While the style and appearance of a shower is obviously an important factor, most people also want a fixture that is easy to control. With this in mind there are a variety of shower valves on the market, with each style having its own advantages. The options available provide the choice for a property owner to select the method of control valve that they are most comfortable with and which best suits the shower fixtures they have.
A shower diverter valve basically allows the control of two different bathroom fixtures from one set of controls. This is most commonly seen on tub and shower enclosures where the diverter valve enables the user to direct the flow of water to the shower head or the tub faucet as required. This style of valve can also be used where a shower has a separate fixed and hand held shower head.
Diverter valves tend to come in a couple of different styles and this includes push/pull types, where the user pulls up or pushes down the valve to set it to direct the water to the correct fixture. The alternative is a twist type, where the user turns the valve, typically through 180 degrees, to set it to the correct position.
A shower mixing valve commonly works with a one spout faucet and is designed to let the user control the mix of hot and cold water to set a comfortable temperature. This ensures that when it reaches the faucet it is not too hot, making it a safer option than a standard two faucet system, which has a separate hot water outlet. This reduces the chances of getting scalded by hot water, making a mixer valve a useful option to consider for a bathroom. Generally to operate correctly, a mixer valve needs to be installed in a system where the hot and cold water are supplied at a similar pressure. However, pressure balanced mixer valves are an option if the hot and cold water are supplied at different pressures.
A common problem with showers is the change in temperature that occurs when a water faucet or fixture is used elsewhere in a property. This can cause the water in the shower to temporarily become too hot or cold and a way to avoid this is to install a thermostatic shower valve. This style of valve allows the water in a shower to be set at a comfortable temperature, with the valve maintaining this at all times to avoid hot/cold shocks when another fixture is used. This makes it a more comfortable option to use, as well as a safer option, which greatly reduces the chances of being scalded in the shower.
While shower valves are generally designed to be hard wearing and robust, they can develop faults and shower valve repair is a way to get them back to working order without the need to replace the entire fixture. Typically valves are made up of a number of components, and repair will generally involve taking the valve apart to find the faulty piece and repair/replace it. This can be best done by a qualified plumber familiar with the valve type. For property owners considering doing the job themselves, the internet can be a place to find instructions to do this, with websites such as Ehow having step-by-step guides available.
In many cases it may not be possible to repair a shower valve and in this case the only real option is complete shower valve replacement. This involves stripping the existing valve from the system and replacing it with an entirely new valve. Again, this may be best left to an experienced plumber, although with a little instruction property owners may be able to carry out the task themselves. Replacement shower valves are typically available from online retailers such as Plumber Surplus and Victoria Plumb. These have a variety of replacement valves to choose from.
Shower valves are an important part of shower fixtures and need to be kept in good working order to ensure that a shower is fit for use. There are a few different valve types available, with the best option to use typically depending on the style of fixtures in a bathroom.