How Does a Shower Valve Work?

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Where is the Shower Valve?

If you?re not familiar with plumbing, you may think that a shower is easy to operate. You use water, shampoo your hair, soap down, and rinse off. Letting the water and soap suds go down the drain. It?s simple, some parts can quit working or clog the drain. To know more about how a shower operates, you should learn how does a shower valve work.

Whether the shower is a stand-alone type or is part of the bathtub, there are shower valves, including the diverter valve, which helps control the temperature and flow of the water. There may be a single valve to control the water flow. And temperature or some showers have two or more valves to manage how the shower works.

In stand-alone showers, there is usually only one valve that controls the water flow and temperature. It works by turning or pulling out the handle to start the shower. Turning the knobs to control hot or cold water that runs from the spout.

Most new showers have devices to control the temperature of the water to prevent getting scalded by hot water. If there are young children or older adults in the household, their skin is very thin. They can easily scald if the water temperature is too high.

Most new shower models have a shower valve that limits the water temperature and controls the water flow. These valves may be pressure-balance or thermostatic valves.

It controls the water flow by controlling the ratio of hot and cold. Pressure-Balance valves ensure no one is scalded by the water, there is a set-screw. Allowing a sleeve to open and close as the person in the shower adjusts the temperature of it. If the handle of this valve is turned fully to the hot side, cold water stops entering. And set point for hot to prevent from getting hotter. The valve operates the opposite way if someone is taking a cold.

Thermostatic Element

Thermostatic Element
Piston
Return Spring
Temperature Control

3-Valve Diverters

Two-Valve Diverters

3-Valve Diverters
Two-Valve Diverters
Tee Diverters

Water pressure reduces by turning on the cold tap over the kitchen sink or flushing the toilet. It affects the temperature of the water in the shower. The lack of cold triggers the pressure-balance valve, and reduces the amount of hot flowing through the system.

The shower user is able to manage the water temperature better with this type of valve as the pressure-balance valve doesn?t have anything to do with controlling the temperature.

Thermostatic systems have two valves, one that controls the flow of water and the other that controls its temperature. This system reacts to the temperature of the water and not the water pressure, as does a pressure-balance valve. There are four components within a thermostatic valve that controls the water?s temperature:

Thermostatic element is usually made from wax, which reacts to the higher water temperature by expanding. As it expands, it reduces the amount of hot water mixing with cold. This component is attached to a piston.

Thermostatic Element

A return spring works the opposite way of the piston. To increase the amount of hot water and to ensure a consistent temperature.

How Does A Shower Valve Work?

The user controls the position of the piston by turning the dial to increase or decrease the amount of hot water mixing.

Types of Valves

The diverter shower valve has nothing to do with the water temperature. It only controls where the water is flowing from in a shower/bathtub combination. The diverter valve usually pulls up, or that can be turned to shut off the water flow to the tub and divert it to the showerhead.

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