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It can be hard to know which type of shower valve should be installed on your new or renovated bathroom. There are two main types: pressure balance and thermostatic. Pressure-balanced valves have been around longer than thermostatic, but the question remains: which is better?
In this detailed article, we will break down the differences between these two types: pressure balance vs thermostatic shower valves, to help you decide what best suits your needs.
Pressure Balance Vs Thermostatic Shower Valves
What Does a Shower Valve Do?
A shower valve is a plumbing fixture that controls the flow of water to your shower. It either mixes hot and cold water or provides only one temperature. These valves are found on both standard showers, as well as steam baths in luxury bathrooms.
Modern valves have many more features than their predecessors as technology has advanced over time. Many types can be programmed via remote control with pre-set temperatures for convenience.
Still, they also continue to add safety options such as anti-scalding devices, which protect you from excessive heat levels that may occur during periods of high use (such as when multiple people take showers at once). Another handy feature includes an eco mode which reduces power consumption by up to 30%.
How Does a Shower Valve Work?
There are two main types of valves: pressure balance and thermostatic. The type that you choose for your bathroom will depend on your needs and the style of your bathroom.
Pressure Balance Shower Valves
A pressure balance valve contains a pendulum that moves to match the water pressure outside of the valve. When the pressure on either side of the valves is equal, there is no movement from the pendulum, and the water flow remains steady.
If one side of the valve has higher pressure due to insufficient supply or an increase in demand for hot water, for example, then it swings to let more water into that side. It mixes cold and hot water to compensate for this imbalance until they are again at a point of equilibrium.
This means you won’t have to worry about sudden temperature changes when water is turned on or off.
Thermostatic Shower Valves
Thermostatic valves are one of the most common types in modern homes as they provide an added element of safety. These valves have a sensor inside that detects your preferred water temperature and sends it to a small disk at the center, which regulates the flow through tiny holes, so only hot or cold water passes through, preventing scalding.
They also allow you to maintain consistent temperatures during periods with high use, similar to pressure balance valves. However, unlike pressure balance models, these ones do not need external balancing equipment (such as tanks) either before or downstream of them.
Pressure Balance Vs Thermostatic Shower Valves
So, what are the differences between pressure balance and thermostatic valves? The main difference is in how they detect your preferred water temperature. Valves with a traditional thermostat rely on you to set it at a certain point before taking your shower.
They have been known to fail or fluctuate from time to time due to fluctuations in power supply which can cause inconsistent temperatures after that initial setting has been made during each use.
A more common issue occurs when new members of the household take showers as these people may not know (or remember.) what temperature was previously set by another member. This often leads them to inadvertently change the valve’s settings, modifying their experience of getting into the shower or.
Pressure Balance Shower Valves are more reliable in this sense as they use a pendulum to regulate the pressure and mix hot and cold water until equilibrium is reached. This means that your preferred temperature can be maintained even if other users of the shower or power fluctuations alter its settings.
This makes these valves useful for families with children who take showers, older adults, or those with disabilities, affecting their ability to move easily. They also work well when used by multiple people at once without risking sudden changes in temperature due to another person flushing the toilet or starting up the dishwasher after you’ve just stepped into a piping-hot shower.
Thermostatic Shower Valves may still have some benefits over Pressure Balance models, though, such as being able to maintain consistent temperatures despite other users of the water. For example, if you have an electric shower, then it will be able to maintain a consistent temperature even when your heating element is on during periods with high demand for hot water, such as morning showers.
We hope this guide on pressure balance vs thermostatic shower valves has helped you. In conclusion, both types provide a reliable way to regulate and maintain your desired temperatures but pressure balance models are slightly better due to their ability to do so regardless of changes in power supply or demand from other household appliances.
In this case, the pressure balance is the best of both worlds, as it can maintain the desired temperature regardless of changes in power supply or demand from other household appliances.
It also allows you to adjust your showers without fear that others will affect the water’s heat. Thermostatic valves are still useful, though, because they have the added bonus of being able to maintain consistent temperatures during periods with high use, such as morning showers.
I am a full-time professional architect who is passionate about all kinds of stuff design and construction. Now I share my advice and experience in the architecture and home improvement industries. In MAV SoHo I recommend the best shower heads to help you achieve your goals and simply get the job done at an affordable cost.