If you're planning to work with a designer or contractor to complete your bathroom renovation, you may be asking what shower system you want. There are only two basic systems, both of which you've probably used at some point, but the technical plumbing terminology confuses things a bit.

Our standard shower system consists of two main components: a shower arm and a control panel with knobs or levers. We also offer a variety of options including hand showers and/or bathtub mixers. If you buy a shower set, you'll notice a difference in price and functionality between the two main types: thermostatic shower systems and pressure-balanced shower systems.

Pressure Balanced Shower System

With the help of the pressure balancing valve, you can use the joystick for the on/off function, which controls only the water temperature and not the water volume. After opening the valve, the valve remains open (2.0 gallons per minute in California). You can't reduce the amount of water that comes out, but you can always use an adjustable shower head to vary the pressure.

By default, our pressure balanced shower systems allow you to control water flow and water temperature with a single button. These units are pressure balanced through an internal sliding plate that responds to changes in water pressure and regulates the flow of hot and cold water to maintain a set temperature.

Pressure Balanced Shower System

Thermostatic Shower System

Thermostatic shower systems usually have two levers or controls. One lever controls the water temperature (thermostatic valve) and the second lever controls the water volume and on/off function (volume control valve). The system allows you to set the temperature once and for all, so you can set it to your liking with each shower. You can also adjust the amount of water flowing out, but it will still be 2.0 gallons per minute. Such valves are more complex and therefore more expensive than pressure equalization valves.

Our thermostatic shower systems provide a luxurious shower experience with optimum water temperature, flow and energy savings. The main difference is that the thermostatic valve can sense and control the actual water temperature, while the pressure balancing valve can only sense and control the ratio of hot water to cold water. The thermostat has two handles: one to control the water flow and the other to adjust the water temperature. Once the ideal temperature is set, the water will reach your preferred setting every time you turn on the shower.

Our thermostatic shower systems and pressure balanced shower systems are manufactured with a maximum water temperature valve kit to prevent scalding. The water temperature will not be affected when showering, flushing the toilet or using the washing machine.

Thermostatic shower system

Switching Valve

Regardless of which system you use, you can add a diversion feature to the shower. The switch allows you to use multiple shower heads (or tub/shower combos). Only one showerhead can operate at a time in California. Therefore, each showerhead must be on its own diverter port that cannot operate simultaneously with another, and the valve must not share ports. Nowadays, the "all-in-one" valve can be combined with a switching valve, a volume control valve and a thermostatic valve on one metering orifice to simplify the appearance.

Which Shower System to Choose?

Our design team generally recommends that you use a pressure-balanced shower system in the children's and visitor bathrooms, and a thermostatic shower system with fixed and hand showers in the master bathroom.

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