A thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) bridges the hot water in your system and the water that comes out of taps or showers. It keeps your hot water system safe in a couple of ways, and can keep you safe, making it a crucial part of your home plumbing that your local plumber should always check.
First, it allows your system to store water at a high enough temperature to keep bacteria at bay. However, it also regulates the temperature of the water that you use.
When you turn on a tap or shower that connects to a TMV set-up, then the valve controls the release of hot water. Typically, it mixes hot and cold water together to reach a set temperature as dictated by its thermostat setting set by a plumber with a TMV licence. So, your water should never run so hot that it could scald or burn
When all is well, the TMV works seamlessly. However, it might develop problems that prevent it from working as it should. What are the signs that your valve has a fault?
1. Your water temperature isn’t right
If a TMV valve stops working correctly, then you may notice that your hot water suddenly starts to run hotter than it should. If the valve can’t regulate temperature correctly, it might not be able to cool hot water down enough to make it safe.
However, excess heat isn’t the only sign of trouble here. Sometimes, a failing TMV makes the water too cold. Or, water may not run at the right temperature consistently. It may fluctuate between being hot and cold.
In some cases, a faulty TMV can also affect your cold tap. Here, you might find that this tap runs warm or hot rather than cold.
Changes in water temperature have various causes. For example, the valve may be blocked or may have moved out of position. The thermostatic element might have stopped working or might have a problematic O-ring. Or, you might have a problem with water pressure or flow through the valve.
2. Your water doesn’t flow normally
Sometimes, the first sign of a TMV problem is a change in the way your water comes out of a tap. Typically, you see a reduction in flow or pressure here.
For example, your water might start to run sluggishly and slowly all the time. You might struggle to get the tap to give out more than a trickle of water. Or, your water might switch between working normally and running at a reduced pressure or flow.
Again, these problems can have various causes. Sometimes, water can’t run through a TMV freely because parts of its valves are gummed up with debris or scale. Older valves might also suffer from corrosion which blocks them up. Or, a valve might not have been fitted correctly in the first place.
3. You have leaks or drips
If you have problems with a TMV, then you sometimes see outward signs that all isn’t well. For example, water might seep out of parts of the valve; you may even see some water on the floor under it. This might indicate a faulty seal or a corrosion problem.
If you have a TMV in your shower, then a faulty valve can make the shower drip even when it is off. Here, the valve may not be in the right position so it doesn’t shut water off effectively. Or, you may have a problem with the valve’s seals or cartridge.
If you have concerns about a TMV, then you need expert help. Don’t try to fix these valves if you don’t know what you’re doing. They are too important a safety job to mess up.
For a quick diagnosis and fix, contact plumber Wahroonga Andrew Vanny Plumbing . We can check your TMV over and repair or replace it for you.