Di Vapor has teamed up with thermostatic element and cartridge manufacturers Vernet to help you service, maintain or replace your cartridge correctly, whilst providing other useful technical information. Understanding how thermostatic cartridges work can be useful for long term maintenance, ensuring that you and your family can continue to enjoy your shower or bathtub without interruption.
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As calls for safer bathing and showering increases the Showering manufacturers have increased the safety and performance of showers and responsible OE manufacturers in the UK have worked together to create the voluntary code of practice called the TMV2 scheme. An even more stringent standard that can be legally required for care home, schools and public use fitments etc. is the TMV3 scheme.
Replacing a shower in your home does not dictate you must replace the shower with a thermostatic shower (unless a new build or new bathroom extension, see Part G Regulations). Also, if you do fit a thermostatic shower it may not need to be TMV2 approved.
However, if you go to the trouble of fitting a thermostatic shower why risk fitting an unbranded product of undetermined original and quality?
If you buy a thermostatic cartridge with TMV accreditation you can be 100% sure you are buying a quality cartridge along with safe showering.
Identifying your Vernet Cartridge
Through working closely with Vernet, Di Vapor's knowledge and understanding of the products has matured in order to fulfil any technical requirements you may have regarding Vernet products. Official Vernet cartridges utilise a unique marking system to help us identify the model of cartridge you require. Using the diagram below, simply locate the traceability code that is printed onto your cartridge housing.
Brass vs Engineered Polymer
Vernet pioneered the manufacture of polymer-bodied thermostatic cartridges in the early 1990's and have by far the greatest amount of technical knowledge of producing the Best-in-Class cartridges. Vernet also produces 50M elements per annum for other cartridge manufacturers, whether brass or polymer based. As world leaders we would always suggest to use a Vernet cartridge equipped with a Vernet element as the best option available.
The benefits of a Vernet cartridge are numerous, just some advantages are:
- Anti Limescale: A Vernet cartridge has no brass components in the temperature control shuttle. The elimination of limescale also helps eliminate reduced performance
- Every cartridge is fully tested and fully calibrated in our French factories
- Vernet are an ISO9001 company, using only European highest-quality materials
- All Vernet products use materials complying to the legal requirement of WRAS (Water Regulatory Advisory Scheme) as directed by the UK DWI (Drinking Water Inspectorate)
- Most Vernet cartridges are TMV2 and/or TMV3 compliant in line with the industry safety code of practice
- The general operating tolerance of a shower fitted with a Vernet cartridge is less than +/-0.5C. TMV standards call for a +/-1.0C tolerance, so Vernet cartridges are well within the minimum TMV standards.
Vernet... "Often Copied, Never Equalled"
How do TMV Cartridges work?
Any shower valve, faucet or under-sink temperature control device is a Thermostatic Mixing Valve (TMV) and the basis of operation is to mix hot water and cold water to provide a comfortable output for the user and vitally a safety of supply if the cold water fails.
Water in a household heating system will be around 60-65C and cold water between 10-15C. Mixing of this water at 50-50 will give a standard 38C output and a good thermostatic shower (with cartridge) will control this between +/- 2C. If the cold water fails or pressure drops a quality cartridge should protect the user by 'shutting down'. Unfortunately, just because a shower is sold as 'thermostatic' does not mean it has to comply to industry TMV2 regulations.
Buyer Advice - Look for TMV2 or TMV3 capability when buying a shower
Standard manually operated taps and shower mixing valves continue to be used in bathrooms, showers and kitchens worldwide, however the limitations of this technology become clear when a drop in either hot or cold water pressure occurs. Users can suffer the unwanted surprise of scalding hot water or freezing cold water. The primary function of a thermostatic cartridge drastically reduces this problem, offering day to day comfort and safety for a variety of users.
At the heart of all Vernet cartridges lies a wax element, made predominantly from a combination of copper powder and paraffin, ensuring a faultless mixing process takes place. When heated the wax element expands, applying pressure to the surrounding diaphragm resulting in a piston moving to accommodate the required temperature. This complicated device ensures extremely accuracy in its operation without interrupting the user experience.
This complicated and sophisticated design is finished with an easy to operate interface, from which the user is able to set the temperature easily using a chrome dial or similar. With the thermostatic cartridge effortlessly working to stabilise water temperature without operator interaction, users can enjoy their bath and shower with peace of mind.
The Importance of TMVs & elements
600 people are hospitalised each year due to bathroom scalding, of which 90% will be children and 90% of deaths will be those aged 65 and over. In addition, it takes just 1.5 seconds exposure to domestic water at 60°C for a child to suffer 3rd degree burns The full extent of hot water scalding can be seen below:
Its not just hot water that causes problems, but the effect of freezing cold water can also be dangerous. Cold water shock can trigger falls and slips for the elderly, resulting in injury and a lack of confidence in independent bathing.
The above information highlights the importance of keeping standing water at a high temperature, but maintaining high temperatures can conflict with the hot water requirements of the average user, exposing those susceptible to danger. By having a thermostatic temperature control cartridge, this danger is eliminated by delivering a consistent water temperature that is automatically balanced for the user.
The Vernet Difference
Vernet are the world's largest and leading producer of copper-wax thermostatic elements. Our products are known the world round for all thermostatic applications:
- Shower Controls and Water Valves
- Heating & Radiator control
- Air Movement and Ventilation
Thermostatic elements have a vast array of uses. Vernet, who have been trading since 1952 after the conception of thermostatics by Edgar Frank in 1927, have led the growth of the use of wax elements to these wide range of industries.
Today, our company is still owned by the Frank family and with over 500 employees, across two plants in France, we turnover €80M per annum. We produce over 40 Million elements each year plus associated assemblies.
Supplying global markets across Europe, Africa, North and South America, Australasia and the Far East, VERNET products are accepted as the highest quality and performing available.
With a Worldwide technical-commercial support network combined with central development facilities in France we provide customers with second-to-none service.