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Tempering Valve

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Tempering valve problems?

A tempering valve ensures your hot water stays steady at a safe temperature, so if something goes wrong with it, you could be at risk of scalding when you turn on the hot water tap.

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Hot Water Tempering Valve

A tempering valve keeps the water delivered into your home from your hot water system at a safe temperature, which helps to avoid scalding or other possible injuries.

The valve is fed by the hot water and cold water pipes. Also known as a hot water mixing valve, it blends cold and hot water to prevent the temperature of your hot water supply from exceeding 50ºC.

According to the Plumbing Code of Australia, you are required by law to install a hot water mixing valve when you install a new hot water heating system. While you may have the ability to set it to a temperature higher than 50ºC, doing so goes against the plumbing code. This applies to all types of systems which includes solar and heat pump powered models.

How Does A Tempering Valve Work?

Using a thermostatic element submerged in water, the 3-way mixing valve can selectively open and close pipes to allow hot and cold water in. It does this by expanding and contracting in response to temperature changes. This controls a piston that opens and closes the hot and cold inlet pipes, thus regulating the temperature.

The ratio of hot and cold water varies in order to maintain the water at 50ºC. Tempering valves are accurate within 3ºC.

Your plumber sets your hot water storage tank to heat water to a minimum of 60ºC. This temperature is legally required to prevent bacterial growth from developing in storage tanks. However, it’s still too hot at 60ºC for safe usage, so the plumber installs a tempering valve after this, set at 50ºC. By mixing hot water with cold water to achieve the required 50ºC, you decrease your hot water usage and therefore your hot water demand.

Where You Will Find a Tempering Valve

Tempering valves are typically designed to be installed near the hot water system. Most can be installed in any orientation, vertical or horizontal, and have regulations related to installation distance depending on the type of water heater. Pressure-reducing valves may be installed where necessary, and most tempering valves require isolating valves on both inlet sides as well.

Tempering valves are not needed on gas powered tankless continuous flow models, because they are already set at 50ºC. Meanwhile, any large capacity systems that heats water in storage tanks at a higher temperature must have one installed. This is because the storage tank temperature must be set to at least 60ºC to kill off harmful bacteria such as legionella bacteria.

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Professional Hot Water Maintenance

Only a licensed plumber, such as the experts at Metropolitan Plumbing, can install or replace a hot water tempering valve. Due to the incredibly specific nature of fine-tuning the part, you need an expert’s hand to set it to the correct temperature.

Plus, our technicians can also assess all aspects of an old or new hot water system, including the pressure limiting valve.

The pressure limiting valve limits the pressure coming into the hot water system to 500 kPa. You only need this valve if the water pressure going into the system is too high.  There is no need to limit the pressure that isn’t there.

24/7 Hot Water Service

Metropolitan Plumbing has experienced and local plumbing professionals who can service your current hot water system or provide you with a hot water system replacement. If something goes wrong with your hot water tap or tempering valve we can be at your door within an hour* of your call – or any time of the day.

We also offer upfront pricing and an exciting range of interest free** payment solutions for eligible customers, so we can take care of any hot water system replacements, repairs or installations straight away.

Just choose a payment plan with one of our providers – Zip or Humm. You have the flexibility of weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments. Some plans even accept a $0 deposit, so you pay nothing upfront.

Your plumber can take you through the easy application process on site and approval usually takes only a few minutes.

We also accept payment by cash, cheque and credit card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express).

Book With The Hot Water Systems Specialists Today

If you’ve reached boiling point with the water temperature in your home, and need to get your instantaneous or stored hot water at a more manageable and safe temperature, get in touch with Metropolitan Plumbing today. In addition to tempering valves, we can replace all valve types including the inlet valve, sliding valve and more. We’ll have a plumber at your door in a flash.

FAQ – All Your Questions in One Spot

We've answered all your burning questions, so you don't have to ask.

A thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) does the same thing as a standard tempering valve. It keeps the hot water supply below scalding temperatures. But thermostatic mixing valves have a quicker response to pressure variations and temperature changes. As they are more sensitive and reliable, TMVs have to be put in at places like primary and secondary schools, child care centres and nursing homes where they are set at a lower temperature of 45°C. As such, they offer a safer option for people in these environments using heated water for personal hygiene purposes.
When you have a tempering valve installed for your hot water storage system, you can expect it to last somewhere between 5-8 years. However, regular inspections and maintenance will prolong its lifespan and identify problems before they can do any damage. Many TMV or tempering valve-related problems stem from a build-up of debris from your hot water unit. Water heaters should be flushed annually to prevent a build-up in your tank, and this will help prevent a build-up in your valve as well. Furthermore, you can have an inline filter installed. This prevents debris from entering your hot water system in the first place! Older hot water systems are also prone to rust and build-ups which can affect the valve.
Tempering valves and the maximum 50°C were introduced as an Australian standard to prevent scalds and burns caused by too hot water. As water temperature increases, the time to receive a third-degree burn decreases. Depending on the water temperature, you can receive a third-degree burn with varying contact times:
  • 70°C – 1 second for an adult, 0.5 seconds for a child
  • 60°C – 5 seconds for an adult, 1 second for a child
  • 55°C – 30 seconds for an adult, 7 seconds for a child
  • Less than 50°C – approximately 5 minutes for adults and children
Most tempering valves have a thermal shut-off feature when there is a problem with the hot or cold inlet supplies. This will shut off the outlet and stop the mixed water from leaving the valve.
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Metropolitan Plumbing are proud winners of 2021 and 2020 Product Review awards in the plumbing category. These awards highlight our dedication to outstanding customer service. Product Review provides a platform for real-life experiences. Check out some of our customers' reviews below:
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Dave.C was very friendly and professional especially for a Sunday. He was able to identify the cause of the leaky shower head, and provide two quotes. He was also able to show what the issue was and was able to advise what he had done to fix it. Thank you.

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They replaced our old, malfunctioning toilet. The installation was quick, and they checked for any leaks thoroughly. Reliable service we can count on!

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I had a toilet that wouldn’t stop running, and it was wasting so much water. They arrived promptly, diagnosed the issue, and replaced the faulty parts. Now my toilet works perfectly. Great service and reasonable rates.

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