Temperamental Shower Temp? A Thermostatic Mixing Valve Will Solve Your Problems

Posted on: 19 July 2017

Does your shower water feel hot one minute and too chilly the next? Perhaps you get a blast of hot water whenever someone flushes the toilet or turns on the cold water elsewhere in the home. These fluctuations in shower temperature can make your entire shower experience less enjoyable -- not to mention leave you susceptible to burns. Thankfully, there is a solution: a thermostatic mixing valve.

What's a thermostatic mixing valve?

Every shower has a mixing valve. This is the valve that controls the proportion of cold water that comes through the tap, along with the amount of hot water that comes through the tap. If you're experiencing temperature fluctuations in your shower, then you have an old-style, standard mixing valve. So, when the amount of cold water coming through the tap decreases, the amount of hot water stays the same. Your shower then feels hotter overall. The reverse is also true. If someone uses the hot water elsewhere in the home, leaving less to flow through your shower, your shower gets proportionally more cold water than hot -- resulting in a chilly shower.

A thermostatic mixing valve is a new style of mixing valve that adjusts the proportion of cold water whenever the proportion of hot water fluctuates -- and vice versa. So, if the amount of hot water coming through your shower suddenly decreases, the valve sends through less cold water, too. Your shower then remains the same temperature.

How can you install a thermostatic mixing valve in your showers?

This is a rather involved plumbing project. It will require that copper pipe is cut and that the new valve is soldered into place. Unless you have equipment to handle these tasks (which most homeowners do not), you're best off hiring a plumber to replace your mixing valve. Have no fear -- this is not an overly expensive project. You can expect to pay an average of $276 to have a plumber replace your shower valve. This includes labor and parts. 

What are the advantages of installing a thermostatic mixing valve?

This type of mixing valve will make your entire shower experience more enjoyable since you don't have to worry about suddenly being blasted with hot or cold water. It can also make it safer for your children to use the shower; they won't get burned. Others in the home can flush the toilet, wash dishes, or do laundry while you are showering instead of having to wait.