot water supply originating from your hot water system and blends it with cold water.
This harmonious blend effectively lowers the overall water temperature to a comfortably hot but entirely safe 50°C. It’s worth noting that you may still need to add a bit more cold water when you shower or engage in other water-related activities, but rest assured, direct exposure to scalding hot water is now a concern of the past.
While the tempering valve is your silent guardian, looking out for the well-being of you and your loved ones, Mr. Emergency Plumbing takes on the task of ensuring your tempering valve operates optimally. Our team of licensed plumbers offers annual maintenance and servicing to guarantee the flawless performance of your water heater.
For those with older hot water systems, the absence of modern safety measures can be a cause for concern. It’s possible that your hot water tempering valve may have deteriorated or become faulty over time. To mitigate any potential risks lurking in the shadows, our local plumbers extend their expertise to provide replacement and installation services, ensuring your complete compliance with plumbing codes.
It’s crucial to emphasise that only a licensed plumber possesses the legal authority to commission a hot water mixing valve in accordance with the comprehensive Australian Standards. Therefore, if you seek a professional service that prioritises your safety and long-term hot water solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mr. Emergency Plumbing today.
Making Your Hot Water Safe
The introduction of tempering valves as a legal requirement marked a significant milestone in Australian plumbing standards, and this change came into effect in 2013. This mandate underscores the importance of having a tempering valve in every hot water system, not only to enhance safety but also to prevent scalding incidents.
In a conventional storage tank hot water system, the water is typically heated to a minimum of 60°C, and in some cases, it can reach temperatures as high as 65°C.
These elevated temperatures are crucial for inhibiting the growth of legionella bacteria. Legionella, when inhaled into the lungs, can lead to a severe illness known as Legionnaires’ disease, which bears similarities to pneumonia and can be life-threatening.
Legionella bacteria tend to thrive in water tanks where the temperature falls within the range of 20-45°C. However, the bacteria is effectively eradicated at temperatures of 60°C or higher. This underscores the critical importance of maintaining hot water temperatures above 45°C to safeguard one’s health.
Nonetheless, the dilemma arises when higher water temperatures pose a scalding risk. Water at 60°C can inflict second and third-degree burns within seconds, particularly when young children are exposed to it.
Fortunately, the solution lies in the form of tempered hot water supply. Tempering valves play a crucial role in mitigating potential harm by blending hot water with cold water, effectively reducing the outbound water temperature to a safer 50°C.
With tempered water at this temperature, the risk of second-degree burns is significantly reduced, allowing for a more comfortable and secure experience, where it takes closer to seven minutes of exposure to cause such burns.
The Common Types of Tempering Valves
To the average homeowner, tempering valves may seem like an indistinguishable part of their hot water system, often overlooked and rarely inspected. However, if you were to take a closer look at your hot water system right now and spot a component shaped like a capital T, you’d be gazing upon your tempering valve.
Positioned strategically near the water heater, the tempering valve serves as a crucial link between the hot and cold water supplies. Inside its unassuming exterior lies a thermostatic element that possesses remarkable sensitivity to changes in temperature. This element expands and contracts in response to variations in water temperature, setting in motion an internal piston that adjusts the flow of hot and cold water to achieve the desired overall temperature.
Tempering valves are an integral part of various hot water systems, and they are categorised by the colour of their caps:
- Blue Cap Tempering Valve: Typically found in standard household storage water heaters.
- Orange Cap Tempering Valve: Commonly used in solar hot water systems and heat pump hot water systems.
- Green Cap Tempering Valve: Often employed in instantaneous gas hot water systems, with occasional use in solar systems.
- Red or Black Cap Tempering Valve: Reserved for large capacity systems and commercial water heaters.
The colour of your tempering valve cap need not be a concern for you; let the experts at Mr Emergency Plumbing handle it. We adhere to the Plumbing Code of Australia and will ensure that your hot water system is equipped with the appropriate tempering valve.
It’s important to note that tempering valves play a vital role in storage tank systems, as they help maintain safe water temperatures and prevent bacterial growth. In contrast, tankless continuous flow models do not require tempering valves because they do not store hot water, eliminating the potential for harmful bacteria to develop.
For any adjustments to your tempering valve, it is highly advisable not to attempt them yourself. Instead, enlist the services of a qualified plumber to make the necessary adjustments to your mixing valve. This way, you can always trust the temperature and safety of your heated water.
Tempering Valve vs Thermostatic Mixing Valve
When delving into the realm of water heating, you’ll inevitably encounter two indispensable devices: the tempering valve and the thermostatic mixing valve (TMV). While their primary objective is to blend hot and cold water to deliver water at a safe and comfortable temperature, these devices have distinct purposes and function on different principles.
A tempering valve is your assurance that the hot water flowing from your taps remains at a consistently safe temperature, typically hovering around 50°C (122°F). Its operation is straightforward, monitoring the water’s temperature on the outlet side and making necessary adjustments to the hot and cold water mix to maintain the preset temperature.
In contrast, a thermostatic mixing valve showcases a more advanced design. TMVs exhibit remarkable responsiveness, swiftly adapting to any fluctuations in incoming water temperatures. This characteristic renders them exceptionally reliable in sustaining a stable outlet temperature.
You’ll commonly find these valves deployed in settings where precise temperature control is of utmost importance, such as hospitals, primary and secondary schools, and nursing homes. Their primary mission is to avert scalding incidents and thwart the growth of harmful bacteria.
In summary, both tempering valves and TMVs are engineered to ensure the safety of water temperatures. However, TMVs elevate the game by delivering a heightened degree of precision and responsiveness.
Therefore, when prioritising safety and dependability, it’s crucial to grasp these distinctions and make an informed choice by selecting the valve that aligns with your specific requirements
Interest Free** Thermostatic Valve
Our customers can always rely on local Mr Emergency Plumbing technicians for a professional hot water service. We have plumbers on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year, which means you can enjoy after-hours attendance at the same rates.
From the smallest tempering valve replacement to a full hot water unit installation, our work covers jobs big or small. We also provide more than just a quick fix. Our focus is on long-term plumbing solutions.
At Mr Emergency Plumbing, customer satisfaction is our top priority. That’s why we also provide a range of interest free** payment options for eligible customers.
Any hot water plumbing job can be covered through one of our finance providers, Zip or Humm. This means you can choose to pay for service in manageable weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments, depending on your choice of plan. Some plans even accept a $0 deposit, so there’s nothing to pay upfront.
Then we can get on with the job of installing a new hot water system, TMV or tempering valve, depending on what you need.
We also accept payment by cash, cheque, direct transfer and credit card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express). We offer an upfront fixed-price quote, so you always know what you’re playing.
If your hot water system’s delivery isn’t up to scratch, contact Mr Emergency Plumbing today. We’ll have a licensed plumber at your home for professional tempering valve services. Your hot water is in safe hands.