If you’ve been researching how electric showers work and their benefits, you may have come across several people talking about “mixer showers.” What exactly are they, and how do they work? What makes them different from electric showers?
What Is a Mixer Shower?
Most people have a mixer shower in their home and don’t even realize it – and have no idea how they work. But its name says it all: these showers mix hot and cold water together to bring the water to your desired temperature.
Cold water is fed through the cold mains line, while the hot water is funneled in from your hot water system. These showers have a built-in valve that blends the hot and cold water streams together to reach the temperature you select using your shower’s controls (typically a temperature knob).
The Role of Your Hot Water System
But with a mixer shower, you’ll rely on your hot water system, and you’ll need to make sure that you choose a shower that’s compatible with your system. Some newer models are universal, but these may not be as effective as system-specific units.
You may also find mixer shower models that are advertised as “thermostatic.” What this means is that the unit has a built-in thermostat that regulates the water’s temperature. The thermostat will detect when there’s a dramatic change in the temperature of the water, and fix the issue.
Thermostatic models are preferred because they allow for a more comfortable showering experience and help you avoid burns. Most units will allow you to set the maximum hot water setting, so you never have to worry about the water being dangerously hot, which can be an issue if you have children or seniors living in your home.
The Drawbacks of Mixer Showers
Mixer showers have come a long way, but they still have some drawbacks.
One of the biggest issues with mixer units is that they are affected by water use in other parts of the house. Because the unit is connected to pipes that supply water to other points, the pressure and temperature of the water may change if someone runs the sink or flushes the toilet while the shower is in use.
Extreme temperature fluctuations can occur, which can lead to scalding.
Mixer showers also have a limited supply of hot water. Hot water is fed through the unit from your home’s hot water system – usually a hot water tank. Once the tank is empty, the water will run cold until it refills. If two or three people have to shower in the morning, at least one person will probably be showering in cold water – unless you have a really big hot water tank.
While mixer units do have their drawbacks, they are still the most common type of shower installed in homes today. Many homeowners are catching onto the benefits of other shower types, particularly electric showers. Electric units offer the benefit of delivering an endless supply of hot water while saving you money on your water and electric bills.