Thermostatic bath and shower faucet: device, principle of operation and selection rules

Amir Gumarov
Checked by a specialist: Amir Gumarov
Author: Grigory Skok
Last update: May 2019

Manufacturers are constantly improving plumbing fixtures, trying to make their use as comfortable, practical and cost-effective as possible. One of these solutions is a thermostatic mixer for bath and shower, eliminating the need for constant adjustment of the water temperature.

Agree, it’s very convenient to adjust and fix the optimal parameters for yourself, so as not to waste time from time to time choosing the right lever position. Ease of use is obvious, right? It remains to determine the model of the mixer.

We will tell you what parameters should be guided when choosing a thermostatic device, we will outline the features of different versions, list the best manufacturers, and also note the nuances of installing a crane.

What is a thermostatic mixer?

Residents of European countries have long been accustomed to save natural resources and try to spend them wisely. Therefore, it is not surprising that Western neighbors actively use temperature sensors and temperature controllers, including faucets with bath thermostats and showers, in their everyday life.

Such a solution provides an opportunity to save money, without limiting oneself in using all the benefits of civilization.

Features and principle of operation

As a rule, in a mixer that maintains a certain water temperature, it is enough to choose a head and indicate the desired temperature regime. And then the technician can cope on his own - the command is sent through the fixing screw to the sensitive element. It can be a bimetallic plate or wax.

The substance, depending on the specified settings, expands or narrows, which leads to a change in the position of the valve, which allows water to enter the mixing chamber. Adjustment is quick and clear, does not require further action by the user.

Modern models of mixers are also equipped with a water pressure regulator. It turns off / on the stream and makes it as comfortable as possible at the exit.

Mixer temperature scale
Water temperature is controlled by a special limiter. The element ensures that it is not higher than the one set by the consumer.

The thermostatic device works due to a sensor located directly in the device. Hot water along with cold enters the mixing compartment through the dispenser. Then the flow rushes to the tap.

If the water temperature is lower or higher than specified by the user, the sensor automatically adjusts the locking mechanisms. This allows you to adjust the volume of hot and cold flows.

Thermostatic mixer
If the water has a temperature that is much lower than specified by the consumer, then its flow will be automatically stopped

Advantages and disadvantages of devices

Compared to others types of mixersThe thermostatic appliance can significantly reduce the consumption of hot water. This is especially noticeable if an electric boiler is installed in the house or apartment.

Precise temperature control makes it possible to use comfortable water, eliminating the long-term adjustment of the desired parameters. And this, accordingly, reduces the amount of electricity necessary for the operation of the heating device.

The list of advantages of this type of faucets should also include the fact that the consumer is not scalded and is not threatened with an ice shower. Therefore, it will become indispensable in a house where there are small children.

Using instantaneous water heater water temperature may change regularly. This is the main and only drawback of such equipment. The problem is solved by installing a thermostatic mixer, which will allow you to enjoy a bath.

If you install such equipment, then you no longer have to depend on neighbors constantly turning the water on and off in their apartment. Now you can take a shower, no matter what.

Contemporary shower with thermostatic mixer
The only minus of thermostat mixers is their high cost. But the savings, safety and comfort level completely offset this disadvantage.

Types of Thermostatic Mixers

Today, the range of devices that supply comfortable bathing water is regularly increasing. Manufacturers are ready to offer faucets with thermostats for the bathroom, shower, sink, and bidet. In this case, the models differ in the method of attachment. For example, there are devices for visible and flush mounting.

In general, devices are divided into two groups: mechanical and electronic. This factor must be taken into account when choosing. After all, representatives of each of these two groups have both advantages and disadvantages.

Mechanically adjustable devices

The simplest and, accordingly, cheap is a mechanical model. Such a mixer is equipped with valves, levers and handles that allow you to adjust the strength of the water flow and its temperature.

Instruments with mechanical adjustment are much more reliable and durable. At the same time, they work faster, since the temperature is switched in manual mode. As for the price, the cost starts at $ 60.

The disadvantage of mechanical thermostatic mixers is the feature of manual parameterization. But if you need the most simple and inexpensive plumbing equipment, then this minus does not play absolutely any role.

Thermostatic mixer
The design of mechanical equipment is usually minimalistic and does not contain any unnecessary details, which makes it easy to manage

Electronic Thermostatic Mixers

If the house is equipped in the Art Nouveau style, then it is better to give preference to electronic equipment. In most cases, such faucets have a concise and elegant appearance that will harmoniously fit into any interior.

