Thermostatic valve for tub

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by mattster1975, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. mattster1975

    mattster1975 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    TX
    Hi:

    I am wondering if folks think it is worth it to install thermostatic valves either at the hot water heater or at the fixture (inside the wall) for tubs used by small kids. I have turned my water heater down so the max temperature at the fixture is about 120F. Interested in whether folks think this is sensible thing to do or just overkill.

    The house was built in the late 1980s and has no tempering or thermostatic controls other than the big red dial on the hot water heater.

    thanks!
  2. Sean Beck

    Sean Beck Plumber

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    If you are worried about your children scalding themselves then yes, either of the two would be a good idea. The mixing valve above the water tank would be a cheaper option and save you opening up the wall in the bathroom if you don't already have a thermostatic shower, but this would reduce the temperature in the whole of your house as opposed to just the shower.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    WHere I live, you are required to have a tempering valve at the WH. Although they come set to 120-degrees, they can be adjusted. Personally, I prefer a thermostatic valve in the tub/shower as most of them also make it hard to turn the temp above around 105-degrees. They typically have a stop that must be defeated (easy for an adult) to go hotter. This assumes that when you install the thing, you check and adjust it properly so the calibrations are correct. It also makes it nicer if you're at the end of the supply in the tank - as the hot then starts to get cooler, the thermostatically controlled shower/tub valve adjusts to compensate...a typical tempering valve, set to 120, would just stop adding cold when the inlet gets below that, and your mix at the tub/shower would then start to cool off. If you happen to be lucky enough to have a Delta R10000 rough-in valve, you can switch to a thermostatically controlled cartridge and trim by just swapping those parts out...the rough-in valve takes three types of cartridge, so you have choices long time after the first install - very handy!
  4. mattster1975

    mattster1975 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    TX
    My hot water heater is also over 10 years old (made in 2002 - not sure when it was installed). It is a GE 6 year warranty tank.

    We have hard water (central TX) and I am not sure philosophically if it makes sense to replace the water heater proactively before it breaks, or to wait till it starts leaking. The T&P valve is ok - it is not crudded up or anything.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    Any individual WH coming off the production line could start leaking at very different times than the one next to it. The warranty is more of a selling tool than a guarantee. It could last a lot longer, it could die tomorrow. On some brands, you want a longer warranty, on the same tank, you pay your money, and you may get a piece of paper or a new sticker to put on the tank...it's the same thing! What you may find, since you have hard water, is that the volume and heat recovery gets lower and slower as it slowly fills up with mineral deposits. These do two things, fill it up, and insulate the incoming water from the heat, making it recover more slowly.
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