It may just be that I am inept when it comes to faucets, but it seems like every time I take a shower I’m either scalded, frozen, or spend half my time fiddling with the handles to find the perfect temperature. So, imagine my delight when I learned that there was this spiffy little contraption that could take the place of your regular shower valve and give you the perfect water temperature – every time!!! I know, it sounds too good to be true.
Let me back up a bit. I first encountered the thermostatic valve (yes, that’s the name of the perfect-water-temperature-creating device) while scoping out our contractor’s work before we hired him to renovate our house. I went to the home of one of our contractor’s former clients and while I was checking out the tile work in the bathroom the homeowner began talking about the fabulousness of the thermostatic valve that our contractor had installed in his shower. I, of course, had no idea what he was talking about and inquired “thermo-whatey-what?” I’m sure he was very impressed.
Turns out this thermostatic valve is a simple little device that takes the place of a regular shower valve (the shower valve is what you turn to select your water temperature). It looks just the same as a regular shower valve, but instead of leaving you to fumble around with the water temperature the thermostatic valve allows you to pre-select a water temperature that will be maintained for every single shower you take. Talk about awesome!!!! Thermostatic valves are also great for children, because you can set the water temperature to ensure that little ones never get scalded (of course, you should also make sure that your water heater’s maximum temperature is set to no more than 120 degrees as recommended by the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Here’s a pic of the thermostatic valve that we had installed in our shower:
The little handle on the left is the “thermostatic” part of the valve – you set that little baby in place at your favorite temperature and then leave it alone. When you turn the big valve on the right – bingo!! Perfect temperature every time. I’ve been really impressed with how well it works – I haven’t had to fiddle with the water temperature since it was installed, which is pretty awesome!! Together with our recirculating pump, the thermostatic valve makes for an awesome shower.
Click here to find out a little bit more about thermostatic valves.