Tempering Valve: How to Have Two Different Temperatures on Your Caravan

Did you know that with tempering valve you can have two different temperatures on your caravan?

Check out the video below to see how we set up this tempering valve.

Two Different Temperatures

Do you have a storage hot water system on your caravan? There are two different brands. Most of the time it’s Suburban, which a lot of the Jaycos and the big motor homes use. We’ve got a Truma on Beautiful Plumbing van.

Most of the time there are only two sort of set temperatures on those hot water systems. One at 60 degrees and one at 70 degrees. Now 60 degrees is crazy hot and 70 degrees can give you third-degree burns in under a second.

Why So Hot?

Why does the water have to be so hot in those storage hot water units? The main reason is that in Australia, under the Australian Standards, if you are storing water, the water needs to be up around the 60-70 degrees mark to kill all the legionnaires and bugs in the water.

Another reason is you’ve only got 14 liters so it’s important to have quite a bit of stored bulk energy that you can use.

Australian Standards

In Australia, you’re allowed to deliver 60 or 70 degrees to a kitchen sink or a laundry. That’s no problem at all. But the Australian Standard says if you are delivering water to a bathroom that is going to have a basin or a shower or bath in it, the water is not allowed to be higher than 50 degrees. Now, 50 degrees is still too hot to put your hand under, but it takes a good three minutes to give you third-degree burns, so plenty of time to do something about it and get out of the way of that hot water.

So if us as plumbers set up one of our houses like one of these caravans have been set up, and someone got third-degree burns, we’d also be in a world of pain because the Australian Standards weren’t followed.

So we’ll show you how we set up our caravan so it’s great for washing dishes, safe for showering while in turn saving that precious drinking water.

Temp Valve

A temp valve is similar to a shower mixer that most houses have in Australia. You’ve got hot water coming in one side, cold coming in the other, it mixes in the chamber and you are adjusting it all the time to get it to the desired temperature.

Now, temp valve is exactly the same principle, but they’ve got a spring with a couple of moving parts in there that adjusts the water automatically. Once the temp valve is installed, then you can adjust it to the desired temperature. The average person showers at about 42 degrees. So in the shower now, all you have to do is turn the shower mixer fully to the hot, turn it on, let the temp valve do its thing to deliver the water at 42 degrees.

The good thing about that is you are not adjusting that water, the hot and cold, trying to get that temperature right, wasting a lot of water as you do it. Also as a bonus, you’re not going to get third-degree burns.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. If the water is 42 degrees coming out of the temp valve, wouldn’t you get 42 degrees at the kitchen? Well, that’s kind of useless and you’re right. So the way we’ve set up our van is that the temp valve can deliver water only to the bathroom at 42 degrees, but the kitchen sink will still be coming straight off the hot main. So we’ll get 60-70 degrees water at the sink and use gloves to wash the dishes, but it cuts through the grease like a dishwasher when the water’s so hot, and therefore you’re using less of that precious drinking water.

Inside Set Up

We show you our Truma hot water system that’s installed under the bed. We have the pressure relief valve so you can see the temp valve is there. This is the Thompson. You can get these from Reece. If you get the one with orange cap, they’re called high-performance valves. So you use them on solars and also instantaneous hot water systems.

This is the cold main that goes into the temp valve and here’s a chamber where it mixes. Here’s the hot main that goes into it and you can see the hot main swings all the way around and goes straight into the hot water system over here. There’s that sneaky T that we talked about. That goes off to the kitchen sink.

How It Works

Now when the hot water system is delivering 60 or 70 degree water, it’ll come out of the hot water system, come down here into the T right here, and that’ll come out and go to the kitchen sink. Then that just swings around here, comes all the way out and feeds the temp valve and that goes down.

Then this line here, there’s a T there. That just goes off to the external shower, so that’s protected. The external shower’s only got 50 degrees or 42 degrees, whatever you set the temp valve for it.

Then the other bit goes off down under the floor and then that goes under all the way and over to the the shower and out there. Now all you got to do is turn the tap on, 42 degrees come straight out, you’re saving plenty of hot water.

Why It’s Important

We think it’s super important to have these. It saves water, and the water’s not super hot coming out of the shower. You just adjust it on the temp valve instead of inside the shower. It’ll save you bucket loads of water.

If you’re not sure how to do this, just call your local plumber. This is child’s play for them, and they can sort it out. If you’re in Perth and you want to get something like this sorted out, then give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out.