What’s a Hot Water Tempering Valve?
The tempering valve is an essential safety device that every Australian hot water system should have. Your risk of suffering serious burns or scalding is greatly reduced thanks to this small valve.
The role of a tempering valve is incredibly simple; it takes the hot water supply from your hot water system, and mixes it with cold water. This lowers the overall water temperature to a hot-but-safe 50°C. You’ll still mix this with more cold water to shower or wash the dishes, but direct exposure won’t leave you burned.
While the tempering valve exists to look after the safety of you and your family, Mr Emergency directly looks after your tempering valve. Our licensed plumbers provide annual maintenance and servicing to ensure all aspects of your water heater are working properly.
Older hot water systems may not have the appropriate safety measures. Your tempering valve could be damaged or faulty. To avoid any unknown risks, our local plumbers provide replacement and installation services for 100% plumbing code compliance.
A licensed plumber is also the only person legally allowed to commission a tempering valve in line with full Australian Standards compliance.
So, if you’re after a professional service, call Mr Emergency now. We’ll keep you safe with long term hot water solutions.
Making Your Hot Water Safe
Tempering valves were first made a legal requirement through Plumbing Code of Australia changes in 2013. That means every hot water system requires one for maximum safety.
Water inside a traditional storage tank hot water system is heated to at least 60°C, and often up to 65°C. A high temperature is necessary in the prevention of legionella bacteria growth. When legionella enters the lungs it triggers a disease called Legionnaires’, which is similar to pneumonia and is potentially deadly.
Legionella can be found in water tanks where the water temperature is between 20-45°C. The bacteria dies at 60°C or above. That’s why hot water temperature is so crucial: anything below 45°C and your health is put at risk.
However, higher temperatures present a scalding risk. Second and third degree burns can occur in just seconds at 60°C, especially when children are exposed.
Thankfully a tempered hot water supply is a handy way to mitigate potential harm. Tempering valves mix hot water with cold to lower the outbound flow to 50°C. Tempered water at 50°C takes closer to seven minutes for second degree burns.
Common Types of Tempering Valves
All tempering valves probably look the same to the average homeowner. No doubt it’s a rarely inspected bit of hardware. But if you went to your hot water system now and looked for something shaped like a capital T, well you’d be looking at your tempering valve.
It’s connected to both the hot and cold water supply and is usually located close to the water heater. Inside it contains a thermostatic element which is incredibly sensitive to changes in temperature.
As a result, it expands and contracts depending on the water temperature, triggering an internal piston to move. This either opens or closes the hot and cold supply taps to balance the overall temperature.
Tempering valves are found on all types of hot water systems and are defined by their cap colour:
Blue Cap Tempering Valve: Standard household storage water heaters
Orange Cap Tempering Valve: Solar hot water systems/Heat pump hot water systems
Green Cap Tempering Valve: Instantaneous Gas hot water systems (orange often used also)
Red or Black Cap Tempering Valve: Large capacity systems/Commercial water heaters
You won’t have to worry about the colour of your tempering valve cap. Leave that up to your Mr Emergency plumber! We adhere to the Plumbing Code of Australia and will ensure your hot water system has the appropriate valve installed.
Mr Emergency's Hot Water System Services
Our customers can always rely on local Mr Emergency plumbers for a professional hot water service. We have plumbers on call 24 hours a day, which means you can enjoy after hours attendance if necessary.
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 solutions.
When you contact Mr Emergency you can always anticipate a tailor made service. Customer satisfaction is the number one priority. That’s why we also provide $0 deposit interest free payment plans** for additional peace of mind.
Any hot water plumbing job can be covered, meaning you can choose to pay for service in manageable instalments. No upfront deposit is required and you still receive a high quality service.
If your hot water system’s delivery isn’t up to scratch, call Mr Emergency today. We’ll have a licensed plumber at your home for professional tempering valve services. Your hot water is in safe hands.