A thermostatic expansion valve is a helpful device for regulating water temperature in your home. It also makes it possible to save energy and money on utility bills. The trick is knowing how they work. Read on to find out how they work and everything about them.
Thermostatic Expansion Valve Defined
A thermostatic expansion valve is an essential component in the water heater system of your home. It controls pressure, temperature, and flow in several different applications. Thermostatic expansion valves vary in size according to their intended use.
This device regulates the incoming water supply with high accuracy by sensing temperature changes. Then, it adjusts accordingly to maintain the appropriate water temperature for your needs.
This device is the brain behind your central heating system. The job of a thermostatic expansion valve is to ensure that you have consistent hot water at all times, regardless of water pressure.
Why Do You Need a Thermostatic Expansion Valve?
A thermostatic expansion valve is an important piece of equipment in your plumbing system. It regulates hot water storage tanks to maintain a consistent, safe temperature for warm water across your home.
These valves are responsible for ensuring that you have warm water at all times, no matter how low the incoming pressure may be. Without one, you would not have enough water pressure to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home.
Any time you want to maintain a specific water temperature, a thermostatic expansion valve is working behind the scenes. In your home, this device helps create an environment where everyone can have hot water at their fingertips, whenever they need it, no matter what faucet is running.
How Does a Thermostatic Expansion Valve Work?
A thermostatic expansion valve is an essential element in the water heater system of your home. It works by sensing temperature changes and adjusting accordingly to maintain the appropriate water temperature for your needs.
It’s an automated system that measures the temperature of incoming water. It uses this information to control flow based on what you have set as your desired temperature for each room. When cold water enters the device, it senses the temperature change and activates a spring-loaded valve. The valve opens to allow cold water to flow through the device and into your home while also preventing hot water from passing through.
As water enters your water heater tank for heating, it passes by this device once again. When hot, preheated water leaves the water heater in your home, this valve once again senses the temperature change and allows hot water to pass through.
This prevents the water from cooling off in your tank, which would happen if you didn’t have a thermostatic expansion valve in place.
Where to Install a Thermostatic Expansion Valve
A thermostatic expansion valve should be installed into your home’s cold water line near the point where it enters your home. You will want to ensure that you have at least a few feet of separation between your valve and any gas or electric appliances, as well as anything that may influence the flow of water. Make sure that the line is full of water before installation.
While thermostatic expansion valves can be gravity fed, they should always be pressurized and never rely on the pressure within your plumbing system. As such, a thermostatic expansion valve must either be installed near the top of your plumbing stack or it must be installed so that it’s supplied with water directly from your home’s pressurized plumbing system.
Suppose you install your thermostatic expansion valve too near to your point of use. In that case, the pressure of incoming water may not be great enough to cause the valve to open, resulting in little or no relief and an increased risk of injury.
On the other hand, if your thermostatic expansion valve is installed too high in a vertical stack, you risk it opening prematurely and exhausting the contents of your tank while anyone is using water at a faucet or appliance downstream from the valve.
The solution to this problem is to install a thermostatic expansion valve near the top of your plumbing system where relief pressure is adequate but not too close to the bottom of your plumbing stack where water usage would leave little or no pressure.
If you are installing a thermostatic expansion valve into an existing home, be sure to remove any excess lengths of pipe stubs before installation. This will allow maximum flow and prevent potential blockages. If you are in Las Vegas and you need a thermostatic expansion valve installed in your plumbing system, be sure to reach out to Polar Air & Heating, Inc..
Benefits of Having a Thermostatic Expansion Valve Installed
In many cases, a thermostatic expansion valve is required by code. In some areas, they may even be a requirement to sell a property.
Over time, the valves themselves will save you money in terms of your energy bills by preventing steam loss from your system. They will also trap air in the lines that would otherwise escape into your living space or cause your system to become pressurized.
In addition, you get to enjoy improved temperature control for hot water. This will let you adjust the water temperature and make it hotter or colder, depending on your needs. This can, in turn, save you money on your energy bills.
Improved temperature control for cooling is another benefit of installing a thermostatic expansion valve. A thermostatic expansion valve can activate a cooling system by channeling cold water from the tank through an air handler or evaporator coil. This means that there is no need to rely on electric chillers, saving you more money on your energy bills.
With a thermostatic expansion valve, you are protected from explosions and burns. A thermostatic expansion valve is a safety device that prevents buildings from exploding in a water heater leak. A thermostatic expansion valve will also reduce the risk of scalding injuries if a hot water line fails.
A thermostatic expansion valve also prevents contaminated water from entering your home. It keeps your plumbing system clean and free from contamination, preventing any dirty or harmful substances from entering your drinking supply.
It also prevents you from acquiring Legionnaires’ Disease. The valves will help to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria in your system, which can cause Legionellosis or Legionnaires’ Disease.
How to Know If Your Thermostatic Expansion Valve Needs Replacement
Every thermostatic expansion valve is different, but normally they are constructed in one of two ways: either cartridge-based or diaphragm-based.
Over time, the rubber diaphragm on a cartridge-based valve may degrade and need to be replaced. The best way to check this is to remove your old valve and take a look at what you find inside.
If the diaphragm is broken, twisted, or collapsed, then it needs to be replaced – and you can do this yourself with a little instruction from a professional. However, if everything appears to be in order, your thermostatic expansion valve has probably reached the end of its life and will need replacing.
In this case, you should replace your old thermostatic expansion valve with a new one. This way, you will be safeguarding your plumbing system against potential leaks and other future problems. In general, valves should be replaced every five to 10 years or after a water heater leak.
Polar Air & Heating, Inc. is a heating and air conditioning company in Las Vegas that has been providing excellent services to all its customers for years. Having won different awards for the best HVAC company in Las Vegas, you can be sure to experience the best from Polar Air & Heating, Inc.. If you need a replacement, check-up, tune-up, or installation of any equipment, do not hesitate to reach out to us.