Keep A Safe Water Temperature With A Pressure-Balance Valve

Written by bprescottFebruary 6, 2012
A concealed shower valve

Maintaining water temperature

The best protection against scalding is a special valve called a pressure-balance or antiscald valve, which maintains a constant water temperature, even if someone in the house decides to do a super-size load of laundry with a tub full of hot water.

Some of these devices are valves that sense changes in the water pressure and adjust the mix of hot and cold water. Others are electronic systems that remember the temperature of the last shower and deliver the same level of hot water until you or someone else resets them. More-elaborate systems allow you to program multiple water temperatures for the different degrees of hot water for the different people using the shower. Whether you're doing the bathroom yourself or hiring a contractor, arrange for a licensed plumber to take care of this particular job.

Now if you want an easy add-on valve (about $20) for your shower head, get a scald-guard device that shuts off the water if the temperature gets too high. All you do is remove the shower head, screw in the device, and replace the shower head. If you have a bit more money to spend but don’t want to replace your existing shower valve, you can plumb a pressure-balancing valve into the supply line right before the shower valve.

Incidentally, the Department of Energy suggests setting the temperature of your hot-water heater no higher than 115 degrees to provide a comfortable hot-water temperature for most uses.

 

From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

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