Few issues can irritate a homeowner quite as much as stepping into what should be a hot shower only to find icy cold water. Alternatively, opening the basin tap to wash your hands and finding scalding hot water can result in injury, so water temperature is more important than many people realise.
Generally, any issues related to your water temperature are a result of a faulty thermostatic mixing valve or TMV as it’s often called. If you’ve never dealt with this issue, it could be difficult to establish if the problem is in fact TMV related, but the information below should give some clarity.
What is a TMV?
If you’re not very hands-on with your home repairs or plumbing emergencies, you might be left wondering what exactly a TMV is. In short, it’s a valve that bridges the hot water in your heating system.
Thermostatic mixing valves are essential and regulated by law in Australia. They serve the following crucial purposes:
- The TMV allows your home’s water system to store water at a temperature high enough to keep bacteria from growing in your system and pipes.
- It also regulates the temperature water is used. Ordinarily, the valve mixes hot and cold water to reach the pre-set thermostat temperature. This avoids users being scalded by water that’s too hot.
A Few Signs That Tell You It’s Time to Check Your TMV
More often than not, a thermostatic mixing valve doesn’t just up and quit. Usually, there are a few tell-tale signs that every homeowner should look out for. Let’s delve into the most crucial signs to watch out for.
1. Incorrect Water Temperature
One of the key signs that your TMV is potentially faulty is your hot water starts running hotter than it usually does. This is potentially dangerous as a tap that’s sending out higher temperatures than usual could result in severe burns.
The flip side is also possible, where no matter how long the hot water tap runs, the water constantly remains cold. There might also be an inconsistent fluctuation of being too hot or too cold. Water temperature inconsistency can also happen within minutes from the same tap. When this happens, it’s unlikely anything other than a TMV issue.
2. Irregular Water Flow
Another sure sign of a faulty TMV is a sudden change in water flow from the tap. The speed at which the water flows can either be too slow or too fast. At times you might only be left with a thin trickle of water.
If this problem is consistent over two or three days, you might be looking at a TMV issue. Check with neighbours to see if they are experiencing the same problem. If they aren’t, the problem isn’t at the mains but possibly with your TMV.
3. Drips and Leaks
The signs that your TMV may be faulty don’t only happen when the taps are open and running. Outward signs such as leaks and dripping taps may also be evident. Water could drip out of the valve itself and if this is the case, you’ll notice water on the floor under or around the valve. Ensure this area is always dry to make it easy to detect a potential leak.
Reasons Why a Thermostatic Mixing Valve May Be Faulty
There are several reasons why a TMV could be faulty, including:
- TMV may simply have moved out of position
- Valve may be blocked
- Thermostatic element might be faulty
- O-ring might be damaged or faulty
- Water pressure from the mains may be problematic
- Parts of the valve may be clogged up with dirt or debris
- Some valves also become corroded
- Incorrect installation from the onset
- TMV hasn’t been maintained or checked in a long time
Educate everyone in your household about the signs of a faulty TMV. Knowing what signs to look out for will prevent members of the household, especially children, getting burnt because a problem was neglected.
Ask Banjo Nominees to Check Your TMV
If you suspect your TMV may be faulty, it’s time to call the team at Banjo Nominees to assist with the problem. Our experts recommend that you never try to change the TMV yourself as this could often exacerbate the problem.
Rather, call us on 03 9397 1111 for a QUOTE. You can also visit our website. Our trusted plumbing experts are not only reliable but highly skilled in resolving any thermostatic mixing valve issues. Aside from repairing or replacing the TMV, our experts will also advise on how often your water system and TMV needs to be maintained and routinely checked.