If your team is tired of callbacks because of a lack of hot water at the point of use and the labor required for manual balancing, thermostatic balancing, a more efficient domestic hot water balancing method, is now an option. Thermostatic balancing recirculates the hot water loop based on temperature, as opposed to pressure or flow.
Balancing a domestic hot water line is often a challenge because it is an open-loop system that is constantly changing in relation to user demand. Once a system is up and running in the field, it can easily fall out of balance. Thermostatic balancing ensures that all fixtures maintain the minimum desired water temperature constantly.
Manual vs. Thermostatic Balancing
Manual balancing is the most common type of balancing in plumbing. It is based on pressure, and often results in customer dissatisfaction. It is also labor-intensive, because it involves having a person at each point of use as well as a person at the balancing valve adjusting the valve to ensure hot water is available at every fixture for every line throughout an entire system. Additionally, manual balancing is an ongoing challenge, because when one balancing valve is adjusted, it affects the entire system, instantly putting the system out of balance. Maintenance teams often adjust the valves in response to users’ complaints about fixtures not receiving hot water.
Thermostatic balancing eliminates the need for a person to be at the point of use during the installation, eliminates callbacks due to flow adjustment, and increases customer satisfaction. You simply install the thermostatic balancing valve at the end of each hot water supply line before the recirculation loop and then turn on the hot water to balance the system. Because you no longer need contractors in the field to turn on every fixture to ensure hot water is in the line, you can direct workers to the projects where their skills are most needed.
How It Works
The technology behind the product uses a thermostatic cartridge that adjusts flow based on temperature. The valve will modulate open as a line cools and closes as a line achieves its desired temperature, using water’s path of least resistance to ensure adequate flow throughout an entire system. The valve never fully closes, which prevents deadheading the recirculation pump.
The thermostatic cartridge in Jomar Valve’s RecircSetter™ eliminates the need for pressure ports to balance a system. By selecting the same temperature at each valve, a uniform temperature is ensured in every branch. Designers select the design temperature within the range of 95° F to 140° F (the factory setting is 125° F), and the temperature is set in the field by the contractor using the presetting hand wheel.
To learn more about how thermostatic balancing works, watch this video.
Jomar Valve offers three different models of the RecircSetter that address different installation needs. The standard thermostatic balancing valve balances domestic hot water lines from 95° F to 140° F. The thermal disinfection model has an added thermal disinfection cartridge that is particularly useful in health care settings that need to avoid the proliferation of bacteria in a potable water system. The RecircSetter with an actuated thermal disinfection valve allows the end user to choose the thermal disinfection temperature, duration, and frequency through a building maintenance system.
The RecircSetter has a temperature sensor port that allows for remote monitoring through a building maintenance system, so it can be easily integrated. The standard drywell thermometer on each valve allows for easy identification of the water temperature flowing through each unit. Drywells are located on each side of the RecircSetter for orientation flexibility. The assembly models have fewer connections, shorter assembly lengths, and an integrated check valve option, which saves costs, takes less space, and makes installation seamless. The valve can be adjusted in the field to accommodate design condition changes without valve replacement.
For more information, visit www.jomarvalve.com.