In the annals of bathroom history (if such a thing exists, as it happens), the bath and the shower have often been set against each other. In times gone by, and especially in the UK, the bath was utterly pre-eminent, becoming the mainstay of the weekly routine. In my mum’s house, up t’north, she remembers having the tin bath pulled out from beneath the kitchen table on a Sunday night. Not that she’s at all old you understand. Sorry, mam…
I suppose this stance may have been taken because baths, in comparison to showers, are fairly unfussy and uncomplicated. Also, it may have also been a question of cost. Taps and a tub are all you need for a bath, whereas a shower takes in questions of your water system, the style you want, the installation…essentially, there is a lot more to think about.
I should probably declare here that I am a shower man – I find couching the sentence in this positive way makes the point come across better than me saying that I rarely have a bath, which leads to people backing slowly away from me.
Yes, I prefer showers, and I proselytise mildly to people about the main subject of this piece, the thermostatic shower. Now, showers tend to divide into standard showers and thermostatic showers. The difference seems, prima facie, to be slight, but in actuality, it can make all the difference.
Standard mixer showers really work in much the same manner as mixer taps. They take the two flows of water – hot and cold, for the uninitiated – and blend them. Thing is, you have to stand there and twiddle like a fretful safecracker with these taps to get the right temperature coming out of the head. This can be a fiddly business, and is the last thing you want to be doing in the morning, standing around frustratingly adjusting.
Now, a thermostatic shower excises this horrible frustration. You simply set your temperature and the valve itself takes the burden, automatically maintaining your chosen heat. It also guards this source, as a thermostatic valve stops any other calls on hot water from around the home from stealing your warm water away. This prevents those horrid moments where, luxuriating under a piping spray, you are suddenly assailed by arctic needles of water as someone goes to wash up downstairs. This is not to mention the additional safety features these valves feature, such as anti-scalding mechanisms.
In short, thermostatic showers, despite the marginally higher initial outlay, repay this with years of hassle-free operation. I cannot recommend them more highly.