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What Is a Shower Thermostat?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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A shower thermostat is a device that controls the water temperature inside a shower. It senses when the temperature becomes too warm or cold and adjusts the water accordingly. Many use a shower thermostat to prevent sudden changes in water temperature when other home appliances are in use.

Most thermostats are relatively small in size and integrate with a shower's existing fixtures. A shower thermostat can prevent burns due to extremely hot water temperatures. These thermostats are often preprogrammed or set to a certain temperature, which is maintained while the shower is in use. Other home appliances can cause extreme changes in a shower's water temperature, including dishwashers, laundry machines and toilets.

Since all of these appliances use the same water supply, temporary strains on a single hot water heater might cause water temperature to unexpectedly fluctuate. A shower thermostat prevents that temporary fluctuation by ensuring that the water temperature remains within a predefined range. Besides controlling water temperature, a shower thermostat may control the amount of water by reducing or eliminating water flow if it senses dangerously high temperatures.

The majority of shower thermostats are designed to automatically shut off if the water temperature reaches 100 ° Fahrenheit (37.78 ° Celsius). This can be an important safety feature for parents of small children. It may also prove helpful in avoiding accidents as most temperature control knobs do not specify specific temperatures. Users may be unaware of how hot the water might become with certain adjustments.

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Shower thermostat interfaces may be a part of the shower's temperature control knobs. Some attach to tub spouts if the shower is part of a full bathtub. Thermostats are programmed to accept a minimum cold setting and a maximum hot temperature. There are models that can be controlled with wireless remotes and others that use a digital display. This type of thermostat displays the current temperature and allows users to manually adjust it while the shower is in use.

Digitally controlled shower thermostats may come with an advanced set of control options. These features work somewhat similarly to a digital thermostat for a central heating and air conditioning system. Users can control the amount of water flow, create preprogrammed temperature settings for different preferences, and manually start and stop the shower's water flow.

Most of the actual shower thermostat devices are concealed units that resemble a small computer control board. They attach to the pipes that are responsible for supplying the water to the shower. As with other types of thermostats, they use computerized sensors and technology to function properly.

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