When installing a new shower, one of the most important things you need to consider is what type of shower valve to use. If you don’t know what a shower valve is, don’t worry because we will explain that first. After that, we will discuss the five different shower valve types. Our goal is to help you choose the best type for your needs.
What Is a Shower Valve?
A shower valve is a type of valve you find inside the shower faucet. It helps you to control the water temperature and flow in your shower.
One of the primary purposes of modern shower valves is to stop sudden changes in water pressure and temperature. You are less likely to feel uncomfortable or run the danger of harm while taking a shower in this manner.
Different shower valves have different ways of regulating the temperature and water flow. We will discuss this below.
5 Types of Shower Valves to Know
There are five types of shower valves, each of which works differently. You need to know this to choose the right one for your needs.
1. Mixing Valve
The mixing valve is one of the first varieties of shower valves. Thermostatic and pressure balance valves are typically regarded as having been developed before this kind of valve. When you look at your shower and see that there are two different knobs—one for the hot water and one for the cold water—you may be able to identify this sort of valve. In other words, you must adjust both knobs to the correct positions to get the temperature right for you.
This means you might have to adjust the knobs a lot before you get the proper water temperature. The flow is easy to control here, but this type of shower valve doesn’t have any protection from sudden pressure changes. If you have one of these valves in your shower and someone flushes the toilet, the shower won’t get cold water, and you risk getting burned. This type of valve is usually not installed in newer homes because of this risk.
2. Diverter Valve
The next type of shower valve you need to know about is the diverter valve. Because it enables you to transport water from the shower to the bathtub faucet, this type of valve is also known as a bathtub valve. Diverter valves come in three main varieties. Check out the brief explanations of those below:
- Tee valve: The valve you typically see when a showerhead is attached to a bathtub tab is of this sort. You will find a small knob or lever on this valve that you pull upward to operate the bathtub faucet. By pulling the knob upward, the tub valve is closed, and the showerhead valve is opened. Normally, you would turn on the bathtub faucet to get the water to the right temperature before turning on the showerhead.
- Two-valve diverter: Two knobs are used in this style of shower. The temperature of the water is controlled by one knob, while the other knob determines the direction of the water flow. This enables a small amount of water to flow from both sources simultaneously.
- Three-valve or triple knob diverter: There are two knobs here. There are two for hot and cold water, respectively. The third nob changes the water flow from the tub faucet to the showerhead.
3. Transfer Valve
The transfer valve is the next type of shower valve you need to know about. This valve is advanced because it usually comes with digital controls and many electronic features and programs.
This type of shower valve is easy to use because you can set the water flow and the temperature. But the best thing about it is having two fixtures running at once. This means that you can have the tub faucet and the showerhead running at the same time. Remember that this type of shower valve is expensive.
4. Pressure Balance Valve
The most common type of shower valve in newer homes is the pressure balance shower valve. This valve automatically balances the water pressure, preventing you from getting too much or too little water when you shower.
As a result, the shower valve may detect when someone uses the toilet and restrict the amount of hot water entering the system. This means that you won’t be chastised if someone flushes the toilet in the bathroom while you’re in the shower. Generally speaking, this shower valve has only one knob that controls the water flow and the temperature. This style of shower valve may not be suitable for homes with older plumbing systems.
5. Thermostatic Shower Valve
The fifth type of shower valve is the thermostatic shower valve. This shower valve has a special element that changes size depending on the water temperature. That way, the water temperature stays regulated automatically.
One of the main advantages of thermostatic shower valves is that they usually have two knobs. One knob controls the water flow, and one knob controls the temperature. This type of shower valve is better at protecting you from being scalded by hot water than pressure balance valves.
How to Tell What Shower Valve Type You’re Using
Now that you know the different types of shower valves, here are some tips to help you identify which one you have:
- You should first look at the shower handle in the center of the trim plate. This is where you will find the manufacturer’s symbol. If you can find the serial number for your particular faucet and valve, it will be easier to identify what kind it is.
- The next step you should do is figure out how many handles your shower has. You can do this by looking at our descriptions of all five types of shower valves above. This will tell you how many handles you have, depending on the type of valve that your shower has.
- You need to figure out if you have just a showerhead, just a bathtub faucet, or a combination of the two. If you have a combination, you will need to figure out whether it has a transfer or diverter valve.
- Another thing you can do is flush the toilet while the shower is on. If the water in the shower turns very hot, you don’t have a modern valve regulating temperature or water pressure.
Now that you know the different factors to consider, based on the criteria we have provided, you can figure out which type of shower valve you have.
You can recognize the precise type of shower valve you have now that you are fully informed about them. You can also make a well-informed decision regarding the next shower valve you purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Shower Valves
The shower diverter valve controls the water flow between the tub faucet and the showerhead. Although they are usually very simple devices, they may sometimes malfunction and need to be replaced.
There are two shower valves – the manual mixer and the thermostatically controlled valve. The manual mixer valve controls how much water comes out, and the thermostatically controlled valve controls the temperature of the water.
A three-way shower valve lets you use three different shower heads simultaneously. This is useful if you wish to simultaneously have an overhead shower, a side shower, and a bath filler. The valve will also let you choose how much water comes from each outlet.