How to Install Mixer Showers
As a rule, mixer showers are easier to install than most of the other various types of showers. Since they work through combining hot water from a separate water heater and cold water, there is no electrical wiring required, as in an electric shower. One thing to remember, however, is that there are several types of mixer showers available, and their installation varies from model to model. Below is a guide to the installation of each type of mixer shower.
Step 1: Push-on Mixer Shower
This is by far the easiest type of mixer shower to install. It is also the most primitive, and one that few people would be happy with as a long-term solution. This type of shower is installed simply by attaching a hose and shower head to a previously existing bath faucet. The temperature of the shower is then adjusted by turning the bath knobs already present in the unit (since the water is still essentially coming out of this faucet).
Step 2: Bath/Shower Mixer
This type of mixer shower is the type of shower that most people are familiar with in their own houses. It is by far the most popular form of shower in residential homes. The shower head and hose are attached to the same controls as the bath faucet. A switch or knob is typically turned to direct water towards either the shower head or the bath faucet. As with the push-on mixer shower, the temperature of the shower is still controlled by turning the bath knobs for hot and cold water. This type of shower is fairly easy to install in a unit with a preexisting bath faucet, as the controls remain the same.
Step 3: Manual Mixer
This type of shower exists in the absence of a bath faucet, meaning that the only water that comes out of the unit is through the shower head. The water temperature on these units is typically controlled with a single knob that can be turned in a circular motion to adjust the water temperature. The hose and shower head are generally built into the wall itself. The installation for this type of mixer shower can be a bit more complex, since there will have been no previous hot water pipes flowing to the location (as there would have been with a preexisting bath unit). This means that you will need to run hot water pipes to the unit before connecting the hot and cold water supplies to the manual mixer shower.
Step 4: Thermostatic Mixer
This type of mixer shower works in a different way than the other types of mixer showers. Unfortunately, this means that this type of shower will be more expensive to purchase and install. As with a manual mixer shower, the hose and shower head are part of the wall and both the hot and cold water supplies are connected with a single valve. Thermostatic mixers have a built-in thermostat, however, that regulates water temperature and prevents overheating. It is this temperature control that makes thermostatic mixers more expensive. The installation of a thermostatic mixer will be the same as a manual mixer for all intents and purposes.