Understanding the Different Types of Shower Valves

Investing in the right type of shower valve is essential to make your showering routine or experience smooth and relaxing. It is the showerhead through the water flows, but the valves are mainly responsible for controlling the pressure and temperature of the water. Although not available in all types of shower valves, it can enhance your showering experience.

Shower valves controlling water temperature are highly advantageous in countries where winter and summer seasons last significantly. The choice of a shower valve makes all the difference between one’s experience of using various bathroom fixtures. In this guide, you can learn the major types of shower valves that can be appropriate for your bathroom.

What Is a Shower Valve?

Shower valves are available as brass pieces of any shower fixture hidden behind the bathroom wall’s trim. These fittings are not visible when entering a tub or shower, but they are vital as they control the flow of cold and hot water flow from a shower head.

When a shower or other bath fixture goes wrong, such as the temperature control or water flow, the valve is frequently blamed. In contrast to other plumbing difficulties that need you to deal with your residential pipes, you can do these yourself when replacing or repairing a shower head or introducing new sanitary fixtures into your home. As a result, before commencing any restoration tasks, it’s a good idea to grasp the fundamental distinctions between the most popular varieties of shower valves and how they differ.

Pressure Balancing Valves

The prevalent shower valves are pressure balancing valves and mechanical or anti-scald valves. These valves are engineered to re-adjust water pressure, preventing the shower water from becoming excessively hot. These valves come with an internal mechanism which uses diaphragms or pistons. These help to respond to the fluctuations in the pressure of the water. Since the valve is primarily responsible for maintaining the equilibrium between cold and hot water supply, it ensures a constant water temperature. Typically, pressure balancing valves feature a single control with a handle, allowing users to adjust the water temperature by turning it left or right.

Thermostatic Valve

Thermostatic valves (TS valves) contain two valves and two handles to regulate pressure and temperature, allowing you to alter the temperature without changing the amount of water and vice versa.

TS valves may sense and control the water temperature through a wax insert or other thermosensitive device that expands or contracts to restrict the water flow when it exceeds the specified heat threshold.

A thermostatic valve gives you direct control over the water temperature by presetting a temperature control on the valve, which prevents scalding. It keeps the required temperature within one degree of being reached. On the valve, you may also specify an overall temperature limit. Also, when you shower and select your desired temperature using the temperature handle, you don’t have to alter the temperature handle the following time you shower.

The thermostatic valve is the costliest valve type and is considered preferable to a pressure-balancing valve.

Hot And Cold Valve

The hot and cold valve is the shower valve that controls the temperature of the water. A mixing valve, a water outlet, and separate hot and cold water inlets are among its various pieces. The normal function of a mixing valve is to blend hot and cold water to the proper temperature before transferring it to the tap and showerhead.

This shower valve, unlike others, has trim with two unique handles that function similarly to a standard two-handle tap. Turn the left handle to get hot water and the right one to get cold water. You may alter the water temperature by opening these handles and mixing the water from both outputs based on how far each handle is opened.

Although this valve is simple to use, it lacks an anti-scald function, which is critical to remember. In other words, it lacks a built-in system to prevent water overheating in the case of an unexpected cold-water shortage.

Transfer Valves

Transfer valves facilitate the distribution of water to various outlets simultaneously. For instance, you can use a handheld showerhead without interrupting the main shower. Certain transfer valves even enable the concurrent use of multiple components. Modern iterations of these shower valve types incorporate digital controls, boasting distinctive programs and features. This advancement alleviates the challenges associated with manipulating traditional knobs, providing a more convenient and user-friendly experience.

Digital Shower Valves

The rapid advancement of shower valve technology is evident, with significant progress anticipated in the digital bathroom sector. Currently, digital bathroom showers hold a predominant position in the market. Opting for digital technology is a prudent choice, providing access to numerous cutting-edge capabilities. These include Bluetooth connectivity, wireless shower controls, fully customizable water temperature settings, visually appealing LED lighting components, and more.

A key advantage of digital shower valves is their precise control over water pressure and temperature. This allows for easy remote management, preventing the inconvenience of getting wet when turning the shower on or off.


Ultimately, the selection of shower valves should harmonize with the design of your shower unit. Opting for sleek and angular shapes is ideal if your bathroom decor leans towards a modern style.

If you are uncertain or hesitant about upgrading or acquiring a new shower valve, you may seek a plumber’s guidance. Plumbing can be intricate, and rectifying errors can incur significant expenses. Consulting with a professional ensures a proper installation from the outset, mitigating the risk of regrets and additional costs later on.

Jimmy Amiri

The author Jimmy Amiri