Thermostatic Shower Valve Buying Guide

This objective thermostatic shower valve purchasing guide will show you how to buy the best scald-free or pressure-balance valve for safe and comfy showers.



Here’s the common circumstance: Simply as you’re delighting in a good, warm shower, a blast of icy cold water races shivers down your spinal column. Or, even worse, somebody flushes a toilet and the shower water sizzles your skin.

Shocking thermal shocks from cold or warm water can set off serious falls, especially in older or physically challenged individuals. And, due to the fact that children have thinner skin than adults, they are specifically susceptible to scald burns from hot water.

For an easy scald-prevention procedure, lower the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees F. To check your hot water’s temperature, position a meat thermometer in a glass and run hot water into it for two minutes.

The method to remove those temperature level shifts is to install a pressure-balance anti-scald valve or thermostatic shower valve in the shower wall where the shower controls lie (see How a Shower Works). This holds true for bathtubs, too.thermostatic-shower-valve-buying-guide-1

A thermostatic shower valve might control only the shower or the tub spout or, if it is a diverter valve, both tub and shower. These maintain water temperature at a safe level, despite fluctuations in water system lines.

The problem that causes temperature level changes is basic. When a toilet is flushed, cold water flows into the tank to refill it, causing the water pressure in the cold water pipelines to dip. If this takes place when you’re showering, less cold water reaches the shower valve, altering the comfy hot/cold mix to hot just. If somebody switches on a warm water faucet in other places in your home, the opposite can occur– the hot water drops and you get a shot of cold. This issue is worsened in plumbing that’s clogged with mineral deposits, in relatively small (1/2-inch or smaller) supply piping, and in showers with low-flow shower heads.

Pressure-Balance Shower Valves

A pressure-balance anti-scald valve is designed to make up for modifications in water pressure. Though it looks like other shower or tub valve from the outdoors, it has a special diaphragm or piston system inside that moves with a change in water pressure to instantly stabilize the pressure of the hot and cold water inputs. These valves keep water temperature continuous, within plus or minus 2 to 3 degrees F., by lowering water flow through either the hot or cold supply. Most decrease water circulation to a drip if the cold water supply fails.

Flow can be an issue with pressure-balance valves, especially in houses where the shower consists of an individual hand shower and/or a multiple-head shower system. The majority of pressure-balance valves are either full-on or full-off.

Thermostatic Shower Valves

Where circulation and volume control are important, a better choice is a thermostatic shower valve. The majority of these have 3/4-inch inlets that can blast a flood of water through several shower heads and will preserve the water temperature level within 1 or 2 degrees F. of the set temperature.thermostatic-shower-valve-buying-guide-1

” Pick a thermostatic over pressure-balance valve if you want maximum flow and volume control,” says Rick Brandley of George’s Pipe & Supply in Pasadena, California. “A thermostatic valve will permit you to preserve a set temperature when you turn the valve on and off if you prefer to soap up and after that wash.” Obviously, you’ll spend for the distinction. Whereas a pressure-balanced valve will usually cost from $80 to $250, a thermostatic valve with a volume control (a different function with many), might run $400 or more depending upon the features and trim.

Shower Valve Requirements

The appeal of valves with scald-protection is owned by codes that require these items in new building. In addition, all significant plumbing certification and code companies have embraced anti-scald requirements that require pipes fixtures to have a built-in ways of managing maximum water temperature level provided through tub spouts and shower heads.

Can you change an existing valve with a scald-free design? You can, but the trouble depends on the existing valve. A plumbing can usually replace a single-handle, conventional valve with a pressure-balanced valve after getting rid of the deal with’s trim (if there isn’t gain access to from behind the wall). Changing a dual-handle setup is a little bit more involved and may call for eliminating some tile or cutting into the wall. A number of valve producers sell “redesign plates” to cover up the cut-out area.

Delta’s “MultiChoice Universal Valve” can receive numerous types of trims and internal functions. During installation, a plumbing technician can pick between a couple of various types of thermostatic or pressure-balance cartridges that fit inside the valve. Then, after setup, any of a number of trims can be chosen, depending upon the style and complete the property owner prefers.


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Morris T. Parson, Tech Support

Leading specialist in electronics and engineering. Author of dozens of articles on various topics from the world of hi-tech. Sound independent analysis of products, exploring new niches and global trends is his special passion.

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