Pressure balance valves to control temp?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by RobArber, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. RobArber

    RobArber New Member

    Mar 18, 2008

    Thanks for providing this forum, first time here...

    I'm doing a new bathroom install and I'm considering thermostatic vs pressure balance valves. My initial research showed that pressure balanced valves were good at regulating temp, and that the thermo valve is better if you want to have more shower fixtures (rain head, jets, hand wand, etc.).

    When I went to the specialty fixture store, a guy there said that pressure balanced valves don't actually work very well at regulating temp, and that thermos are better for that too. He said he gets complaints from customers all the time telling him this.

    At the big box stores they sell kits (press bal only) that claim to have "scald guard" - any experience with this, good or bad?

    Appreciate any feedback.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    A pressure balance valve will prevent a surge of pressure on either side which would cause a major temperature change. That is what they mean when they say "scald guard", which is the same as "chill guard" if the hot water were the one that got reduced. Thermostatic will maintain a given temperature, IF the motor is able to operate as quickly as the water temperature changes.
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Another advantage to a thermostatic valve is that as the water temp in the WH decreases from use, the thermostatic valve will keep adjusting the balance to keep the outlet temp to the shower the same. A pressure balance valve will just continue to cool off, keeping the relative mix of hot and cold the same. Since the hot is cooling off, the outlet temp drops. How long it works well, I don't know...hope mine continues to work for a long time. Also, on a thermostatic valve, you may also get a volume control. You rarely get that on a pressure balanced valve - it is typically fully on or fully off.
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