Thermostatic Mixer Showers – The Low Down
02 October 2012
Showers historically are notorious for providing variable temperatures but it looks like there is finally a better solution in the form of the thermostatic mixer shower.
We all remember the experience – the entire household is rushing to get ready at the same time, with action occurring in every room but most notably the bathroom and kitchen. We all remember when, be it in university halls of residence or in a family home, whereby you're enjoying your shower and covered in suds when lo-behold someone else decides to use the cold tap creating a scalding burst of water or worse still they use the hot tap leaving you with a freezing blast mid shower! These nightmares are now a thing of the past – there's no need for dodging periodic temperature changes in the shower, or for avoiding using the water supply and effectively putting domestic activity on hold whilst someone else is in the shower. This is thanks to the wonderful invention that is thermostatic mixer showers.
A great addition to any bathroom, a beautiful thermostatic mixer shower will really improve your day. They increase the overall pleasure for all who enter the shower by ensuring a uniform pressure and temperature. Increasingly there are many different designs to choose from, ensuring that there will be a good fit regardless of the style of your bathroom. Many companies offer a diverse range of traditional and contemporary bathroom showers, many of which have thermostatic valves thus ensuring that you can have an outstanding bathing experience so selecting one you like the style of should be relatively easy.
Thermostatic mixer showers use thermostatic mixing to control the flow and temperature and work by maintaining the temperature and pressure of the water coming out of the shower head. The thermostatic shower adjusts the mains supply to balance the temperature when it detects temperature changes within the supply. It does this by using the shower valve to control amounts of hot and cold water within the system. Modern thermostatic showers have the ability to maintain a consistent water temperature to fluctuate only within one degree and have safety mechanisms which offer a complete shut off should there be any major issues with the water supply temperature. This feature is particularly important when the shower is in use by young, infirm or elderly.
A well known example might be if someone uses a toilet, affecting the flow of the mains cold water supply. A thermostatic shower will automatically lower the hot water supply to ensure that the temperature remains constant, thus successfully compensating for the water supply changes.
A manual shower valve by comparison takes the hot and cold supplies to a shower mixer and is usually controlled via a single lever value. In the above instance this would result in a sudden increase in temperature which must be avoided through either jumping away from the stream and waiting for the disruption in flow to stop or by quickly readjusting the flow with the control mechanism but being ready to revert to the usual settings pretty soon after.
When revamping your bathroom it's definitely worth considering a thermostatic mixer shower. For those with low water pressure it's important to note that some thermostatic showers do not operate efficiently in low water pressure areas. Make sure that your hot water system and selected thermostatic mixer shower are compatible before commencing installation. It is possible to add an electric shower in your revamp which should increase the pressure to a thermostatic shower valve appropriate level.
The real advantage of a thermostatic shower is that the showers temperature will remain constant and there is no risk of scalding from any sudden rise in temperature of the water. Showers historically are notorious for providing variable temperatures but it looks like there is finally a better solution in the form of the thermostatic mixer shower.