WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY THERMOSTATIC MIXING VALVE DOESN'T WORK?
The thermostatic mixer is the best option to bring comfort and more aesthetics to the bathroom. You can get the water to your desired temperature within seconds. Not to mention the water savings you will make on a daily basis. However, it can happen for different reasons that your thermostatic mixer breaks down. Contrary to popular belief, maintenance does not always require the intervention of a professional. Thanks to our little tips, you can carry out the diagnosis of the breakdown yourself and carry out the repair without the help of anyone.
Operation of a thermostatic mixing valve.
Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is important to understand how a thermostatic mixer works. This will facilitate the intervention in the event of a breakdown or anomaly. This type of mixer can be installed in the kitchen as well as in the bathroom. It differs from the single-lever mixer by the existence of two controls. One of the levers is used to regulate the flow of water while the other takes care of the temperature.
Unlike the single-control model, you don't have to juggle the control knob to find the ideal temperature or flow rate. Simply adjust the wrist to the desired temperature. The built-in thermostatic cartridge does the rest of the work. In seconds, you instantly get your hot water. The advantage of this system is that the temperature remains constant despite a variation in the flow of water in the housing. You can even turn off the tap at some point. You will always find the same temperature.
Manifestation of dysfunction.
The malfunction of the mixer can present itself in different ways. First, it happens that when you activate the lever, the temperature of the water delivered by the thermostatic mixer is too cold or too hot. This can lead to burns for the user. In this case, you should no longer use the mixer while waiting for the repair, in order to avoid an accident, especially if you have children at home.
When the color of the water flowing from the faucet is not clear, but turns red or shows a cloudy color, it means that there is a malfunction somewhere. The same is true when the water flow is too weak or too strong. In the latter case, your thermostatic faucet risks wasting a lot of water. You will need to immediately investigate the cause.
Water leakage is also a very common problem with a thermostatic mixer. You should never wait too long to repair the fault, because the problem may get worse. Let's not forget that the price of a thermostatic mixer is quite high compared to a single-lever mixer or a mixer. Sometimes, it is enough to clean the thermostatic cartridge to resolve the fault.
The reasons for the failure of a thermostatic mixer.
The ceramic cartridge is the central element of a thermostatic mixer. In particular, it is responsible for automatic water regulation. In the event of a variation in the flow of water in the house, it will regulate the temperature in order to avoid possible burns to the user. Thus, in the event of a problem with the temperature, it is certainly a failure of the thermostatic cartridge.
If there is a leak, the cartridge may be at fault. This often happens after several years of use. This is the normal wear and tear of the material. On this subject, it should be noted that the average life of a reputable and original brand cartridge can reach 10 years. If you opt for an entry-level model, it does not exceed three years. Of course, the leak can also result from the clogging of the system by dust. This causes sealing problems.
With regard to insufficient flow or temperature instability, the cause is often the accumulation of scale on the thermostatic cartridge. Discover our article on descaling your taps.
How to solve the problem?
Before any intervention, you must always take the trouble to properly diagnose the breakdown so as not to waste your time. You do not always have to remove the thermostatic cartridge each time it breaks down.
Difficulty adjusting the temperature.
Normally, the temperature adjustment of a thermostatic cartridge is instantaneous. If you are having trouble getting the ideal temperature, first check the pressure at the supply. The cold water pressure may be too high compared to the hot water pressure. The difference should not exceed 1 bar on average.
If, on the other hand, you notice that the temperature control is blocked, it is certainly a scale problem. In this case, it must be removed and cleaned with white vinegar. Have the reflex activate it from time to time to prevent the accumulation of limescale.
The water from the mixer does not flow.
In the event of a lack of maintenance or when the installation has not been purged before use, scale accumulates on the filters as well as on the non-return valves at the supply level. It will need to be cleaned.
Thermostatic cartridge problem.
For the reasons we mentioned a little above, it is necessary to check the condition of the thermostatic cartridge. It is not necessarily a question of replacing it. First, you need to check if it is clogged. If this is the case, simply clean it with white vinegar to get rid of all impurities as well as scale.
Start by removing the seals before submerging the part in vinegar for several hours. Then you have to rub to permanently remove the tartar before rinsing with water. Silicone faucet grease will be used to grease joints and moving parts before reinstallation.
If it is necessary to replace the cartridge, make sure that the model chosen is exactly the same as the old one.
In order to avoid this type of malfunction, it is always necessary to take the trouble to carry out periodic maintenance. This will save you money. If you live in a locality where the water is very hard, it is preferable to install a limescale filter on your system.