Shower Systems – Selecting Mixing Valves

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,563
    Michelle Troconis, Product Manager for American Standard, explains how to select the right mixing valve 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 the right mixing valve for your shower system. So what is a mixing valve?

    Mixing valve is the control in your shower that mixes the hot and cold water from the pipes and sends the water to the spray outlets.

    All showers and bath showers have some type of mixing valve. Shower systems usually used thermostatic mixing valves. They use a thermostatic mixing valve, because it provides a constant flow of water at the right temperature regardless of any changes in temperature or pressure from the supply lines, such as when somebody flushes a toilet. It also provides higher flow rates to be able to support the large domains of shower system.

    There are two different types of mixing valve that are usually used for shower system. A two handle thermostatic mixing valve or single handle thermostatic mixing valve, sometimes called the central.

    Two handle thermostatic mixing valves have two handles where the first handle operates the on off function of the water as well as allows the user to control the volume.

    The second handle operates the temperature. Two handle thermostatic valves are usually used with the more simple and basic shower systems where the user doesn't need or want to be to turn on all spray outlets at once.

    The single handle thermostatic mixing valve only controls the temperature of the water, it doesn't control the on-off function or volume of the water like the two handle thermostatic valve.

    You must pair the single handle thermostatic mixing valve with on-off volume control or sometimes called wall valve in order to be able to turn the different spray outlets on and off.

    The flow rates for the single handle thermostatic valves, generally is going to have the highest flow rates of all the mixing valves. To select the right mixing valve for your shower system, you need to know how you want your shower system to function. Do you want a more basic simple shower system that allows you multiple showering options, but only to operate them one at a time. If so then you need a two handle thermostat.

    If you want a more elaborate shower system that allows you to turn everything on individually, and all at once at one time then you need to have a single handle thermostat.

    Be sure to work with a showroom consultant in order to make sure that you have the right mixing valve for your shower system.