Manual shower valves are the simplest solution on the market. The cold and hot water inputs are mixed in the valve, and a single manually operated lever controls both the flow and the temperature of the water. One thing to be aware of with manual shower valves is that they have no limit to the temperature and will not shut off automatically in the case of hot or cold water failure. Depending on your water heater this means that your shower could possibly become dangerously hot enough to cause scalds. This may be an issue in a house with small children, where safety issues are paramount, or if you live with many people: someone flushing the toilet or starting the washing machine in another part of the house can result in an unpleasant shock. Manual valves can work well for smaller adult households or when paired with an overflow filler or pull out handset for the bath where it’s not as important to have strict temperature control.
Manual valves are the most economical choice on the market, and come in a wide range of styles which will complement any interior design. You can find a beautiful, affordable fixture for a fraction of the price you might spend on some thermostatic models.
Concealed or exposed?
You have two choices when picking out a new manual shower valve. In a concealed shower valve, all the plumbing, pipes, and outlets are hidden away behind the wall for a clean, minimalist look. Exposed shower valves have their plumbing “on display” which can suit a modern or industrial themed bathroom.
How to choose the right one?
When selecting a manual shower valve, don’t forget to check the pressure rating. Some models which work with a diverter can only work with high pressure systems, but most will work with either high or low pressure systems of all recognised types, including gravity, mains, pumped and combi boilers. Just make sure that your system falls within the listed minimum and maximum pressure rating for your chosen valve. Where possible, find out the flow rate of the valve. It will give you a clear idea of the performance you can expect