You’re in the shower when you hear the toilet flush and you brace yourself for the sudden surge of hot or cold water. It’s not pleasant having your shower interrupted by an unexpected and drastic change in temperature. Fortunately, there is a solution: a pressure-balance shower valve reacts to changes in water pressure to maintain a steady temperature. In other words, no more surprises.
How a Pressure-Balance Shower Valve Works
The device includes a gasket that prevents a sudden increase of high-pressure hot water from entering the cold-water supply line, and vice-versa, so your shower delivers a consistent temperature.
As the name suggests, a pressure-balance shower valve also corrects swings in water pressure. A piston in the valve responds to fluctuating water pressure to balance the flow between the hot and cold water inlets. If someone turns on the washer or flushes the toilet, your shower will continue to provide steady pressure.
The valve also includes a safety mechanism to prevent someone from fully opening the valve to a scalding-hot temperature.
It’s Different Than a Thermostatic Shower Valve
The pressure-balance shower valve isn’t the only option on the market. A thermostatic shower valve also maintains steady temperature and pressure, but it has at least one advantage over the pressure-balance shower valve: you can adjust the temperature and water pressure separately. In other words, the temperature setting is independent of flow rate. That means you can set the shower to an icy blast or a warm low-pressure spray.
It’s more sophisticated than a pressure-balance valve, therefore pricier.
Bottom line: Both the pressure-balance or thermostatic shower valve will prevent flushing toilets and washing machines from interfering with your daily shower. Keep in mind, no matter which option you choose, you’ll need it installed by a skilled plumbing professional. For all your plumbing needs, contact Mark Johnson Plumbing at (318) 257-6167.