Shower is the activity where we can leave all our stresses behind and just enjoy some relaxing moments under a continuous flow of freshwater. Sometimes we need this water to be cold to give us relief from soaring temperatures outside. Other times, it needs to be hot enough to provide us some warmth on cold days.
We cannot always rely on our default water systems or supplies to fulfill these needs. This is where a thermostatic shower mixer comes into play.
What is a Thermostatic Shower System?
A shower becomes thermostatic when you include a thermostatic mixing valve or TMV in its system. This valve is able to adjust the original temperature of your system. It can convert the default cold water into lukewarm or hot water.
For that, you can have a more comfortable bath during the winter. On the other hand, they can also make hot water a little cooler so that you can stay safe from scalding. Because of such flexible settings and functionalities, they can be used in any area. They make shower time much easier for the inhabitants of states with extreme weather conditions.
Advantages Of Thermostatic Shower
1. Better Control
Thermostatic showers offer better control over the water temperature by allowing you to set your most preferred degree beforehand. As a result, no matter how hot or cold the default water supply is, you always get the water temperature YOU like!
This optimization happens every time you take a bath and sustains till you are done! If you take a pause to do your shampoo, you will get the same temperature as before when you restart the valve.
As we explained in a previous segment, thermostatic valves are efficient in keeping your loved ones safe. They automatically adjust the original water temperature according to your liking to prevent illnesses and injuries resulting from extreme heat or cold.
So every time your family member goes for the shower, you can rest assured that they will not suffer from inconveniently hot or cold water running all over their body. In consequence, there will be fewer cases of fever, coughing, and scolding among them.
These valves work great for saving energy and water. If they run into a malfunction leading to the unavailability of cold water and the resulting faulty temperature, they will just shut down instead of delivering the defective water.
As a result, the system doesn’t have to wastewater. It stores the water for later use when the valve has been repaired. This mechanism also prevents thermal shock and saves energy.
4. Skin Care
Going for thermostatic valves is a good investment towards keeping your skin soft and glowing. Unlike most skincare measures that only help the face, this one will actually do wonders for your entire body. Letting water set at the most optimum temperature run all over your body will naturally exfoliate your skin.
Regularly showing with water the ideal warmth will keep your skin safe from most diseases. Besides, the uniform temperature of these valves prevents scalding from extremely hot water.
Disadvantages Of Thermostatic Shower
What are some thermostatic shower valve problems? Let’s dig into that –
1. Dripping Water
Like most others, these valves can also cause water dripping from the showerhead occasionally. When you have turned it off, you can observe the water dribbling from the head and making the floor surface below it slippery. This can be avoided by talking to your trusted plumber and fixing the underlying issue.
2. Reduced Water Flow
Sometimes the water flow of a thermostat valve can reduce while you are in the shower. This can happen if the head is blocked by something or if the valve needs to shut down temporarily because of some malfunction. There can be many other causes that can be avoided by ensuring regular maintenance of these valves.
3. Higher Cost
Because of their sophisticated design and functionalities, thermostatic shower valves come at a higher price compared to their ordinary alternatives. As a result, it may not be your first choice if you are running under some budget constraints. However, the conveniences they provide make the purchase totally worth it!
Types of Thermostatic Showers
There are mainly two types of thermostatic showers available in the market right now. They function the same but differ in presence and structure. Let’s see what specialties they offer individually.
1. Concealed Thermostatic Showers
Concealed systems are specifically designed for households with children or elderly people. Since these particular demographics are more vulnerable to making faulty cognitive decisions, leaving the valve uncovered can lead to accidents and injuries.
In order to keep your family members safe, these concealed thermostats are provided where the valve is covered. You will find this built-in valve behind the shower tiles. All you can see on such showers are the handles and the control plate.
Along with better safety measures, they also offer you a wide range of aesthetic choices. The covering wall plate and the associated handles both come in many variations. So you can pick the one which suits your washroom interior the best.
The catch is that you will need to put in a little more work if something goes wrong with the valve. Since they are concealed behind a tile, it is tougher to access them.
2. Exposed Thermostatic Showers
As the name implies, exposed thermostatic showers keep the main valve visible and accessible to the users. You will see all the parts in action on its horizontal bar. Compared to the concealed one, this type of valves does not look all that neat. Multiple components are attached to the same bar here.
Since it doesn’t require a cover and is not so elegant in appearance, the cost of exposed thermostatic showers is set much lower than the concealed ones. Besides, its installation and repairing processes are much simpler as well. So if you are running on a tight budget, this can be a good option.
Go for these showers only if there is no possibility of a child or elderly person coming in contact with it. These also work well with brick walls which are not designed to house the concealing kind of valves.
How Does a Thermostatic Shower Valve Work?
You might think that thermostatic valves function like electric showers and heat up water with an internal system. However, that is not actually how it works! It rather stores hot water and then blend it with cold water to deliver water at an optimum temperature.
No matter what the temperature of your washroom’s default water supply is, this valve adjusts its temperature based on your preferred value. It has a thermostatic element on its piston which senses the current temperature of the water flowing inside and adjusts this value as needed.
If the cold water fails to blend properly or its supply malfunctions, the valve will shut down completely. As a result, you can take an attempt to fix it right away without suffering from the inconvenient temperature first. This approach has proved to be very effective in keeping the users safe regardless of the situation.
What is a Good Shower Flow Rate? What’s The Impact Of It?
Although the average flow rate is 2.2 GPM (gallons per minute), the ideal shower flow rate is 2.5 GPM as dictated by the US Department of Energy. The average value was found after the American Water Works Association conducted research named the Residential End Users of Water Study or REUWS.
Lower shower flow rates help in saving water by avoiding the wastage of unused water. By switching to 2.0 GPM from 2.5 GPM, you can save over 1,800 gallons of water every year! Combined with other inhabitants of your apartment, you can save even more annually – as much as 7,300 gallons!
However, if the low flow rate is affecting your showering experience, you can switch to a showerhead with a higher flow. However, remember to never exceed 2.5 GPM which is the legal limit for water flow rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Thermostatic Shower Electric?
Answer: It can be electric or non-electric. Electric showers transform the default water temperature into the one you prefer using electricity. The non-electric ones do the same without relying on the availability of electricity.
2. Does A Thermostatic Showering System Need A Pump?
Answer: Pumps are not a necessity for this specific type. However, if the water pressure is not high enough, you can add a pump to resolve the issue. Such showers usually operate in high-pressure settings. At least 0.5 bar water pressure is necessary for any system regardless of the valve type.
3. Does A Thermostatic Shower Heat The Water?
Answer: No, it does not heat the water to reach the optimum temperature. It only blends the hot water and the cold water from their individual feeds. Utilizing a proper balance of water pressure and temperature, these valves decide the amount of water from each feed for the required result.
Note – This compact information is in-depth internet research based. We try to help you sort out the difficulties by putting it up all together. We certainly acknowledge the validity and authenticity of the information. Subject matter experts are highly welcome for their valuable suggestions..