The hot water system in your house is of utmost importance — not only does it prevent scalding water from coming through a faucet and make it possible to use sinks, but it can help prevent the prevalence of Legionella bacteria within the hot water tank. The importance of a tempering valve cannot be understated. This temperature control method is the best way that homeowners can ensure everyone in their home is safe and healthy.
Let’s see the importance of a tempering valve, how to fix a broken valve, and when you should call a professional to do the job for you! Contact Bayside Plumbing today to take care of your hot water plumbing needs, bathroom renovations, or other needed fixes!
What Is a Tempering Valve?
A tempering valve is a 2-inlet or 3-inlet valve that gathers water from the hot water system and integrates it with cold water. The hot and cold water mixture then travels through the faucet to the user at the sink. Most households have hot water below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but this limit depends on the appliances, settings, and homeowners. For example, a washing machine can use hot water over 60 degrees to wash clothes.
A tempering valve typically lasts between 5-8 years, depending on the quality of the hot water system and materials. Since materials can break down and deteriorate over time, you should have your hot water system inspected regularly to see the performance of your pipes and valves.
How Does the Tempering Valve Operate?
A tempering valve operates differently from a thermostatic mixing valve. A tempering valve is adjustable and activated by the hot temperatures, meaning that they control the flow of hot water to prevent scalding water being delivered through the faucet to the user – this can help the safety and health of a person using a faucet in a household.
The hot water used in the tempering valve is stored in a hot water system. The storage temperature of hot water is typically around 60 degrees, whereas the temperature of the water flowing out of the faucet is generally only up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The purpose of the tempering valve is to combine the hot and cold water to ensure the water is within 3-5 degrees of the intended temperature.
(See our latest blog relating to What Size Hot Water System You May Need for your home)
Types of Tempering Valves
Homeowners should know different types of tempering valves before trying any DIY fixes on their own.
Green Tempering Valves
Green tempering valves do not need an extra valve and have a 50-degree pre-set feature. This tempering valve is ideal for those who have gas hot water systems.
Black Tempering Valves
Black valves are ideal for large systems but have a shorter duration than other options.
Orange Tempering Valves
Orange valves are well-suited for solar water systems or pumps. This type of valve is also used for heat pump hot water systems.
Blue Tempering Valves
Blue tempering valves are the most common type of valve that helps regulate systems between 65 and 75 degrees. This type of tempering valve is the “standard” for electric heaters.
If you are unsure what type of valve to use for your home, consider contacting a professional plumbing service to help you decide which is best for your unique needs. Since most valves are available at hardware stores and appliance stores around the country, you can easily get what you need for installation.
What To Do
Homeowners should follow a few tips when they are fixing their tempering valve or learning how to adjust tempering valves in their home:
- Detach the protective cap
- Gain access to the tempering valve adjustment knob
- Check the tank’s temperature (it should be 60 degrees)
- The taps must be close to the hot water source
- The flow rate of the hot water in the hot water system should be at least 4 litres per minute (consider a hot water system replacement if the flow is too low)
- The knob of the tempering valve should be turned to the 50-degree mark
What Not To Do
Once a tempering valve is installed in your home, users will see how this appliance operates. The purpose of this valve is to control the hot water system, mix hot water with cold water, and prevent the hot water temperature from being too high. The hot water tempering valve controls the heat pump, ensuring the temperature is within the Australian standard maximum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you find the water supply is not coming out of the faucet correctly or the thermostatic mixing valves are damaged, this can lead to personal hygiene concerns scalding water. In this instance, homeowners must fix their cap tempering valve before there are any warning signs.
Tempering Valves vs. Thermostatic Mixing Valve
Homeowners should know the differences between these two common types of valves when doing fixes in their homes. There are a few key aspects that set the tempering valve apart from other appliances in the home:
- A tempering valve is accurately pre-set to 3-5 degrees, whereas the thermostatic valve is set to around 1 degree
- The tempering valve is less expensive than the thermostatic option
- Tempering valves have less longevity than a TMV (thermostatic mixing valve)
- Tempering valves require less service and repairs than a TMV
- Tempering valves are replaced when there are signs of deterioration, whereas TMVs are typically repaired before being replaced
Signs of a Faulty Tempering Valve
There are some signs that homeowners should keep an eye out for when it comes to fixing and using a tempering valve. For example, a broken mixing valve can lead to extremely hot water or legionella bacteria — a serious issue that must be addressed due to personal hygiene purposes.
There are times when a professional may be needed to ensure the water does not burn any user and cause further damage to the plumbing system. In this case, relying on a professional to help find and maintain a tempering valve can be the best way to cause further damage or harm yourself. This is especially true if you find that your hot water system does not adhere to the plumbing code of Australia.
In Summary - Trust Bayside Plumbing When All Else Fails!
Rather than looking online for “how-to” guides or step-by-step instructions, homeowners should leave this extensive job up to a professional. If you are looking for a reliable professional who can fix your tempering valve in no time, consider contacting Bayside Plumbing and using their hot water plumbing services to restore your valve in no time!