Water Temperatures – Not Just an Annoyance

In line with our anti-scald valve theme this month, I wanted to talk a little bit more about why they are so important.

Not only do temperature fluctuations provide annoyance, they are also very dangerous. For example, a simple flush of the toilet causes a pressure change in the cold water pipes. If someone happens to be taking a shower at the same time, less cold water becomes available because it is being used elsewhere which increases the temperature of the shower water.

Due to the same reason, shower water becomes colder when someone runs the hot water tap elsewhere in the house. Whenever the plumbing is clogged or if the shower has many heads, this problem worsens and the flash of hot water can cause burns. Since children have thinner skin than adults, they are particularly prone to scalds. If it comes as a surprise, the person will attempt to jump out the way of the shower water and potentially fall which makes the whole problem even worse.

By using anti-scald valves, this problem can be removed because the water temperature is maintained even when the pressures change in the pipes. Although they look the same as normal valves, they have a special piston mechanism that keeps hot and cold water inputs balanced – at times, one or the other might be limited to keep the temperature within a range spanning a few degrees.

Considering the hot water is drawn out more slowly than before, it can also last a lot longer which is a useful side effect. If a new construction is being completed, homeowners and inspectors alike should look for the local jurisdiction to see whether there are any safety measures in force.

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