Understanding Tempering Valves
If you are replacing a hot water system that is over ten years old in Queensland, chances are you have not experienced tempered hot water before. Switching to a tempered hot water system might take a bit of getting use to, but is a requirement under Queensland state plumbing guidelines.
Untempered hot water systems can deliver water temperatures to the tap in excess of 65C, which greatly increases the chance of burns and even death from hot water.
Tempered hot water systems have a special valve installed which mixes the hot water in the tank, with cold water from the feed line to deliver a tap temperature of no more the 50C. This provides a much safer environment for your home and can prevent unwanted accidents.
Some Queensland homeowners who have never experienced tempered water before can get concerned that their new Hydrotherm hot water systems are not working properly because the hot water is not as hot as it once was. This is not case, to inhibit legionella bacteria growth the Hydrotherm hot water system must be set with a 60C tank water temperature. It is only because the hot water must now be tempered from 60C to 50C by the valve that it appears cooler than previous.
If you have any concerns regarding tempering valves or the water temperature out of your taps, you should talk to your installing plumber as they are a great source of information.
By Simon Baird