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Imagine getting a steamy hot shower after a long and tiring day at work. Is there any better way to rejuvenate your mind and body? 

Well, certainly not! A hot shower after work offers numerous benefits, from muscle relaxation to easing stress. However, a faulty thermostatic mixing valve can ruin your experience and leave you with serious injuries. 

As you can imagine, a malfunctioning thermostatic mixing valve fails to blend and regulate hot and cold water, which results in a sudden increase or decrease in water temperature. Every year, lots of Australians face severe scalding and shock injuries in their bathrooms because of it. 

So, if you don’t want to face such issues while taking a much-deserved hot shower, we highly suggest testing your thermostatic mixing valve regularly. Don’t worry; in this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about thermostatic mixing valve testing.

Now, without further ado, let’s begin!

What Is A Thermostatic Mixing Valve?

Also known as TMV, a thermostatic mixing valve is a special plumbing valve that mixes cold and hot water to control the temperature of hot water outlets to safe levels. They are widely used in homes, healthcare facilities and schools to protect individuals by minimising the risk of scalding from extremely hot water from wash hand basins, baths and showers.

These specially designed plumbing valves allow cold and water into them and carefully blend them using an internal thermal component. This ensures that they can deliver a mixed water stream at a pre-set temperature, usually between 39 degrees Celsius and 43 degrees Celsius.

Commercial Thermostatic Mixing Valve

The Dangers Of A Drastic Change In Water Temperature

Drastic and sudden changes in water temperature while taking a shower can cause harm to your body. Believe it or not, it can even send you to a hospital. This is because when the thermostatic mixing valve in your plumbing system is not working optimally, it fails to regulate the water temperature. 

As a result, it can become too cold or too hot all of a sudden while you are showering. And truth be told, it is not a desirable state of affairs.

When The Water Is Too Cold

When cold water suddenly pours down on you while showering, it could result in a thermal shock, causing you to instantly jump back to escape the extreme water temperature. Not to mention, it might make you slip and fall over, which can further result in bodily injuries. 

When The Water Is Too Hot

Extremely hot water pouring down your body can cause burns, damaging your skin. Note that young children and the elderly are more prone to third-degree burns because of this.

Thermostatic Mixing Valve: Installation and Testing

If you don’t want your water to have such adverse effects, installing a thermostatic mixing valve is the only option. Fortunately, both commercial and residential properties in Australia are installing these devices to ensure safety to their users.

Having said that, keep in mind that installing a thermostatic mixing valve is just the first step. In order to ensure that it functions properly, periodic checks of the valve’s operation is an absolute must.

What Should Be The Frequency Of The Testing?

To be honest, there’s no clear answer to it as different plumbing contractors offer different testing periods. However, these periodic checks should be done at least once a year as a rule of thumb. 

If you install it for the first time, the plumbing specialists should conduct a service test on it after 7-8 weeks. Depending on the results obtained from the check, more tests are conducted. Below, we have listed some possible results and the appropriate action plan. 

If significant variations in the water temperature are detected, the appropriate temperature adjustments should be made as soon as possible. The next test should be conducted after 21 weeks. And if a minor variation is detected in the water temperatures, the appropriate temperature adjustments need to be made again. After which, the test should be conducted in 28 weeks.

However, if there are no considerable changes in the mixed water temperature, there’s no need to adjust the water temperature of the thermostatic mixing valve. And the next test can be conducted after 28 weeks. 

That said, it’s important to note that the fluctuations in the water temperatures detected during the checks could also result from unstable water supply conditions. For this, it’s imperative to get an audit on the water supplies. 

What Is The Testing Procedure Of Thermostatic Mixing Valve

More often than not, the testing procedure depends on the kind of thermostatic mixing valve installed. However, some basic steps need to be followed regardless. First, you need to check the temperature of the blended water. 

Then detach the cold water supply from the thermostatic mixing valve. After that, wait for five seconds and check if the water temperature is under 39 degrees Celsius. If you don’t notice any considerable changes, it means the thermostatic mixing valve is working correctly. 

However, if you notice any change exceeding 2 degrees Celsius, that means the valve isn’t working and needs to be tested by professionals as soon as possible.

Signs Of A Faulty Thermostatic Mixing Valve

Apart from extreme water temperature, these are some other signs that you should notice if you have a malfunctioning thermostatic mixing valve:

Testing Water Tempreture In Bathroom

1. Leaks Or Drips

One of the most common signs of a faulty thermostatic mixing valve is leaks or drips from the valve itself. If you notice water pooling on the floor, it might indicate a corrosion or sealing problem. In that case, be sure to call a professional and get it fixed immediately; otherwise, it may cause water damage.

2. Inconsistent Water Flow

Another major sign of a malfunctioning thermostatic mixing valve is inconsistent water flow. For instance, if you notice water pouring slowly most of the time, it could be because your TMV has issues. Maybe it has not been installed properly or started to rust, which hinders the water flow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In this section, we have tried answering a few frequently asked questions about thermostatic mixing valves. Hopefully, all your doubts will get cleared once you go through this. 

1. How to adjust the temperature supply of a thermostatic mixing valve?

To adjust the temperature supply of a thermostatic mixing valve, you need to remove the cap on the top of the valve. Then use a close-fitting spanner to adjust it. To decrease the temperature, turn clockwise and to increase the temperature, turn anti-clockwise.

2. Is a tempering valve the same as a thermostatic mixing valve? 

No, both are completely different items. Tempering valves are temperature-activated and adjustable, which means they alter hot water flow to ensure that the water is not too hot on reaching the tap. They work by mixing cold and hot water to deliver it to your tap at the right temperature.

On the other hand, thermostatic mixing valves work by blending cold and hot water to attain a particular temperature, and then the water is supplied through various outlets. With TMVs, the temperature is generally pre-set by a plumbing specialist. The component present inside senses the thermal activity and accordingly arranges the levels of cold and hot water.

3. What are the major differences between a tempering valve and a thermostatic mixing valve?

Some of the major differences between a tempering valve and a thermostatic mixing valve are as follows: 

  • Thermostatic mixing valves respond to pressure fluctuations better and quicker than tempering valves.
  • TMVs require more servicing than tempering valves
  • Thermostatic mixing valves last longer
  • TMVs are more expensive

The Importance Of TMV Testing

With that, we have finally reached the end of this article. We hope by now you know pretty much everything about the importance and testing procedure of thermostatic mixing valves. 

Before we sign off, here’s our last word of advice: We highly recommend hiring a reputable plumbing specialist to deal with issues with your plumbing system. This is because not only are they well-versed with all the necessary know-how, but they are also equipped with the right tools and resources to conduct the tests effectively.

On that note, it’s a wrap. Until next time, take care! 


Photo of Ashley Woolf

Ashley Woolf

Find them on their website: Woolf Plumbing & Gas, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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