No, shower valves are not all the same size. Depending on the shower head and the amount of water pressure needed, they can be 1/2, 3/4, and 1-inch, where the most common is the 1-inch valves. Standard shower valves have a min and max flow rate, and their purpose is to control the water flow between two levels.
Types of Shower Valves
Shower valves are an essential component of any shower but come in various shapes and sizes. While all shower valves serve the same purpose, some are better suited for certain types of showers than others.
The most common type of shower valve is the single-handle shower valve, which controls both the temperature and the water flow with one handle. However, there are also double-handle shower valves, which have separate handles for each function.
The Most Common Features of Shower Valves
Four main features of shower valves are used in most homes today. These include pressure balancing, mixing, thermostatic, and volume control valves. However, each type of valve has its own benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before purchasing.
1. Pressure-balancing Shower Valves
Pressure-balancing shower valves are designed to maintain constant water pressure, even if the water supply fluctuates. This is achieved by using a diaphragm that moves up and down in response to changes in water pressure. This type of valve is ideal for homes with children or elderly residents, as it helps prevent sudden water temperature changes that could cause injuries.
2. Pressure-balancing Mixing Valves
Pressure-balancing mixing valves are used to mix hot and cold water to achieve the desired shower temperature. These valves are typically less expensive than pressure-balancing or thermostatic valves, but they can be less precise. This means the water temperature can fluctuate slightly if the water pressure changes. This type of valve is often used in homes with hot water heaters.
3. Thermostatic Mixing Valves
Thermostatic mixing valves are more expensive than mixing valves but provide more precise temperature control. These valves use a sensing element to monitor the water temperature and adjust as needed to maintain the set shower temperature, even if the water pressure or temperature fluctuates. This type of valve is often used in homes with central heating and cooling systems.
4. Volume Control Valves
Volume control valves are designed to control the amount of water flowing through a shower head or faucet. This type of valve is often used in homes with low water pressure.