Temperature storage and delivery
To protect against the growth of Legionella bacteria, it is a legal requirement that any stored heated water be kept at a minimum temperature of 60°C.
To prevent scalding, the delivery temperature of water for personal hygiene purposes, primarily bathroom taps, is legally required not to exceed:
- 45°C - For early childhood centres, primary and secondary schools, and nursing homes or similar facilities for young, aged, sick or disabled persons.
Only a thermostatic mixing valve is acceptable to control this temperature.
- 50°C - For all other buildings, either a tempering valve may be used, or a water heater designed not to exceed 50°C which is marked “this appliance delivers water not exceeding 50°c in accordance with as 3498”.
Note: Restricting the delivery temperature in kitchens and laundries is optional
Do I have to have a Tempering Valve?
The requirement to limit certain water temperatures applies to all new heated water installations. A new heated water installation is defined as either:
- Heated water reticulation heater
- A heated water reticulation system
Therefore, the requirements apply to all new houses and where the heated water supply piping is being reconfigured such as in a bathroom renovation. The requirements do not apply if you are only changing over a water heater or replacing or repairing part of the heated water reticulation system.
Where is a Tempering Valve installed?
Some installations of tempering valves occur at the heated water outlet of water heaters, aka: hot water services, in a way that restricts the water temperature to the entire house. When installed in this location, although compliant, it will limit the water temperature to 50°c to all fixtures and appliances in the home. This may not be best practice where a higher temperature is required for the satisfactory operation of a fixture, eg: kitchen sink or Laundry trough or appliance eg: Dishwasher or Washing machine.
Figures 1 and 2 suggest two methods of positioning a tempering valve to overcome tempering the entire installation/home.
FIGURE 1 - TYPICAL INSTALLATION OF TEMPERING VALVE FITTED AWAY FROM THE WATER HEATER
FIGURE 2 - TYPICAL INSTALLATION OF TEMPERING VALVE FITTED AT THE WATER HEATER
How does a Tempering Valve work in my home?
Tempering valves are simply a 3-way mixing valve that combine hot and cold water to produce warm water at the outlet to a pre-determined set temperature. Inside the tempering valve is a thermostatic element that is sensitive to temperature changes in the water. In response to temperature changes, the thermostatic element expands and contracts allowing hot and cold water to mix until the water reaches its desired set temperature of 50°c.
Our expert team of professional hot water plumbers will test and set your tempering valve to the required temperature as part of the installation process.
Can I Adjust my Tempering Valve?
No, you can’t. Our licensed expert hot water plumbers are trained and qualified to adjust and set your tempering valves. Adjustments to a tempering valve can only be made by a licensed plumber in Melbourne and must not be set higher than 50°c.
What Happens When a Tempering Valve Fails?
Most tempering valves have a thermal shut-off feature that closes the hot and cold inlet valves should a fault occur. Another obvious sign would be a noticeable change in water temperature. If this occurs, you should always call your local licensed plumber to fix the problem and NOT attempt to repair it yourself. The potential risk for scalding to you and your family is very real and not worth the risk. Call a Licensed hot water plumber in Melbourne ASAP if you think you have a faulty Tempering valve.
How Long Do Tempering Valves Last?
Tempering valves, if maintained and serviced regularly, can last around 5-8 years. Our hot water plumbers report that failures generally occur due to a build-up of scale inside the valve, which effects the operation. By servicing your hot water system, cleaning line strainers and filters and flushing it every 12 months, will not only extend the life of your tempering valve but will extend the life of your hot water system all together.
Need a Tempering Valve Installed or Tested?
The Essendon Plumbing Services team are specialists in hot water systems and tempering valves and are here to assist.
Whether your hot water system has burst in West Brunswick, or your tempering valve needs to be installed in Essendon or you need your hot water system serviced in Moonee Ponds where here to help, 24/7 365 days of the year.