Why have a Hot Water Tempering Valve?
Hot water storage systems must keep water at 60 degrees to make sure that legionella bacteria are destroyed. The problem with this is that water at 60 degrees can scald, with small children and the elderly especially vulnerable. In these days of washing machines and dishwashers that heat their own water, the need for piping hot water in the home has diminished. So in the interests of safety, most Australian states have made it mandatory to install a tempering valve on new hot water systems.
How does a Tempering Valve Work?
Tempering valves control the temperature of the water that comes out of your taps so that it doesn’t exceed 50ºC. They are attached to both the hot water and cold water lines, and work by mixing the hot and cold water using a temperature monitor which expands and contracts in order to keep the temperature at 50ºC.
Do you need a Tempering Valve on Continuous Flow?
Gas continuous flow hot water heaters that are factory pre-set to 50 degrees don’t need a tempering valve. The valve is only used with hot water systems that deliver hot water above 50 degrees. That’s all storage systems – electric, gas and solar – that have to store hot water at 60 degrees and continuous systems that are set to deliver water that is hotter than 50 degrees.
Adjusting the Tempering Valve
Tempering valves must be installed by licensed plumbers such as Jim’s Plumbing. Our plumbers know how to adjust the hot water tempering valve so that you get exactly the right temperature.
Is a Tempering Valve the Same as a Thermostatic Mixing Valve?
Thermostatic mixing valves also control the temperature of the water coming out of your taps. The difference is that thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) respond more quickly to pressure and temperature variations. TMVs are mandated in places such as nursing homes, child care centres and schools where the outlet temperature has to be 45 degrees.
What about a Terminator Valve?
A terminator valve or mildred valve is installed on an indoor hot water system. It automatically turns off the water supply to the hot water heater if it starts to leak. It’s an Australian Standard and if you don’t have one the damage that results from a leaking hot water system is not covered by insurance. So you need a terminator valve if you have an indoor hot water heater.
Pressure Limiting Valve
Another valve used with your hot water system and other appliances is the pressure limiting valve. The inlet water pressure for hot water heaters is set at a maximum of 500kPa, so if your water pressure goes over this, you need to put in a pressure limiting valve.
Jim’s Plumbing only employs the best plumbers to service your existing hot water system or install a new one. Our plumbers are available 24/7 and can be at your home within an hour* to help sort out any unexpected hot water emergencies that may occur. From a minor tempering valve fix to a major replacement, they can do it.