How to Buy Shower Valves?
They play an important role in the workings of any bathroom. They are used for two basic functions: to control the temperature, and to control the flow of the water. Shower valves are able to adjust the temperature by mixing hot and cold water together according to your desired settings. When it comes to the flow, the valve is able to completely cut off the water, or adjust the amount of water that comes through (the head, tap or shower) from a trickle to a full stream. With such a huge range; available to purchase it can be really tough to understand the jargon and know what type will be best for your needs. We reveal some important information of the different types of valves on the market, and explain how you can choose the best type for your requirements in no time.
What are Manual valves?
A manual valve is a simple and low-cost valve; (explained above) which is controlled by hand. Typically there will be one lever; which can be adjusted to quickly control the flow and temperature of the water.
An example of this type is the Jado Geometry A6 Concealed Mixer Valve With Upward Outlet. This chrome-finished product is beautifully designed and it comes with trim and all of the complete parts that are required for quick installation. It is also suitable for high-pressure installations, and it comes with a 5-year warranty.
Another type of manual valve is the CrossWater Tempo With Diverter. Made from chrome-plated brass, this aesthetically pleasing valve is mounted on to an oval-shaped back plate. It can be installed on a bath with a shower area as it has two separate outlets and a diverter. The ceramic discs ensure that there are no drips, while the simple lever operation makes it easy to control the water flow and to adjust the temperature.
What do Exposed and Concealed Valves?
A concealed version refers to a valve that has its controls visible on the outside of the bathroom wall, but the connecting pipes and outlets are all installed and hidden behind the wall. An exposed version is when the valves, outlets and pipes are externally connected to the bathroom wall.
A popular concealed version is the Flova Cascade Concealed-Valve with Two Way Diverter. This product enables a perfect flow of water during showering, plus it is compact and it can be easily installed into the shower area. It comes with a smart box, rectangular portrait backplate, sedal cartridge, and it is made from high quality brass. A bonus is that this product has an amazing 10 year warranty from the manufacturer. The concealed wall installation means that pipes will be kept hidden, which provides a more pleasing valve while still making it easily accessible from the front.
What Are Thermostatic Valves?
The main difference of these type compared to others is that they include a built-in safety feature which automatically cuts off the water supply if it becomes too hot and could potentially scald the user. The same applies with freezing cold water.
There are both digital and manual thermostatic options available on the market. The first type of thermostatic version lets you control the handles by touch, while a digital device lets you automatically preset your desired water temperature from a remote device, which can be used outside of the showering area. This enables you to have the perfect water temperature before you even step foot into the bathroom.Should You Choose a Thermostatic or Manual Valve?
If you are looking for something that is affordable and easy to use then you may want to choose a manual valve. These are the most simply designed out of the valves available to purchase, and they are able to efficiently control temperature and water.
However, if you have children, or you live in a household with many other people then you should probably invest in a thermostatic valve. When you live with more than 5 to 6 family members, something as simple as another person flushing the toilet, or running the tap in the kitchen, can result in a sudden change in water temperature. No one likes showering when the water suddenly becomes boiling hot or freezing cold. Not only is this unpleasant, but it is also potentially dangerous, particularly for young children. The thermostatic version has the ability to keep a steady temperature within a two-degree range approx., so there will not be a noticeable difference in temperature. Another bonus is that you no longer have to fiddle around with the valve in order to get the desired temperature. Simply put a thermostatic one and it can save you time, water, and energy.
What About Water Pressure?
When you are purchasing a new valve it is important that you check the water pressure specifications to make sure that they fit in with your current or new pump system. All valves will have a minimum water pressure rating, which is the minimum required pressure in order function efficiently; and will also have a maximum water pressure rating. It’s worth noting that the hot and cold water flow pressure must be equal and balanced. If not, you will have to hire a plumber to properly balance them for you so that the one that is able to function correctly.
Hopefully you are now more informed as to the different types available, and have a clear indication as to which type will be best for your needs. Things to consider include whether you need a manual or thermostatic one, or hidden or concealed version. If you want to install the valve over a bath and shower area then you will need to choose one, which also has a diverter. This enables you to switch between water coming out of the showerhead, or out of the bath tap. Another thing to double check is if the valve comes with a warranty - it’s always best to choose a warranty covered valve as this indicates the product is of a high quality and the manufacturers are confident the valves will stand the test of time. There are huge selections of styles available on our on-line store, so you will be sure to find one, which complements your bathroom.
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