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When were shower control valves first required by code to be pressure balanced and temperature limiting (single handle)?
Thursday, December 5, 2019
The requirement for a pressure balanced and temperature limiting shower control valve (single handle, anti-scald) was instituted in the first edition (2000) of the International Residential Code, and earlier in the 1997 edition of the Universal Plumbing Code (UPC). It was also in the first edition (2002) of the Residential Editon of the Florida Building Code (FBC P2708.4). The maximum temperature setting is 120º F, and applies to both showers and tub/shower combinations.
This is how the FBC states it: “individual shower and tub/shower combination valves shall be equipped with control valves of the pressure-balance, thermostatic-mixing or combination pressure-balance/thermostatic-mixing valve types with a high limit stop in accordance with ASSE 1016/ASMEA112.1016/CSA B125.16. The high limit stop shall be set to limit the water temperature to not greater than 120°F (49°C). In-line thermostatic valves shall not be used for compliance with this section."
While anti-scald valves are one safety precaution to avoid hot water burns in the shower, another strategy is to set your water heater thermostat to 120º or 130º F (the “low” to “medium” setting); so that the hot water coming out of any faucet in the house will not quickly scald bare skin—even at straight hot.
To learn about in-thermostatic valves, see our blog post What is the purpose of a thermostatic mixing valve above a water heater?
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about PLUMBING:
• How can I protect my pipes to keep them from bursting during a hard winter freeze in North Florida?
• Why is there sand in the bottom of my toilet tank?
• What causes a gurgling sound when a bathtub or sink drains?
• Are drop-in toilet bowl cleaner tablets safe?
• What can I add to my septic tank to help it work better?
• What are the code requirements for layout of drain piping under sinks?
• Why is there mold inside my toilet tank?
• What are the pros and cons of a wall-mounted toilet?
• Which plumbing fixtures require water shut off valves in a home?
• How can I tell if a house is connected to a septic tank system or sewer?
• Are plastic pipes (PVC, CPVC, and PEX) safe for drinking water?
• Why is a backflow preventer required on lawn sprinkler systems?
• How can I locate my septic tank?
• Is a hot water faucet handle required to be on the left?
• Can you live in a house while the plumbing is being replaced?
• Why is the European-style bottle trap not approved by the plumbing codes in the U.S.?
• Why can't PVC be used for water pipe inside a house?
• What are the common problems to look for when the plumbing has been replaced in a house?
• What's that powdery crust on the pipe connections at the water heater?
• How can I tell what type of plumbing pipe I have?
• What causes low water pressure in a house?
• Should I call a plumber or septic tank contractor when my septic tank backs up into the house?
• How do I get rid of the sewer gas smell in my house?
• What are the pipes on my roof?
• Should I wrap the water heater with an insulation blanket?
• My water bill went way up last month. How do I look for a leak?
• Why does the water have a rotten-egg smell in some empty houses?
• What is an "S-Trap" under my sink? Why is it a problem?
• Where is the septic tank? Are you going to inspect it?
• What does polybutylene pipe look like? Why is it a problem?
• Which water pipes are an insurance problem and possibly uninsurable?
• Does a home inspector check the plumbing under the floor slab?
• Is it alright to disconnect the washing machine drain from the septic tank and divert it to the ground in the yard?
Visit our PLUMBING and WHEN IT FIRST BECAME CODE pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
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