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A shower valve takes in a supply of blended hot and cold water before delivering it to your shower head, handset, or body jets. If you do not have a bath shower mixer or an electric shower, you will have a mixer shower like the ones listed below. There are many styles available, most of them are purely up to the style of the end user. However, a thermostatic shower valve is the much safer way to shower, and prevents scalding.
In basic terms, a shower valve is what you'll be using to operate a shower and to tweak the showering experience that suits your immediate tastes. The valve is what controls the flow of water through your shower head, in a similar way to how a tap works. You can adjust the speed of what being delivered, and even control the temperature so that it's just right.
As you can see above, there is a wide range of shower valves available to buy, coming in various types and styles, whatever your needs may be. Choose from the extra comfort and safety provided by thermostatic shower valves, or stick with a manual shower valve if you like to mix it up or your family has different tastes when it comes to the strength of water flow or water temperature.
The benefits of a shower valve really depends on the type of shower valve you buy. But the most important benefit is that a shower valve needs only a supply of hot and cold water to operate. Unlike electric showers, you can still have a shower should a problem with your electricity supply arise. On the other hand, it does depend on you having a ready supply of hot water available.
Manual shower valves are generally single handle designs, which controls the temperature and water flow together like a mixer tap. This means you get to choose you desired temperature every time you turn it on, but it also means that the temperature is not regulated. So if someone turns a tap on in your home, it can affect the water temperature in your shower. This needs to be seriously considered if you're buying a valve for a home with children.
Thermostatic shower valves always regulate the temperature of the water flowing through it, so you'll keep your perfect temperature regardless of fluctuations in your water system. They're generally two handle designs; one for water flow and one for temperature. The beauty of this is that you can set your perfect temperature and never touch that control again, as the temperature will remain the same for each and every shower.
Installing a shower valve is far easier and safer than an electric shower, as you don't need electrical knowledge or qualifications. You're only working with pipe connections, be they copper or plastic, so it shouldn't be too much trouble, especially as each shower valve comes with a set of easy to follow instructions. But as we always suggest here at Heat and Plumb, do hire a plumber if you're not confident of carrying out the work yourself. The extra cost is worth it when your valve is installed safely and quickly, allowing you to enjoy the new benefits of your valve stress-free!
After installation of a valve, remember to regularly clean it to prevent the build-up of limescale and general wear and tear. Consistent cleaning will help extend the valves lifespan and save you money in the long run.