How to Control Hot Water Temperature
How do you get the right water temperature for your hot water if you don’t have an anti-scald valve installed on your faucets and showers? The most common solution suggested is to use either a point-of-use tempering valve or mixing valve. But can these valves accurately and safely set your hot water temperature? Let’s find out.
In order to make the necessary installations you will need some tools and materials. This will help you save time in doing the installation as well as improve the possibility of getting the job done correctly. Here are the things you need:
- Soldering torch;
- Tube cutter;
- Adjustable wrench;
- Sanding pipe;
- Point-of-use tempering valve;
- Mixing valve with thermometer; and
- Copper pipe.
Once you have all of these ready, you should be able to begin with the installation and improve your ability to control the temperature of your hot water.
Installing the Valves
Does your home plumbing use copper pipes? If it does, then the mixing valve can be installed right at the water heater. This will give you the ability to set a maximum temperature of 104 degrees. Take note that temperature variations may be inevitable because water pressure can drastically change especially from the point of washing machines and toilets. However, you can be assured that the chances of scalding would be none.
It is important to find out if the building code in your area requires you to install a point-of-use tempering valve at every faucet in your home. These valves are comparatively cheaper than the installation of temperature regulating faucets. So it is important to find out precisely what the local building code requires before breaking into your pipes or buying your water heater mixing valves.
To install the mixing valve, you will have to cut the copper pipes to your water heater. These would have to be rerouted through the mixing valves. The temperature gauge must be installed in a tee fitting configuration nearest the valve to be able to properly set the output temperature of the water heater.
Where does the tempering valve go? The point-of-use tempering valves are installed under the sink. Before doing the installation, make sure that the supply valves are completely shut off. The existing supply tubes should then be disconnected to allow you to add the tempering valves. This should give you two new supply tubes.
To complete the installation, turn on the hot water and begin to adjust the tempering valve until you get a temperature of 104 degrees or less.
Fine Tuning the Temperature
Because water pressure can affect the temperature, it is important to make sure that your hot water heater dial is in the right setting. This means that it should be cool enough to prevent scalding and hot enough to give you that relaxing shower.
Did you know that thousands of children are sent to the hospital every year because of burns from water heaters that are set too high? Many safety experts would suggest to a water heater setting of 120 degrees. Unfortunately, many dials do not have number labels making it difficult to get the exactly 120 degrees let alone 104 degrees.
So how do you do it? First, run the hot water at the faucet closest to your water heater. Allow it to run for about 5 minutes. Get a glass and fill it with hot water. Use a glass or pot thermometer to check the temperature. This should give you as close to an accurate reading as possible.
If the temperature is above or below 120 degrees, adjust the dial and wait for 3 hours before checking. Repeat the process until the temperature is between 104 to 120 degrees. To make sure that the temperature is set properly, do a final test the following morning before any hot water has been used.
If you are experiencing temperature fluctuations and other problems with your water heater, make sure that you call a licensed professional technician immediately to avoid damage and accidental burns. Contact Scott English Plumbing.