Hot showers are now safer, easier to use and more ecologically efficient

Hot showers are now safer, easier to use and more ecologically efficient

A clever ‘low-fi’ shower technology is gaining in popularity due to its safety, as well as its ease of use and reduced water and energy consumption

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Excessively hot showers are a leading cause of burns and scalds in New Zealand, proving to be a particularly high risk for children, people in care and the elderly. However, there is a clever ‘low-fi’ shower technology that is gaining in popularity due to its safety, as well as its ease of use and reduced water and energy consumption.

In New Zealand, excessively hot tap water in baths, showers and sinks is the second most frequent cause of hot liquid burn or scald admissions to hospital, according to Safekids Aotearoa. Additionally, it reports that almost 40 per cent of New Zealand homes have tap water that is dangerously hot, and nearly 10 per cent have water that’s so hot that burns are almost inevitable.

However, thermostatic showers can help to address these issues and, even though they are a low-fi technology, they are clever and proven to work. “They have been extensively used in Europe, the US and parts of Asia and, in New Zealand, hospitals and care facilities have been using them for some time but, now, more and more people are looking to install thermostatic showers in their homes,” says Manny Boyack of bathroom specialists, Paterson.

“Thermostatic showers enable you to set the temperature to a predetermined temperature or different temperatures for different family members – so you can set it at 40 degrees Celsius, for example, and then adjust the pressure separately.” They do cost a bit more to buy than a traditional shower mixer, however Manny believes that the additional upfront price is balanced out over time through water and energy savings.

 

Water and energy consumption is a major concern as our population grows and more pressure is put on this natural resource. It is estimated that half the world’s population uses 95 litres of water per person per day and, here in New Zealand as well as other industrialised countries, we use more than 200 per person per day and our individual showers use an average of 15 litres per minute. Older styles of taps and showerheads use a lot more water than is required to do the job they do, so it is clear that we need a new revolution in showering.

“This will increasingly become an issue if we continue to experience low water supplies and restrictions during the summer, which we have been seeing in some parts of the country,” says Manny. For example, according to the MetService, January to June this year was the driest period on record for much of Auckland, Northland and the Waikato. 

 

“Shower users often jump into the shower and turn the level too hot and, then, too cold as they try to ‘tune’ the shower temperature, but you can imagine that even just a few seconds of too-hot water can impact on the amount of energy use and waste water that’s produced over time,” says Manny. “For a whole family, this can really mount up over days and years and, even, over generations.”

 

The new series of exposed thermostatic showers make a stunning design statement and are ‘uber’ practical with their built-in hand shower and rain heads, but they also easier fix. This is because the valve is external, rather than the shower valve being hidden behind the tiling or shower liner, as in a traditional shower. “The mechanics of a thermostatic column shower is exposed, with the valves sitting on the outside of the wall so, if there’s ever a plumbing issue, you don’t have to pull the wall apart to replace the parts,” explains Manny. “Our mixers are high quality and come with a 15-year warranty but, in reality, they should last a lot longer than that.”

Paterson has a number of ‘industrial art’ thermostatic shower options from major European brands, such as Villeroy & Boch, the clever designs of Graff of Europe, the simple delights of Steinberg of Germany, and the fantastic style and smooth charms of Fima from Italy. All four companies offer innovative, high-quality water-efficient solutions that marry aesthetics and functionality beautifully.

“Another advantage with universal thermostatic mixers is that you can match them with any tapware in the same colour option – chrome, brass or whatever,” says Manny.

The technology behind normal mixers and thermostatic showers can seem confusing. Both serve to balance water temperature and prevent burns, however thermostatic valves are widely regarded as far superior. While a traditional shower valve maintains a balanced flow of water between the hot and cold sides, it doesn’t actually sense the temperature of the water. On the other hand, thermostatic showers use a mechanism that actually senses the temperature of the water, rather than responding to the volume of flow between the hot and cold inputs.

 

A wax element inside the shower valve expands or contracts in reaction to heat, changing the amount of water coming in from each inlet. You typically set the water temperature and water volume with separate controls, so the temperature remains the same regardless of whether the water is dribbling or running full blast, and the next shower will automatically be set exactly where you left it. This makes water conservation much easier as you know once the water has mixed that it is at the right temperature; thus, structural and behavioural waste is reduced at the shower entry point.

 

When selecting shower products, you can determine if a product is water efficient by referring to the Water Efficiency Labelling Standards (WELS) Scheme in New Zealand that clearly labels taps and showerheads – choose models with three stars or more.

Paterson

Since 1955 Paterson has been providing leading edge solutions for fine bathroom design. In conjunction with our European partners Paterson is renowned for offering...

