Steam shower question

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by uscpsycho, May 11, 2017.

  1. uscpsycho

    uscpsycho New Member

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    Mar 24, 2016
    Location:
    California
    I have a shower question that's not really plumbing related but I hope you guys have the knowledge/experience to help.

    How "sealed" should a frameless steam shower be? Conventional wisdom is to totally seal it up to prevent steam from escaping. But I have read that you NEED to let some cool air into the shower if you want to see the steam.

    All the perimeter gaps between the glass and tile will be sealed with clear silicone. I have a transom which will not be sealed on any side, it will have a small gap all around. All this has already been determined.

    The thing I'm questioning is the shower door. I am going to seal three sides with plastic/rubber gaskets but I would prefer not to have anything on the "strike" side of the door because it looks much better without it. Instead I'd like to have a minimal unsealed gap.

    Two guys from the same glass company disagree on what will happen if one side of the door is left unsealed. One says that it is fine and it will not degrade the performance of the shower. The other says it absolutely must be sealed or too much steam will escape. Who is right? Can I leave one side of the shower door unsealed?

    Corollary question is this - If I do seal all four sides of the shower door will the gap around the transom allow enough cool air to create a mist inside?
     
  2. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    Installed a steam shower for the first time a few weeks ago. Listen, crack or no crack you're going to disappear in a fog of steam when you crank that sucker up. You will learn to modulate the output after using it a few times. One I did looked like special effects in a vampire movie.
     
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    No personal experience. But, consider that true steam is water vapor that is hotter than boiling. Since you won't last long being par-boiled, what you see as a fog is water that has condensed and is not technically steam anymore. The fog will form once the relative humidity reaches 100% while the air cools a bit, condensing the water into fog.
     
  5. uscpsycho

    uscpsycho New Member

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    California
    Actually, if a steam shower is properly sealed the way it is technically supposed to be, there will be no fog it will be pure steam. And steam is invisible. Having fog in your steam shower is something that should only occur by choice because you want it.

    I know that the fog is steam that has cooled. But I'm not sure what the point you're trying to make is. Are you saying I shouldn't fully seal the steam shower because it will be intolerably hot?
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have firmed your opinion before posting to begin with. Why did you ask?
     
  7. uscpsycho

    uscpsycho New Member

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    Mar 24, 2016
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    California
    I said in my original post that you need to let some cool air if you want to see the fog. I would like to see some fog but I don't know how much the performance of the steam shower will degrade if I leave one side of the door unsealed versus just leaving the transom unsealed.

    I'd like some fog but I don't want to be engulfed in a soupy fog that's like the special effects of vampire movie.

    I hope that makes it a little more clear.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Think about the objective here. Are you looking for a warm moist environment, or are you looking for visual effects? A cool air moving in might enhance the visuals and better sealing would make the fog more uniform.

    I am in agreement with the others that you will have as much fog as you want with better sealing. I think that you could counteract the addition of cool air by turning up the steam generator.
     
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    If you get the whole shower hot enough so you don't see any fog, it will be way too hot to live in. The more air that can get in to cool things off, the foggier it will be. Does the steam generator have any guidelines on this? The TCNA guidelines may discuss it, but I've not looked at that for awhile. You can go to their website and get some useful information...to get the actual spec, though, you have to buy it (small sections are cheap, though).
     
  10. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
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    So, you hate vampires? Is that your point? Vampires have feelings too. Duh.
     
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