What is a Tempering Valve Used For, and Why Do I Need One?

A tempering valve is used for tempering the hot condensate or hot water discharge from commercial or industrial equipment going to a drain to comply with local, national, and international plumbing codes. According to the IPC (International Plumbing Code) and most state codes, the maximum allowable temperature entering a sewer system is 140°F (60°C) to avoid damage to existing piping.

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Commercial dishwashers, humidifiers, sterilizers, boiler blowdown lines, and autoclaves produce 180°F+ (82.2°C+) wastewater.

This high-temperature discharge damages PVC piping, which can cause failed inspections, costly fines, interruptions to day-to-day business operations, and damage to personnel.

Tempering valves mix cold water into the equipment discharge to reduce the temperature to acceptable levels before it reaches any PVC piping or public sewers.

How Does a Tempering Valve Work?

Thermostatic drain tempering valves monitor water temperatures and control the cold water supply that mixes with the hot discharge, eliminating the risk of water or waste exceeding 140°F (60°C) going down the drain. If the hot effluent is above the specified set point of the valve (offered in 5-degree increments from 120°F to 140°F), the actuator senses the rising temperature. It signals the valve to open to allow cold water to temper the discharge fluid.

The drain tempering valve (DTV) is a mechanical valve that eliminates the need for electrical solenoid valves or thermostats. It is open only when the effluent exceeds the specified set-point temperature, usually 10°F below the full open temperature, so it conserves water by automatically turning off cold water when not needed.

Where is the Tempering Valve Located? 

The tempering valve’s inlet is connected to the cold water supply and installed into the drain line of commercial or industrial equipment. Hence, the flow passes over the thermal actuator to sense the temperature of the water going to drain and prevent over-temperature conditions.

What Are Common DTV Applications?

Industries such as restaurants, hospitality, healthcare, and manufacturing have equipment that requires tempered water before draining. A steam condensate drain cooler, or Drain Tempering Valve (DTV), is typically used in commercial dishwashers, boiler blowdown drain lines, humidifiers, autoclaves, sterilizers, automatic cleaning equipment, or any application discharging scalding water.

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Drain Tempering Valve Solutions

ThermOmegaTech’s thermostatic DTV is an effective solution for commercial/industrial facilities because it prevents damage to PVC piping, complies with plumbing codes, and meets drain temperature limitations.

It is self-operating, minimizes water waste, is easy to install, and is clog-resistant.

Compared to other solutions, the DTV is compact, adaptable to almost any drain size, and operates automatically to keep drain water within appropriate plumbing code limits.

Protect Your Drains and Water Lines with ThermOmegaTech

If you are starting a project where there is a possibility of high-temperature discharge into the drain/sewer, it needs to be tempered with cold water so as not to damage the drains or piping. A thermostatic drain tempering valve is the most efficient solution to control the water temperature and prevent damage, fines, and scalding.

Getting started has never been easier! Contact ThermOmegaTech to learn how our DTV will protect your client’s systems, piping, and drains.


Drain Tempering Case Study: California Laboratory Remodel

A three-story pharmaceutical laboratory in La Jolla, California, underwent a complete remodel in 2017. The rooftop HVAC unit was replaced, and humidification was required, which presented the need to cool the drainage water.

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“The roof was constructed oddly. Due to where the drain had to terminate, we had minimal fall to work with,” said Ed Parisi, Plumbing Design Manager at ICS (Industrial Commercial Systems), the contractor on this project.

“I had to get on the roof of the building to see what conditions we had to deal with. It was tough logistically to get the slope from the unit to the receptor; we had about eighty feet to travel.” Parisi needed an eighth of an inch per lineal foot to complete the drainage and had about nine and a half inches of fall available.

“We had been using typical devices for cooling humidifier drain water. Some had a tank or odd configurations, but none would fit correctly.” Parisi notes. He needed a better solution.

Parisi was previously introduced to the CircuitSolver product line by Chrissy Hamm of Specification Sales in Southern California. When Parisi was investigating other drainage devices, she suggested the DTV (Drain Tempering Valve). This was Parisi‘s first time using a DTV from ThermOmegaTech. “I didn’t even know it was available!” he said.

“Because [the DTV] just slips into the bottom of the pipe, it made it easy to overcome the lack of fall. Previously, there had been no device for the condensate drain for the steam humidifier at this location. The DTV worked perfectly because it’s such a compact installation. The DTV fits into a tee with the sensor probe extending into the drain flow at the bottom of the drainpipe,” says Parisi.

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“The compactness of the DTV makes it a good solution. The technology is more complex but a simpler installation,” said Hamm.

Parisi’s team installed three Drain Tempering Valves for this project. “We installed one DTV on the roof and one in the first-floor laboratory ceiling for a humidifier with limited fall. A DTV was also installed for the lab’s autoclave in their wash/wear room,” he said.

The whole renovation project took about a year. “It was very complex, with eleven different piping systems,” he explains. “The three DTVs worked well. The lab had no issues with drain water that would have been too hot for the drainage piping systems,” Parisi says.

Parisi was very fascinated by this Drain Tempering Valve. “It is one of those valves nobody else would appreciate without understanding the simplicity of this solution and installation,” Parisi explains. “…the DTV is our automatic solution for these systems.”

Compared to other options on the market, Parisi says ThermOmegaTech’s DTV is his favorite. “Their products are first class, extremely reliable, well-engineered, and well-manufactured.”

“I would recommend the DTV for the ease of installation and the lack of needing special conditions (like extra space) or other equipment. [You can] thread it into the drainpipe, connect the water supply, and it’s complete,” Parisi added. “The availability and convenience of getting the product from ThermOmegaTech are also well appreciated.”

Read the Full DTV case study here.

Have a specific drainage system project? The DTV can help! Contact us today.