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Hot showers are now safer, easier to use and more ecologically efficient
Hot showers are now safer, easier to use and more ecologically efficient

Hot showers are now safer, easier to use and more ecologically efficient

A clever ‘low-fi’ shower technology is gaining in popularity due to its safety, as well as its ease of use and reduced water and energy consumption

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Excessively hot showers are a leading cause of burns and scalds in New Zealand, proving to be a particularly high risk for children, people in care and the elderly. However, there is a clever ‘low-fi’ shower technology that is gaining in popularity due to its safety, as well as its ease of use and reduced water and energy consumption.

In New Zealand, excessively hot tap water in baths, showers and sinks is the second most frequent cause of hot liquid burn or scald admissions to hospital, according to Safekids Aotearoa. Additionally, it reports that almost 40 per cent of New Zealand homes have tap water that is dangerously hot, and nearly 10 per cent have water that’s so hot that burns are almost inevitable.

However, thermostatic showers can help to address these issues and, even though they are a low-fi technology, they are clever and proven to work. “They have been extensively used in Europe, the US and parts of Asia and, in New Zealand, hospitals and care facilities have been using them for some time but, now, more and more people are looking to install thermostatic showers in their homes,” says Manny Boyack of bathroom specialists, Paterson.

“Thermostatic showers enable you to set the temperature to a predetermined temperature or different temperatures for different family members – so you can set it at 40 degrees Celsius, for example, and then adjust the pressure separately.” They do cost a bit more to buy than a traditional shower mixer, however Manny believes that the additional upfront price is balanced out over time through water and energy savings.

 

Water and energy consumption is a major concern as our population grows and more pressure is put on this natural resource. It is estimated that half the world’s population uses 95 litres of water per person per day and, here in New Zealand as well as other industrialised countries, we use more than 200 per person per day and our individual showers use an average of 15 litres per minute. Older styles of taps and showerheads use a lot more water than is required to do the job they do, so it is clear that we need a new revolution in showering.

“This will increasingly become an issue if we continue to experience low water supplies and restrictions during the summer, which we have been seeing in some parts of the country,” says Manny. For example, according to the MetService, January to June this year was the driest period on record for much of Auckland, Northland and the Waikato. 

 

“Shower users often jump into the shower and turn the level too hot and, then, too cold as they try to ‘tune’ the shower temperature, but you can imagine that even just a few seconds of too-hot water can impact on the amount of energy use and waste water that’s produced over time,” says Manny. “For a whole family, this can really mount up over days and years and, even, over generations.”

 

The new series of exposed thermostatic showers make a stunning design statement and are ‘uber’ practical with their built-in hand shower and rain heads, but they also easier fix. This is because the valve is external, rather than the shower valve being hidden behind the tiling or shower liner, as in a traditional shower. “The mechanics of a thermostatic column shower is exposed, with the valves sitting on the outside of the wall so, if there’s ever a plumbing issue, you don’t have to pull the wall apart to replace the parts,” explains Manny. “Our mixers are high quality and come with a 15-year warranty but, in reality, they should last a lot longer than that.”

Paterson has a number of ‘industrial art’ thermostatic shower options from major European brands, such as Villeroy & Boch, the clever designs of Graff of Europe, the simple delights of Steinberg of Germany, and the fantastic style and smooth charms of Fima from Italy. All four companies offer innovative, high-quality water-efficient solutions that marry aesthetics and functionality beautifully.

“Another advantage with universal thermostatic mixers is that you can match them with any tapware in the same colour option – chrome, brass or whatever,” says Manny.

The technology behind normal mixers and thermostatic showers can seem confusing. Both serve to balance water temperature and prevent burns, however thermostatic valves are widely regarded as far superior. While a traditional shower valve maintains a balanced flow of water between the hot and cold sides, it doesn’t actually sense the temperature of the water. On the other hand, thermostatic showers use a mechanism that actually senses the temperature of the water, rather than responding to the volume of flow between the hot and cold inputs.

 

A wax element inside the shower valve expands or contracts in reaction to heat, changing the amount of water coming in from each inlet. You typically set the water temperature and water volume with separate controls, so the temperature remains the same regardless of whether the water is dribbling or running full blast, and the next shower will automatically be set exactly where you left it. This makes water conservation much easier as you know once the water has mixed that it is at the right temperature; thus, structural and behavioural waste is reduced at the shower entry point.

 

When selecting shower products, you can determine if a product is water efficient by referring to the Water Efficiency Labelling Standards (WELS) Scheme in New Zealand that clearly labels taps and showerheads – choose models with three stars or more.

