Mixing Valves, What They Are, and Why They Are Important

Mixing valves are an important piece of equipment workhorses of the thriving mechanical industry. While hot water is considered imperative in any application, mixing valves ensure there is a supply of favorable tempered water from the acting use to the point of use. With time, the mixing valves have increased comfort among users as the water temperature is kept constant during the time of use. These valves automatically mix hot water in its correct amount coming from the heater with cold amounts of water to produce the preferred amount of water from the faucet. Globally, regulating water temperature and reducing scalding accidents have become common. In many countries, the states and governments require the correct water temperature to be regulated to a maximum of 48 degrees favorable for bathing.

Mixing valves also help lower water costs caused by hot water from water supplies maintained at high temperatures. Mixing valves are useful in sectors like commercial, residential, and industrial fields where the temperature of the water is considered a big factor to avoid scalding accidents, legionella growth, and thermal shock. The following are the different types of mixing valves:

Types of Mixing Valves

pressure-balanced Mixing Valves

They protect people against injuries resulting from thermal shock resulting from excessive cold or hot water. Thermal shock is much concern, especially with the elderly people who have no ability or strength to quickly move away from water capable of causing thermal shock, which can cause a fatal injury. A pressure-balanced mixing valve provides water at a constant temperature, although there may be pressure fluctuations in the cold or hot water supply line.

The pressure-balanced mixing valves help to compensate for changes in water pressure levels. The mixing valve has a diaphragm inside it that reacts to spontaneous changes in the cold or hot water pressure line and maintains constant pressure. Mixing valves are fitted with ball bearings to help regulate the water forces. Some municipalities recommend the installation of pressure-balanced mixing valves is done to reduce shower accidents among the elderly, infants, and the infirm.

Thermostatic Elements

These mixing valves use a sensing element to sense the incoming cold or hot supply of water and automatically change it to the right temperature for use. The different types of mixing valves can further be broken down into:

  • Liquid Filled Bellows
  • Wax
  • Bi-metal

Most thermostatic mixing valves use wax thermostats for the regulation of water. They are designed to shut off immediately there is a failure or shortage in cold water or hot water supply to prevent thermal shock accidents. When you want water delivered at the right temperature, installing a mixing valve is the solution. The three main known categories of water temperature controlling devices include:

  • Heat Source
  • Group Control
  • Point-of-use

The heat source controlling devices are used together with the central heating systems that require water as a medium to be stored at high temperatures. When it comes to group control, they provide a uniform and constant temperature distribution for all the water outlets found in the house. They support high flow rates and ensure temperature stability. Point-of-use mixing valves, often referred to as thermostatic faucets, are designed to function as single-point applications such as bath fillers, individual showering, or basin mixers for hand wash purposes.

The Features of Bi-metal elements include:

  • It has a simple design
  • It is the most durable element available in the market
  • Records the fastest reaction time
  • They are easily cleaned

The benefits of Thermostatic mixing valves include:

  • Ensures a constant supply of water I the right temperature to reduce scalding accidents
  • Allows for the operation of the water heater at high temperatures
  • Has the potential to reduce the size requirements that are required to providence capacity levels for peak system demands

How Do Mixing Valves Fail?

Older model mixing valves can age with time, breaking down the more they are in use. As a result of such inconveniences, the temperature controlling feature fails to work correctly. The signs that your mixing valve is not working are water not flowing correctly and a change in water temperatures from the normal chosen temperature. Other signs that your mixing valve could be having a problem include:

Low Water Pressure

A clogged hot water mixing valve can lower the water pressure even after turning up the water pressure from the normal pressure it normally operates on. After noticing such a problem, removing the clogged water mixing valve, cleaning it, and putting it back is possible. Still, the recommended option is to replace the whole valve with a new one for better performance and avoid breaking down again sooner than expected. Before installing a new mixing valve, check for the life expectancy rate and ensure it is durable enough to serve its purpose the required way.

Abnormal Shower Drips

If you notice that your shower is still dripping even after completely turning off, the problem could be at the mixing valves. The mixing ball valve could be out of position, causing water to escape. The best solution would be to replace the whole valve with a well-functioning mixing valve to prevent unnecessary shower drips.

Inconsistent Hot Water

As they age, older mixing valves may start producing inconsistent hot water when one is bathing. These older models can also lack the new features for balancing water temperatures that effectively deal with temperature fluctuations occurring in the plumbing system if they go down or up. When experiencing such, contact an efficient-working plumber for repair purposes. Better still, you can invest in high-quality mixing valves with advanced features to prevent any problems in the plumbing system because of low-quality products.

Lack of Hot Water

There is nothing as bad as taking a shower and finding out that there is no hot water. If your shower is not producing any hot water even after turning on the switch to activate hot water, the problem could result from failed mixing valves. The only favorable solution with a failed mixing valve is changing the entire valve and replacing it with one in good condition. Taking a shower is one of the day’s events that one looks up to, and any disruption that makes it uncomfortable should be avoided and treated immediately.

How to Properly Maintain Mixing Valves

Maintenance of mixing valves should be done annually, and you should not wait for a problem to carry out maintenance activities. To ensure safe water working order, ensure the two water systems and the mixing valves are working properly. If a problem is not fixed on time, a great risk could be posted on the shower users, such as legionella contamination. The maintenance of mixing valves involves:

Visual Inspection

A proper inspection of the mixing valves should ensure they work properly. The inspection involves checking if the isolation valves are put in place to avoid leaks, to identify the fitting of the right specification valve and good accessibility.

Right Water Temperature

A well-fitted mixing valve should produce water at its right temperatures. When the water temperature is not the required one, maintenance should be carried out to avoid any accidents that may occur from a poorly-fixed mixing valve.

Clean, Disinfect and Descale

Diss assemble the mixing valve and clean, disinfect, and describe the valve components with the fine mesh filters. Proper cleaning and disinfecting of the mixing valves keeps out germs and ensures good working of the mixing valve. Contact trusted water treatment services for more tips on keeping the mixing valve working correctly. A trusted water treatment service helps you improve quality standards and maintain safe water temperatures. They also conduct frequent inspections to ensure the plumbing system is working correctly.

Depending on the outlet use, the water temperature should range between 36 degrees and 48 degrees. It is not recommended to install a mixing valve that supplies water to numerous outlets to reduce installment and maintenance costs, reducing the risk of growth of legionella germs. The maintenance of mixing valves includes a full annual service, a fail-safe test, a lubron can test, a failsafe, and the replacement of poor working mixing valves, among others. If your business or commercial facility uses mixing valves you should consider having a trained professional service them to make sure they operate properly. For service in southern Maine contact American Mechanical & Plumbing Service Inc. in Hollis ME

Hollis Plumbing Near me

Mixing Valve Safety

Mixing valves are necessary for any household or industrial institution to ensure the safety of people while showering or any other water-related activities. If not correctly maintained, mixing valves cause accidents and other life-threatening conditions. Ensure the right parts are assembled when mixing valves and the correct technique used to install them. Contact the proper water servicing company to ensure your mixing valves are fitted appropriately.

Everybody looks forward to bathing, especially when the water is at the required temperature. Digital mixing valves serve the purpose of monitoring the water circulation loop in your household and ensuring the process is done in a safer, sanitary way. Where water contains impurities capable of causing life complications, strainers should be fitted in the piping system to filter out impurities