Read This Before Choosing Your Shower Mixer!
– Two types of shower mixers: classic or thermostatic
– Choosing the proper shower mixer
The shower mixer connects the hot water inlet to the cold water inlet to form a single water inlet that you can adjust. Classic or thermostatic, it is one of the main accessories of the faucets with the showerhead, the column, and the shower hose.
Two types of shower mixers: classic or thermostatic
The classic shower mixer
This is the only shower faucet where a single horizontally-activated lever allows you to adjust the flow rate and the temperature.
One hand is enough to use this ergonomic lever, which is also practical for children. However, the temperature setting is still imprecise.
Caution: there is a risk of burns if the shower mixer is left in the hot water position or a wrong movement changes the temperature.
The thermostatic shower mixer
The thermostatic shower mixer is equipped with two controls: one for the flow rate and the other for the temperature.
The water temperature remains constant, locked at 38°C, even when the pressure drops, for example, when someone uses another faucet in the house. This saves water, as the correct temperature is reached without unnecessarily fumbling with it.
The main disadvantage of the concealed thermostatic mixer is its price, which is higher than that of a simple mixer.
Good to know: the bathroom is the biggest water consumer. A 4 to 5-minute shower requires 60 to 80 liters of water, a bath between 150 and 200 liters, depending on the volume of the bathtub.
Choosing the proper shower mixer
There are several criteria to consider when choosing your thermostatic shower mixer.
Design and finish
Retro, classic, or more contemporary with pure or original shapes: something for every taste. The same goes for the finishes:
– Chrome plated, the mixer can be matte, brushed, or polished. It is easy to maintain and particularly resistant, but water drops can leave marks.
The thermostatic mixer is also resistant and less easily marked in stainless steel, but it is not scratch-proof.
– Other finishes are possible, such as brass or inexpensive synthetic materials.
Additional features of shower mixers include:
– a safety feature present on most models. It allows you to set a maximum temperature that you should not exceed to avoid any risk of burning. It is easily unlocked if you want hotter water;
The flow limiter allows you to save water while maintaining excellent comfort. It takes the form of a mousse, which inflates the water drops with air, or a resistance point designed to block the flow rate halfway;
– an infrared control, which triggers the operation of the faucet by simply passing your hands over it.
Note: (NEC), or NFPA 70 certification, issued by an independent organization, guarantees that the shower mixer not only provides water at the specified temperature but also that it remains constant, regardless of pressure or flow rate. It also guarantees corrosion resistance, durability, flow rate, silent filling, and interchangeability.
Prices and points of sale
Shower mixers are available in DIY stores, faucet and bathroom specialty stores, and the Internet.
Prices vary according to materials and manufacturers. Expect to pay:
– between $70 and $170 for a classic mixer;
– between $120 and $420 for a thermostatic model.
Good to know: the warranty on thermostatic shower mixers is generally 5 years or even 10 years for some manufacturers.