Understanding Shower Valve Options

There are two main types of valves: Thermostatic and Pressure Balanced. Use the information below to decide which valve type is right for you and your home. 

Thermostatic Valve

A thermostatic valve mixes hot and cold water to ensure constant, safe outlet temperatures and prevent scalding. These mixing valves compensate for variations in both the temperature and pressure of the incoming water supplies to maintain a temperature that is within 1 degree Celsius of the selected temperature.

Along with providing immediate response to temperature fluctuation, thermostatic mixing valves also allow high temperature storage, thereby reducing bacteria growth. The constant temperature regulation also greatly reduces the risk of thermal shock to the fixtures, increasing the lifespan of the faucet. A thermostatic valve may also require the use of a volume control valve to function properly.  

Some thermostatic valves have built-in diverters to switch between your hand shower, body sprays, etc. Other types of thermostatic valves use a separate diverter valve that is installed above the thermostatic valve. The number of features on your shower system, such as the addition of a hand shower or body sprays, will determine which type of diverter you need.

Pressure Balanced Valve

A pressure balanced mixing valve is designed to safely maintain water temperature despite pressure fluctuations in the hot and cold water supply. Pressure balanced valves do not require a volume control valve.

Some pressure balanced valves have built-in diverters.  The diverter can be a single button type diverter, or a three-way switch diverter.  The number of features on your shower system, such as the addition of a hand shower or body sprays, will determine which type of diverter you need.  Diverters can also be purchased separately from the valve.  

One type of pressure balanced valve is called a “Simple Select” type valve. This valve has built in diverter buttons, offers the ability to use two features at the same time, and compact design.

 

To learn more about shower system components, including other types of valves, check out our Custom Shower Buying Guide.

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