Thermostatic vs Pressure Balance Shower Valves Guide

Thermostat is something that regulates temperature. What does it mean?

Thermostat is a device attached to a heating or air conditioning system that controls its operation. The thermostat is responsible for turning the heating or cooling equipment on and off at specific times.

A thermostat is a type of control mechanism that allows you to regulate the temperature within a given area. It has two main functions: to turn the heating or cooling equipment ON and OFF, and to adjust the temperature within a certain range.

How to choose between thermostatic and pressure balance shower valves? Which one should I get? Showers are essential parts of our daily lives. They provide us with hot water, cleanse us from dirt and germs, and also save energy. But they can be quite complicated to install and maintain.

There are two types of showers – thermostatic and pressure balanced. The former uses a heating element to heat up water and the latter relies on gravity to send water down the pipe.

Both types of showers have their pros and cons. Thermostatic showers are great because they don’t require electricity or gas to operate. They are also easier to install and maintain. However, they only come in single-head models.

On the other hand, pressure balanced showers are much better at conserving water. They are also cheaper to purchase and install. But they are harder to repair and replace.

Thermostatic vs Pressure Balance Shower Valves Guide

Which one should I get? That depends on your needs. If you want a simple yet effective way to conserve water, then go for a pressure balanced model. On the other hand, if you need an easy installation and maintenance solution, then opt for a thermostatic valve.

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Valves | Shower Valves, Trims & Controls Guide | KOHLER

Here are some things to consider when choosing which type of shower valve is best for you:

1) Water Conservation

Pressure balanced showers use less water than thermostatic ones. This is because they rely solely on gravity to push water through the pipes. In contrast, thermostatic showers use a heating element to raise the temperature of the water before sending it down the pipe.

2) Installation & Maintenance

Thermostatic showers are easier to install and maintain than pressure balanced ones. You just need to connect the piping to the wall and attach the valve to the end of the pipe. Then, all you need to do is set the temperature of the water and leave it alone.

In comparison, pressure balanced showers require more work. First, you need to make sure that there is no leakage in the plumbing. Second, you must ensure that the drain line is not blocked by any debris. Third, you will need to add a new fitting into the wall. Finally, you will need to measure the distance between the floor and the ceiling so that you can determine where to place the valve.

3) Cost

Thermostatic showers cost about $20-$30 while pressure balanced ones cost around $50-$60.

4) Style

Thermostatic showers usually look like standard faucets. On the other hand pressure balanced showers are often made out of metal and resemble toilets.

5) Warranty

The warranty period for thermostatic showers is typically 2 years. On the other hand warranties for pressure balanced showers last 5 years.

6) Safety

Thermostatic showers have a safety feature called “thermo lockout”. It prevents the flow of water if the temperature gets too high. In addition, thermostatic showers also have a safety feature called “water shut off”. If the water level drops below a certain point, the valve shuts off automatically.

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7) Durability

Thermostatic showers tend to be more durable than pressure balanced ones. This is because thermostatic valves are designed to withstand higher temperatures. In fact, most thermostatic valves can handle up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (68 degrees Celsius). In comparison, pressure balanced valves are only able to handle 100 degrees F (38 degrees C).

8) Repair & Replacement

If you find yourself having trouble with either type of valve, you may need to call a plumber to fix them. However, repairing or replacing a thermostatic valve is much simpler than doing the same thing to a pressure balanced one.

9) Flow Rate

If you live in a hot climate, then you probably don’t need as much water as someone who lives in a cold region. For this reason, thermostatic showers are better suited for people living in warm climates.

10) Noise Level

Although both types of valves create noise, thermostatic showers produce a lower volume of sound. They are quieter than pressure balanced ones.

How a Pressure-Balance Valve Works?

A pressure balance shower uses a combination of two different technologies:

1) A check valve

This valve opens when the water reaches an elevated pressure. Once the water has passed through the valve, it closes again. The main purpose of this valve is to prevent backflow from occurring.

2) A relief valve

This valve allows the user to adjust the amount of water flowing out. When the water level gets low, the valve opens and lets some water out.

Why Choose a Pressure Balanced Shower?

Pressure balanced showers offer several advantages over thermostatic ones. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider installing a pressure balanced shower instead of a thermostatic one:

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Thermostatic Valves Vs Pressure Balance Valve

1) Low Maintenance

Unlike thermostatic valves, pressure balanced ones do not require frequent maintenance. You simply need to clean them once every year or so.

2) Easy Installation

Unlike thermostatic showers, pressure balanced ones are easy to install. All you need to do is attach the supply line to your existing plumbing system.

3) Lower Cost

Since they are less expensive than thermostatic showers, they are generally cheaper to buy.

How does a Thermostatic Shower Valve work?

Like a pressure balanced shower, a thermostatic shower valve works by using two different technologies:

The first technology is a check valve. This valve opens when the water pressure exceeds a certain threshold. Once the water passes through the valve, it will close again. The main purpose is to prevent backflow.

The second technology is a thermocouple sensor. This device detects the temperature of the incoming water. If the water temperature surpasses a certain point, the sensor sends a signal to the control unit. This triggers the opening of the valve.


In conclusion, thermostatic showers have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. While they are usually easier to install, they are also more costly to purchase. On the other hand, pressure balanced showers are more durable, but they are also more difficult to install.

So, if you want to save money on your next bathroom remodel project, you might want to opt for a pressure balanced shower.

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