Washers Exempt From Heat Limits

The Toronto Star − Condo Living Section
Condo Living sent the following question to Shlomo Sharon, President, Taft Forward Property Management Group


Plumbing codes state that when hot water tanks are replaced, a valve must be installed on the tank to cut the water temperature down to 49C.  This, I feel, has created problems because the water in my dishwasher is not hot enough to thoroughly clean the dishes.  Is it possible to add a valve with a new line in order to solve the problem?  Who pays for the new valve line to correct this?  Also, what happens to condos that have a central heating system?



The change in the Ontario Building Code revision for September, 2004, to which you refer, is required for new installations including replacement tanks and domestic hot water plumbing system upgrades.  The national code is on hold until the issues of lower temperature and possible legionella are determined.  Dishwashers and laundry machines are exempt from the code.
There is a good article on this topic in the recent Plumbing and HVAC Product news available at www.plumbingandhvac.ca.
Construction Control Inc. advises that the fix for townhouses should be relatively simple.  You could install a temperature control valve for a supply line to limit hot water temperature to 49C for all bathroom and kitchen fixtures, while allowing a direct feed from the tank to the dishwasher and washing machine.
Alternatively, temperature-limiting valves could be installed at each faucet supply, or there are some Temperature Affected Flow Reduction, or TAFR, valves that may do the job.
If the retrofit is for a high-rise building then you should consult with an engineering consultant for the proper specifications.
You will need to check your condominium declaration to determine who is responsible for the maintenance and repair costs to hot water tanks.

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