Why is an anti-scald shower valve so important?
Each year, thousands of people suffer injury as the result of surprising water temperature fluctuation. A common source of injury is slipping and falling in the shower as reaction to a sudden increase or decrease in water temperature. An anti-scald valve will prevent scald injuries. This is a particular risk to young children, the elderly, and people with disabilities due to tender skin and slower reaction time. Legionella bacteria are responsible for Legionnaires’ Disease and Pontiac Fever and thrive in temperatures between 95-115°F. It is common to maintain the hot water tank temperature at 140°F because the legionella bacteria cannot live in a temperature above 131°F. An anti-scald valve is a helpful tool to store the water at a temperature to avoid bacteria growth while also delivering shower water to the user at an appropriate temperature.
Why does my shower temperature fluctuate?
To achieve your ideal shower temperature, you are using a combination of hot and cold water. Since toilets only use cold water, when a toilet is flushed, cold water is temporarily siphoned from the shower to allow the toilet bowl to refill. The shower then gets extremely hot since there is less cold water available to mix with the hot water to create your perfect temperature. On the other hand, the water may become shockingly cold if someone is utilizing hot water when using the dishwasher or washing machine since hot water is being taken away from the shower to be used for other household appliances.
What is a thermostatic mixing valve?
A thermostatic mixing valve senses the actual temperature of the water coming into the shower. It mixes hot water with cold water to provide a safe, accurate, and constant flow of temperature-controlled water. Regardless of how the supply temperatures or pressures vary over the time of use, the temperature will remain nearly exactly the same as desired. If cold water is reduced, due to a toilet flushing for example, the valve will automatically adjust the amount of hot and cold water being mixed to keep the temperature consistent and safe.
What is a pressure-balance valve?
A pressure-balance valve uses just one handle to control the volume and temperature by sensing and adjusting the ratio of hot and cold water. When someone in your home flushes the toilet, the valve reacts to the change in water pressure and will reduce/cut off the hot water supply, maintaining the balance between hot and cold water flow. The temperature may only fluctuate a couple of degrees, likely unnoticeable by the user. With the pressure-balancing valve, temperature is not controlled, so if the valve is set at the maximum temperature and the handle is turned all the way to hot, the water coming out of the shower will be as hot as the water heater has to offer.