We understand that all of the plumbing jargon can be a little bit overwhelming. That is why we have decided to talk about a few of the most common plumbing terms and requirements in order to help you understand and feel comfortable with what may be happening or may need to be happening at your house. Today we are talking about tempering valves.
Tempering valves are vital for the safety of you and your family as they help prevent burns and scalds. While we have spoken briefly about tempering valves on our Hot Water Page, we thought they deserved a special mention here. Interestingly, during the Corona Virus pandemic in Australia, hospital admissions as a result of burns and scalds have increased.
What is a tempering valve?
A tempering valve mixes hot and cold water together to deliver your hot tap water at a constant temperature.
Why is a tempering valve important?
A tempering valve is important for many reasons. Firstly, they protect you and your family from scalds as a result of the water being too hot. By law, hot water tanks are to store water at a minimum of 65 degrees Celsius in order to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria which causes Legionnaires disease. Water at 65 degrees Celsius can cause a serious full thickness burn in less than a second. Over 80% of scalds and burns that end up as hospital admissions are from water that was too hot. The admissions are primarily young children turning on the hot water tap.
It is a legal requirement that hot water used for personal hygiene purposes (such as bathroom taps) does not exceed 50 degrees Celsius. The difference between the water in the hot water system being above 65 degrees Celsius and bathroom taps being below 50 degrees Celsius is controlled by a tempering valve.
The Australian Standands (AS/NZS3500.4:2015) state that a tempering valve must be installed on any hot water system replacement and on all new hot water pipework.
How long do tempering valves last?
At Exeter Plumbing we recommend that you replace your tempering valve every 5 years or when you notice a problem.
If you have any questions or you would like us to have a look at your tempering valve call Exeter Plumbing on 1300 155 944. Our hot water specialists are happy to answer any questions you may have.