What’s a tempering valve?
A tempering valve mixes hot water from your cylinder with cold water from mains or supply tank to deliver water to taps at a safe temperature. In a home, that temperature must, by law, be below 55 degrees. In some other places, such as retirement homes and childcare centres, it must be below 45 and 40 degrees, respectively.
Why do I need a tempering valve?
A tempering valve is a safety feature that prevents scalding by controlling the temperature of water coming through taps and showerheads. While everyone in a house benefits from its protection, it is peace-of-mind especially for those with young children who may play with taps or elderly family members.
Can’t I just turn down my hot water cylinder?
No. Hot water cylinders are set at a minimum of 60 degrees in order to kill bacteria. When water drops below this temperature, the likelihood of a person becoming sick from using the water increases. A tempering valve is fitted to the hot water outlet pipe coming from the hot water cylinder so the water has been heated enough to kill bacteria before it is mixed with cold water to bring it down to a safe temperature.
How do I know if I already have a tempering valve?
Tempering valves are mandatory in new builds and Council-consented jobs involving plumbing. It is considered good plumbing practice to inform customers if they don’t already have one installed in their home. You can look for a tempering valve in your hot water cupboard, attached to the cylinder’s pipework. Most have a black, blue or clear circular plastic cap on them.
What if I don’t have a tempering valve?
Call Plumb! Valves usually cost about $200+gst. Additional fittings and labour vary, depending on the set-up of your hot water cylinder. Craig would be very happy to give you an obligation-free quote to install a tempering valve to protect you, your family and friends.
Julie and Craig