Paterson

Since 1955 Paterson has been providing leading edge solutions for fine bathroom design. In conjunction with our European partners Paterson is renowned for offering...

Recommended reading
Done tagging
Full screen
Hot showers are now safer, easier to use and more ecologically efficient

Hot showers are now safer, easier to use and more ecologically efficient

A clever ‘low-fi’ shower technology is gaining in popularity due to its safety, as well as its ease of use and reduced water and energy consumption

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Excessively hot showers are a leading cause of burns and scalds in New Zealand, proving to be a particularly high risk for children, people in care and the elderly. However, there is a clever ‘low-fi’ shower technology that is gaining in popularity due to its safety, as well as its ease of use and reduced water and energy consumption.

In New Zealand, excessively hot tap water in baths, showers and sinks is the second most frequent cause of hot liquid burn or scald admissions to hospital, according to Safekids Aotearoa. Additionally, it reports that almost 40 per cent of New Zealand homes have tap water that is dangerously hot, and nearly 10 per cent have water that’s so hot that burns are almost inevitable.

However, thermostatic showers can help to address these issues and, even though they are a low-fi technology, they are clever and proven to work. “They have been extensively used in Europe, the US and parts of Asia and, in New Zealand, hospitals and care facilities have been using them for some time but, now, more and more people are looking to install thermostatic showers in their homes,” says Manny Boyack of bathroom specialists, Paterson.

“Thermostatic showers enable you to set the temperature to a predetermined temperature or different temperatures for different family members – so you can set it at 40 degrees Celsius, for example, and then adjust the pressure separately.” They do cost a bit more to buy than a traditional shower mixer, however Manny believes that the additional upfront price is balanced out over time through water and energy savings.

 

Water and energy consumption is a major concern as our population grows and more pressure is put on this natural resource. It is estimated that half the world’s population uses 95 litres of water per person per day and, here in New Zealand as well as other industrialised countries, we use more than 200 per person per day and our individual showers use an average of 15 litres per minute. Older styles of taps and showerheads use a lot more water than is required to do the job they do, so it is clear that we need a new revolution in showering.

“This will increasingly become an issue if we continue to experience low water supplies and restrictions during the summer, which we have been seeing in some parts of the country,” says Manny. For example, according to the MetService, January to June this year was the driest period on record for much of Auckland, Northland and the Waikato. 

 

“Shower users often jump into the shower and turn the level too hot and, then, too cold as they try to ‘tune’ the shower temperature, but you can imagine that even just a few seconds of too-hot water can impact on the amount of energy use and waste water that’s produced over time,” says Manny. “For a whole family, this can really mount up over days and years and, even, over generations.”

 

The new series of exposed thermostatic showers make a stunning design statement and are ‘uber’ practical with their built-in hand shower and rain heads, but they also easier fix. This is because the valve is external, rather than the shower valve being hidden behind the tiling or shower liner, as in a traditional shower. “The mechanics of a thermostatic column shower is exposed, with the valves sitting on the outside of the wall so, if there’s ever a plumbing issue, you don’t have to pull the wall apart to replace the parts,” explains Manny. “Our mixers are high quality and come with a 15-year warranty but, in reality, they should last a lot longer than that.”

Paterson has a number of ‘industrial art’ thermostatic shower options from major European brands, such as Villeroy & Boch, the clever designs of Graff of Europe, the simple delights of Steinberg of Germany, and the fantastic style and smooth charms of Fima from Italy. All four companies offer innovative, high-quality water-efficient solutions that marry aesthetics and functionality beautifully.

“Another advantage with universal thermostatic mixers is that you can match them with any tapware in the same colour option – chrome, brass or whatever,” says Manny.

The technology behind normal mixers and thermostatic showers can seem confusing. Both serve to balance water temperature and prevent burns, however thermostatic valves are widely regarded as far superior. While a traditional shower valve maintains a balanced flow of water between the hot and cold sides, it doesn’t actually sense the temperature of the water. On the other hand, thermostatic showers use a mechanism that actually senses the temperature of the water, rather than responding to the volume of flow between the hot and cold inputs.

 

A wax element inside the shower valve expands or contracts in reaction to heat, changing the amount of water coming in from each inlet. You typically set the water temperature and water volume with separate controls, so the temperature remains the same regardless of whether the water is dribbling or running full blast, and the next shower will automatically be set exactly where you left it. This makes water conservation much easier as you know once the water has mixed that it is at the right temperature; thus, structural and behavioural waste is reduced at the shower entry point.

 

When selecting shower products, you can determine if a product is water efficient by referring to the Water Efficiency Labelling Standards (WELS) Scheme in New Zealand that clearly labels taps and showerheads – choose models with three stars or more.

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