In addition, electronic models are equipped with a screen based on liquid crystals, which shows the current temperature of the water, as well as the pressure force.

Such mixers are controlled using mechanical or touch buttons. Also on the market are non-contact devices that work thanks to infrared sensors. They are often controlled using a special remote control.

If we talk about the advantages of electronic thermostatic mixers, then the pluses include:

  • comfort - they allow you to indicate the temperature of the water with an accuracy of up to 1 ° C;
  • attractiveness - electronic models look modern;
  • multifunctionality - they can display many additional parameters.

But it should be noted that electronic equipment will cost several times more than mechanical equipment. Moreover, due to the complexity of the design, it is quite difficult to correctly install such mixers. And in the event of a breakdown, you will have to call a qualified specialist, which will also hit the family budget.

Electronic thermostatic mixer
The electronic thermostatic mixer needs a power source. Batteries or a power adapter may be used for this.

Key selection criteria

A huge range of faucets with thermostats creates a lot of problems for an unprepared buyer. Indeed, to choose the optimal model from this variety is rather difficult and it can take far more than one hour.

What to look before buying?

To find a device that allows you to comfortably take a shower, it will last at least several years and will not stand out too much in the design of the bathroom, you need to pay attention to a number of parameters.

Important features:

  • material used to make the case;
  • valve type;
  • the presence of a fuse;
  • connection method;
  • minimum possible working pressure;
  • manufacturer.

Before going to the store, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the products of online stores. Such a solution will allow you to determine in advance the optimal model for your bathroom.

Case Material

The service life of the mixer largely depends on the reliability of the housing. Accordingly, this factor needs to be paid attention in the first place.

The most reliable and, accordingly, expensive materials are brass, bronze, as well as copper. If in the first place is the appearance of the mixer, and not its strength, then you can give preference to the ceramic product.

Silumin Thermostatic Mixer
Manufacturers also offer models made of plastic and aluminum-silicon alloy (silumin). Yes, these devices are cheap enough, but they will last a very short time.

Which valve is better?

An important component of any mixer with thermostat is a valve. This item is often made of ceramic, rubber or leather. The last two materials are used to produce cheap models, which is why many problems arise.

Leather or rubber flap wears out very quickly. In the future, this can cause many unpleasant situations. But replacing such a detail is not difficult. The procedure is similar to the process of replacing a gasket in a conventional mixer without a thermostat.

Leather and rubber are soft and short-lived materials. It is because of this that quite often a problem arises with damage to the valve seat. If solid particles fall from the water under the element, the part is damaged, which leads to a flood. Therefore, if you find any problems, you must urgently contact the master.

Ceramic valve more reliable and durable. In this case, a special design prevents debris from getting under the element and, accordingly, the saddle remains intact.

Shower with thermostat
The ceramic valve pushes out all the solid particles that have fallen under it. Moreover, the top element has a graphite coating, which significantly extends the life of the mixer

When operating thermostatic equipment with a ceramic valve, do not use brute force when closing the valve. Failure to comply with this rule will result in damage to the valve head.

Therefore, to shut off the water flow, turn the valve all the way, and everything else will be done by precisely sized ceramics.

Why do I need a safety button?

Each more or less well-known manufacturer of thermostatic mixers installs a fuse in their products. This element prevents accidental changes in water temperature. After all, there is always a risk that one awkward movement can turn on boiling water and get severe burns.

Most often, an element is a button painted in red. In this case, to change the temperature of the water, it is necessary to depress the fuse. Such a useful feature will be especially relevant for parents with young children.

Mixer connection diagram

When choosing plumbing equipment with a thermostat, it is imperative to ask the seller about the scheme for connecting water pipes to the device. After all, if everything is connected incorrectly, the mixer will break down and it will need to be repaired, which, as mentioned above, will be quite expensive.

An example of connecting pipes to a mixer
Flexible hoses can be used to connect a thermostatic mixer in the bathroom or shower

Check that the equipment has been adapted to Russian standards. Remember that one question eliminates the need to reconfigure pipes.

Minimum working pressure

An important characteristic is the availability of sufficient water pressure in the apartment or private house. The vast majority of devices operate at a pressure of 0.5 bar.

If in fact it will be lower, then the equipment will not function properly. Accordingly, it makes no sense to install it in your bathroom.

Which manufacturer is better?

The market of sanitary equipment is regularly updated with new products. But if you need to purchase a thermostatic mixer of the highest quality, then products from Oras, Jacob delafon, Grohe, and Hansgrohe.

