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Do You Need a Pressure-Balance Shower Valve?

Do You Need a Pressure-Balance Shower Valve?

Nothing ruins a relaxing shower faster than when the showerhead decides to rain either hellfire or ice cubes. This can happen when someone flushes a toilet or turns on the washing machine. Fortunately, these rude interruptions can be prevented with a pressure-balance shower valve.

First, let’s take a moment to understand the mechanics behind this unpleasant surprise.

What Causes Water Temperature to Fluctuate in the Shower?

There’s only so much hot or cold water to go around. When you’re showering, you’re using a lot of hot water, but when an appliance demands its share, you’ll be left shivering. Likewise, when someone flushes the toilet, there is less cool water mixing with your shower’s hot shower, and that’s how you end up getting burnt. This is common in older homes with smaller pipes that can’t deliver an adequate supply of either hot or cold water to multiple fixtures at the same time.

What is a Pressure Balance Valve?

A pressure-balance shower valve allows you to use a single handle to fine-tune your preferred water temperature. You pull the lever out and rotate left or right to mix hold and cold water to your desired comfort.

There is also a mechanism inside that responds to sudden changes in high-pressure hot or cold water to maintain a consistent temperature. Basically, it prevents an increase of hot water from entering the cold-water supply line or cold water from entering the hot water line. The valve also features an apparatus to prevent someone from fully opening the hot water valve to an unsafe temperature.

Bottom line: A pressure-balance shower valve is a relatively inexpensive solution to a very annoying problem. It should be installed by a professional plumber to ensure the device functions properly. To schedule an appointment with Ken’s Plumbing & Heating, reach us at (516) 882-3390.

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