Getting the ‘Pointe’ of Anti-Scalding Technology

By Tim Kilbane, National Sales Manager, Symmons, Braintree, Mass October 1, 2006

The Pointe South Mountain Resort in Phoenix is a luxury destination that features 640 suites, 205 deluxe suites and 27 executive boardroom suites, along with 117,000 sq. ft of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. From the beginning, the operational mandate from the facility’s ownership has been to provide the best and safest guest amenities available. As a result, when it came time to refurbish the resort the renovation allowed for incorporation of state-of-the-art safeguards.

Among the new safety measures was the replacement of shower and tub/shower valves that did not afford the level of thermal shock or scald protection that the owners desired. Therefore, the renovation spec mandated ASSE 1016 pressure-balancing anti-scald shower valves, which provide the ultimate in safety and comfort for their guests.

The resort selected Symmons’ pressure-balancing valves for a number or reasons, including curbing future maintenance costs, as the all-brass and stainless steel operating components of the Temptrol valve eliminate the need for any “element functioning verification test” required on all type T and T/P mixing valves. Type P valves maintain a constant shower temperature by instantaneously and continually adjusting to any pressure disturbances in the hot and cold water delivery system which, at point of use, is the root cause of any temperature changes at the shower head.

Another important Pointe South Mountain Resort consideration was the prevention of hot and cold water “bleed-over,” which occurs when hot water migrates into the cold water or vice versa. Other ASSE 1016 pressure-balancing devices, due to their inherent design, use in-line checks or check stops as their line of defense to prevent bleed-over from occurring. The Temptrol valve completely eliminates the need for check valves. When the valve is shut off, the balancing chamber is never under any line pressure, thus eliminating the possibility of bleed-over.

But the Pointe renovation challenges didn’t end with shower valve selection. Once the project’s specifiers selected the shower valves, they needed to get them installed with as little physical intrusion into the resort’s luxury bathrooms as possible. On the one hand, a major demolition of shower area walls would add both significant cost and time to the project, yet on the other hand, if they did not replace the entire shower wall, they would be left with the unsightly marks from the old valve trim that was removed. Neither outcome would be acceptable to the owners. To accommodate both concerns, Symmons provided the optimal solution: decorative renovation cover plates that allow contractors to upgrade fixtures with a minimum of demolition and intrusion. Using this approach, installers can open up the interior finished side of the shower wall, provide enough room to change out the shower valve and cover the resulting hole with an aesthetically pleasing escutcheon that enhances the overall finished job, while hiding the renovation effort.

Because the shower valves and access plates are designed for simple installation, the entire renovation process occurred on schedule. The contractor was able to install 20-plus units per day, and the project was completed during a single summer season as the owners had mandated.