For an average buyer, brand products are a good choice Oras. The company is always trying to maintain the most favorable balance between product quality and affordability. In production, the company mainly uses plastic or brass.

Thermostatic mixer Oras
The cost of thermostatic mixers from Oras is relatively low and amounts to about 180-200 dollars

Since its founding, French manufacturer Jacob Delafon has established itself as a reliable supplier of brass plumbing fixtures. Its hallmark is the provision of a five-year warranty on all models of mixers.

As for appearance, Jacob Delafon products have a classic design. The cost of equipment, as a rule, ranges from 150 to 450 dollars.

The company has the largest range of mixers Grohe. This manufacturer offers products equipped with a wide variety of functions and made in various styles.

Grohe uses brass in production. Therefore, it is not surprising that faucets from this brand serve at least 10 years.

Mixer with thermostat Grohe
Although Grohe products differ from their counterparts in quality and reliability, but they are quite expensive. On average, the price of faucets from this brand is 300-700 dollars

The German plumbing manufacturer company also deserves respect. Hansgrohe. Their thermostatic mixers are characterized by the most concise design and high durability. For the manufacture of products used chrome steel.

Hansgrohe faucets are the ideal solution for small bathrooms. After all, the equipment is compact and relatively inexpensive - within $ 200.

Hansgrohe thermostatic mixer
Hansgrohe gives all its products a 5-year warranty, which is pretty good at the declared value

Almost all manufacturers offer the buyer several lines of mixers with thermostats. In the assortment you can find simple models, the design of which emphasized their functionality.

But the catalog often includes several products that are a real work of modern art.

The subtleties of installing a device with a thermostat

Installing a faucet with a thermostat in the bathroom is a fairly simple process, which can be dealt with without involving a qualified craftsman. At the same time, the parameters and requirements for its installation are the same as for standard valve models.

When assembling, first of all, it is necessary to ensure that hot water is supplied to the mixer at the same time as cold. In addition, you must always adhere to the installation scheme. If you make a mistake, the mixer will not work.

Installation can be carried out in two ways:

  • open
  • closed.

Open way. There are no special difficulties during installation. After all, all that is needed is to attach the hoses and fix the mixer on the wall, sink, bathtub side or in the shower.

Closed installation. In this case, you will need to install an additional false wall made of drywall. After all, it is necessary to ensure that only levers or buttons that control the temperature stick out of the wall.

Concealed installation of thermostatic mixer
The only drawback of flush mounting is that in the event of a breakdown, you will have to open the wall

If we compare the two methods of installing the mixer, then each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. But in the case when high-quality thermostatic equipment was purchased, it is recommended to engage in flush mounting.

After all, then the design of the bathroom will be spared from unnecessary details, which will make the interior more harmonious and luxurious.

Some useful tips

To ensure the safe operation of the mixer with thermostat in the bathroom, additional cleaning filters. Such a solution will be especially relevant if the water in the highways is hard.

Yes, installation of filters will take time, but in the future it will avoid unplanned expenses and significantly extend the life of plumbing equipment.

As a rule, centralized water supply is ruthless to modern and fragile plumbing. Mixers with thermostats also fall into the risk zone. Sudden and sudden changes in pressure, water hammer, poor water quality - all this can significantly reduce the service life of plumbing equipment.

This problem is solved by installing at the entrance to the apartment water system pressure reducer or check valve. After mounting the elements, do not forget to adjust them in accordance with the operating parameters of the purchased mixer.

To ensure that the water temperature does not differ from that indicated on the valve, the thermostat must be calibrated. The adjustment is carried out using a special screw, which can be found under the protective cover of the device. To do this, you need an ordinary screwdriver and a household thermometer.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The video demonstrates an easy way to install a faucet with a shower thermostat:

Thermostatic mixers have not yet gained much popularity among domestic buyers. The reason for this lies in the high cost of equipment. But those people who spent on this plumbing equipment, note the safety and ease of use of such a device.

Moreover, the invested money pays off pretty quickly, since the mixer saves electricity and significantly reduces the consumption of hot water.

Looking for a thermostatic mixer? Or is there experience installing and using such a device for a bathtub and shower? Please leave comments on the article, ask questions and participate in discussions. The contact form is located below.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Andrew

    I have a Hansgrohe heat mixer that gives a low pressure, although it is sufficient in the system. Plus, don’t twist the handle from 20 to 48 degrees, the water is a little warm. Have to change?

    • Expert
      Amir Gumarov

      Hello. Try to remove the aerator with sealing rubber and check the quality of the pressure without them.