A thermostatic shower can do several things a regular shower can’t. It adjusts the flow of both hot and cold water in order to keep the temperature constant so even if someone else in the house runs water or flushes a toilet, the temperature in the shower will be constant. This helps in avoiding any danger of sudden scalding. It’s one of the most expensive types of shower units available, but if you have a family with young children, the benefits can save you from medical emergencies. You can easily install a thermostatic shower yourself.
Step 1 - Remove Old Shower
Turn off the water stop flow valves that feed the bathtub or shower. If there are no separate controls, you’ll need to turn off the water to the whole house. Run the shower until there is no longer any water.
Unscrew and remove the old shower head. Pop the top off the mixer tap, then unscrew the packing and remove. You’ll now be able to remove the mixer by unscrewing the tap and the facing. Remove and set aside.
Step 2 - Piping
Now, you’ll need to install the copper piping to feed the thermostatic shower unit. To do this, you’ll need to expose the piping in the wall by the shower head. Remove the tiles in a square and drill a series of holes to expose both the hot and cold pipes and give yourself enough room to work.
With the pipe cutter, remove a small section from both the hot and cold pipes so you have enough space to fit a T junction. Before you fit them, however, you will need to fit copper pipe to the single arm of the T-junction. Ideally, this should be soldered but you can use a compression fitting and a pip flaring tool as an alternative. If you use this method (which will depend on the type of fitting you buy), apply Teflon tape to the threads before tightening.
Solder the T junction on both sides to the hot and cold pipes.
Step 3 - Thermostatic unit
Now you’re ready to fit the thermostatic unit. Take the two copper pipes that come off the hot and cold water pipes. These will attach to the thermostatic shower unit with compression nuts. Put the nuts over the tube and use your flaring tool to flare the pipe to the correct size. Apply Teflon tape to the threads and tighten. If you’ve been careful removing the tiles, your thermostatic shower should cover the hole in the wall.
Attach the unit to the wall according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In many cases, this will require drilling through the tiles and using special screws. Reattach the shower head and the mixer tap. If you’ve bought new fixtures to go with your thermostatic shower unit, fit these instead. Turn the water back on and run the shower to test for any leaks where you’ve fitted the unit. If there are none, your thermostatic shower is ready to use.