Does Your Water Heater Need a Thermostatic Mixing Valve?

June 29 2021

The water heater is an invaluable appliance in your home. Without it, showers would be chilly, clothes would be dirty, and dishes wouldn’t get sparkling clean. What you may not realize is that it’s possible to make your water heater even better – and safer. Today, we’re going to explain why you should consider installing a thermostatic mixing valve on your water heater.

Does Your Water Heater Need a Thermostatic Mixing Valve

What is a thermostatic mixing valve?

A thermostatic mixing valve is a unique plumbing component that is installed at or near your water heater. The valve has inlets for both hot and cold water. What it does is control the temperature of water coming out of the valve, and in this case, the water heater.

Why is this a good idea? If you’ve ever been surprised by scalding hot water from a shower or sink faucet, it’s very easy to understand. The thermostatic mixing valve prevents scalding by mixing the right amount of hot and cold water before reaching the outlet. So installing the mixing valve to your water heater can be a smart safety precaution if you have children or elderly individuals in your household.

Benefits of adding mixing valve to your water heater

Aside from the safety element we just mentioned, a thermostatic mixing valve offers other benefits. For one, it allows you to enjoy a lower temperature of hot water without turning down the thermostat of your water heater. The general recommendation is to set the water heater between 120–140°F. If you go lower than 120°F, you run the risk of Legionella (a dangerous form of bacteria) growing inside the tank. So if you don’t like super-hot water, a thermostatic mixing valve gives you that option without the additional health risk.

Another benefit of installing a thermostatic mixing valve is consistent water temperature, especially when multiple outlets are used. For example, say you’re taking a shower and someone in another bathroom flushes a toilet. Without a thermostatic mixing valve, that sudden change in cold water pressure could give you an unexpected blast of hot water in the shower. However, with a thermostatic mixing valve, this situation can be avoided.

Thermostatic mixing valves can also be installed closer to a shower or sink. This is called point of delivery, and can be used to prevent scalding in specific areas, such as a child’s bathroom.

Have a plumber install a thermostatic mixing valve

While thermostatic mixing valves are relatively simple components, installing one to your water heater can get tricky. Any time you’re working with an electric or gas water heater, you need to have the right knowledge and tools – otherwise, you could do some serious damage to yourself, the unit, or both.

At Emergency Plumbing & Solar, we’d be happy to tell you more about the benefits of adding a thermostatic mixing valve to your home. To schedule an appointment with one of our licensed plumbers, call us today at (808) 691-9309.