For many people a shower is not only a daily routine, but it is a time for comfort and relaxation. Unfortunately, a shower can turn from relaxing to outright painful in less than a second. If somebody turns on a faucet or flushes a toilet, the shower can lose cold water pressure, meaning that the water hitting your skin will become uncomfortably hot. At this point you are left with a couple of choices, and neither is desirable. Your first choice is to stick it out and try to withstand the pain, but in some cases this can lead to burns. Your second choice is to jump out of the shower, but then you will be shivering as your wet limbs meet the cold air while you wait for the shower to cool back down. Fortunately there are a few ways to stop these scalding shower moments from occurring.
The least expensive intervention, but perhaps the most difficult, is to set clear rules about plumbing fixture use while the shower is running. As long as everybody knows not to flush while somebody is showering, nobody will get burned. However, rules are only as effective as their followers are mindful, so if you’re living with people who won’t take the time to check, this solution may not work for you. Also, guests may not be aware of the rules and innocently break them.
There are newer shower valves available that are labeled as pressure-balance. They are capable of keeping the temperature steady even when toilets, faucets, and appliances are being used. In some places, pressure-balance valves are even required by code. The reason showers heat up when toilets flush is because they lose cold-water pressure, but these sophisticated valves automatically adjust to sudden losses in pressure and adjust the flow accordingly.
Thermostatic shower valves are similar to pressure-balance valves, but they take temperature control a step further. Before showering, you can set the thermostat to anywhere from about 70 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit; throughout your shower the valve will keep the water precisely at that temperature, even during the biggest of flushes.
Setting clear rules about fixture usage while the shower is in use is the cheapest solution, but sometimes it isn’t easy or even possible. A pressure-balanced valve costs a bit of money, and a thermostatic valve costs more, but either one can easily be installed by an expert in plumbing by Roto-Rooter in Sarasota, or if you’re the do-it-yourself type you may even be able to install it.
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