Imagine getting a steamy hot shower after a long and tiring day. Is there any better way to rejuvenate your mind and body?
Well, certainly not! After work, a hot shower 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, many Australians face severe scalding and shock injuries in their bathrooms.
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. 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 unique 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 boiling water from wash hand basins, baths and showers.
These specially designed plumbing valves allow cold and water 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.
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. 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 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 jump back to escape the extreme water temperature instantly. It might make you slip and fall over, which can further result in bodily injuries.
When The Water Is Too Hot
Boiling 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.
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 the safety of their users.
Remember that installing a thermostatic mixing valve is just the first step. To ensure that it functions appropriately, periodic checks of the valve’s operation are an absolute must.
What Should Be The Frequency Of The Testing?
There’s no clear answer 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 after 7-8 weeks. Depending on the results obtained from the check, more tests are run. Below, we have listed some possible outcomes and the appropriate action plan.
If significant variations in the water temperature are detected, you should make the appropriate temperature adjustments 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, the thermostatic mixing valve is working correctly.
However, if you notice any change exceeding 2 degrees Celsius, 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:
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. Be sure to call a professional and get it fixed immediately; otherwise, it may cause water damage.
2. Inconsistent Water Flow
Another significant sign of a malfunctioning thermostatic mixing valve is inconsistent water flow. For instance, if you notice water pouring most of the time slowly, it could be because your TMV has issues. Maybe it has not been installed correctly or started to rust, hindering 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 change 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 entirely 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 cold and hot water levels.
3. What are the significant differences between a tempering valve and a thermostatic mixing valve?
Some of the significant 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 they are well-versed with all the necessary know-how, but they are also equipped with the right tools and resources to conduct the tests effectively. If you are in Perth, contact our reliable plumbers.
On that note, it’s a wrap. Until next time, take care!