Shower Systems – Selecting Control Valves

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,676
    Michelle Troconis, Product Manager for American Standard, explains how to select the right control valves for your shower system.

    Michelle Troconis: Hi! I'm Michelle Troconis, Product Manager for American Standard. And today I'm going to talk to you about how to select right control valves for your shower system. So what is a control valve?

    A control valve is a valve in a shower system that directs the water from the mixing valve to the spray outlets. Some control valves direct the water to individual spray outlets while others control the on off function and volume of the water coming of the spray outlets.

    There are two different types of control valves, the diverter valves and on-off volume controls. Diverter valves direct the water flow between two and three different spray outlets. They do not control the on-off function of the water and they usually toggle between each of the different spray outlets meaning that you can't turn them all on at once.

    Because diverter valves don't control the on off function of the water, usually you'll pair them with a two handle thermostatic mixing valve that has the on-off function built in.

    On-off volume control valves direct the water flow from the mixing valve to the different spray outlets turning the water on and off and allowing the user to have volume control of the water coming from them, you must have one on off volume control for each pray outlet in the system.

    However there is one exception to this rule, because body sprays are usually operated in groups you must have at least one on-off control for each group of body sprays.

    On-off volume control valves are usually used with single handle thermostatic mixing valves. To select the right control valve for your shower system, you basically need to know how you want that shower system to function and what type of mixing valve you're planning to use.

    If you want a more basic shower system and you're planning to use a two handle thermostatic valve and do not need to have individual controls of each of individual spray outlets, then you would use a diverter valve.

    If you want to have more elaborate shower system, which allows you to turn all the sprays on at once then you more than likely you need to have an on-off volume control.

    Be sure to work with a showroom consultant to make sure you're choosing the right control valves for your shower system to meet your needs.