Temptrol Origins Story: Temptrol® VersaFlexTM

Posted 03/02/2020

By: Tom Kahana

 

With the launch of Safetymix in 1939, Symmons invented the pressure balancing valve which maintains consistent shower temperature by reacting instantaneously to changes in pressure changes. In 1968 we launched Temptrol, a smaller and more affordable version of the Safetymix.  Temptrol valves were designed so well that they have remained largely unchanged for the past 50 years. But as with many things, plumbing has changed significantly over the past 2 decades and we realized it was time to give our Temptrol valve an update to help our customers deal with some of the biggest challenges they face each day.  This was a project we knew would need a lot of care and attention as it was going to be a big deal to our customers.  After all, it was the first update to the valve in over 50 years!

When we dove into this project, we really wanted to understand what the biggest pain points our customers were experiencing with our product, or with installing shower systems in general.  As we spoke to our customers, a list of improvements quickly came together mainly around what we could address to make the installation process faster and easier, as well as create a better user experience for the end user of the shower.  We detailed the scope of the work that needed to be done and our engineering team got to work on making the improvements.

Because we were trying to avoid as few disruptions as possible to our loyal customers by maintaining as many of the parts/repair parts as possible and to continue to have our valve be compatible with all of our decorative trims, there were massive obstacles around which we had to work.  The problems we set out to solve were centered mainly around installation but there were a several user experience issues to improve as well.

First, we tackled improvements our customers had asked for in order to make installation faster and easier. We brought the inlets and outlets onto a common plane making it easier to pipe the valve in the wall.  In the process of making that change, we were also able to make the valve body narrower allowing it to fit in a 2×3 wall or modular construction.  Next, we added stringer mounts and an optional rapid install bracket to make it so the valve could be mounted in a matter of minutes.  We also added the option to get fittings such as PEX, ProPress or CPVC factory installed saving even more time on the job site.  Finally, we knew we had to keep the same characteristics that make the Temptrol valve the most dependable and easy to service valve on the market.  It is still a semi-red brass casting which is dezincification resistant (as compared to the yellow brass used by most of our competitors), has the same TA-10 brass spindle and 303 stainless steel piston we have used for over 50 years and as always, all of our valves continue to be manufactured in our factory in Braintree, MA.

Solving some of the user experience issues proved to be a bit more challenging but our engineers were up to the task.  The biggest hurdle, and one faced by most of the industry, is the ability to divert between a showerhead and hand shower.  Our new Temptrol with VersaFlex Integral Diverter accomplishes this beautifully!  It also still allows you to divert between a showerhead and tub or a hand shower and tub.  We also eliminated the annoying “leak by” or tub spout drip when the valve is in shower mode.  No more cold water dripping on your toes while you wash your hair.

We’re excited about the updates we have made to this legendary product, all while maintaining the key characteristics that has made Temptrol a favorite of plumbers for over 50 years. To learn more about the new Temptrol with VersaFlex Integral Diverter and the updates we have made go to www.symmons.com/temptrol-versaflex

 

Categories: Plumbing
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