Parts of Shower– Needless to say, a good shower relieves us of stress and is an instant mood enhancer. Let us not forget the original showers that our ancestors enjoyed – cool, refreshing waterfalls!! Man, however always improvises and so, he thought up a way to add temperature control to this kind of a shower and our bathroom showers took shape.
So, we now regularly enjoy refreshing showers, whether tepid, hot or cold. Though we use this enjoyable invention everyday, have we ever stopped to think about the various components in the shower that make our morning showers possible?
If you are wondering if this is really necessary, then yes it is. Of course we have our go to plumbers for any problem that we face with our showers. However, there are many such problems that we can solve without relying on plumbers if we know about the various parts of the shower. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So let us go ahead and look at the different parts of a shower.
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The Shower Head
The element of the shower that is most apparent to us is called the shower head. This part of the shower could be made of chrome, brass, rubber or copper and ensures a continuous supply of water to the person who is bathing. The water needs to be distributed evenly and so, there are small holes in the shower head which manage this.
In fact, we have different types of shower heads and some of them give us the option of adjusting the flow of water by changing the rapidity and power. A steel hose connects the shower head to pipes that serve as the source of water to the shower. Apart from these options, we can also choose the shape of the shower head according to our taste. The most popular version is the round shape, but square showerheads are also available.
Regulations in water management have led to a lot of advancement in the designs of showerheads. The arm and the escutcheon are the integral parts of showerheads. The arm is actually a small tube made of metal that connects the shower head to the source of water – the pipes- through the wall.
This tube serves as a channel for the passage of water from the source to the dispensing showerhead. A hole in the wall is made to allow entry of the arm and this definitely cannot be exposed. So, escutcheons or flanges are used to conceal it. The ornamental escutcheons make your bathroom look stylish in addition to serving a purpose.
The Shower Valve
The shower valve is an important part of the shower as it regulates a lot of things. Firstly, it manages the spraying of water from the shower head. Secondly, it regulates the temperature of the water. Thirdly, it also controls fluctuations in the pressure of the water being dispensed.
As a result of all this, the shower valve is instrumental in ensuring that we have a soothing bath. We cannot however see this component as it is hidden behind the wall. The shower valve is available in two types:
Pressure balancing shower valves : Before talking about these shower valves, let us look at some problems we face while taking a shower. If someone else in the house uses another bathroom, when we are bathing, the pressure of the water suddenly drops, leaving us with little water and a lot of irritation!
At times, we could get hurt because the water gets hot all of a sudden. The pressure balancing shower valves correct both these situations and thus ensure a good and safe bath. So, we use one valve for both these purposes.
Thermostatic shower valves: These valves are different from the pressure balancing shower valves as they have two controls instead of one. These two controls are used for the same purposes as the pressure balancing valves: to control the temperature and pressure of the water. These valves are expensive and are usually found in plush bathrooms.
The Shower Pan
The most obvious of all the parts is the shower pan. We have no option but to look at it just before we have our bath. I am sure you have guessed what it is by now. Yes. It is the portion ear marked for us to stand in when we are in our shower.
It is placed just below the shower head in such a way that no water is wasted. There is something to remember about this part of our bath. The shower pan should never leak. If it does leak, then unfortunately, it will lead to the the floor rusting.
If a leak is repaired as soon as we spot it, we can save the floor of course. Though shower pans come in a variety of materials, the most preferred is Chloraloy, which is made from a light weight rubber layer. This is held together with PVC cement like concrete.
The Water Supply Pipe
The hot and cold water that comes to us from the water supply is channelled through a pipe known as the water supply pipe. Each shower has two systems made of pipes. The pressurised water supply system brings us cold and hot water required for our bath.
The drain pipe, on the other hand, pulls dirty water into the drain, thus essentially helping to get rid of waste. The drain pipes are normally bigger than the water supply pipes.
Galvanised steel was used to make these water pipes some time ago and hence, you will find them in houses that are old. Copper then started replacing galvanised steel. So, an old house that has been renovated will be fitted with these copper water supply pipes.
These pipes tend to decay and the sediments can affect the supply of water. Therefore, if you notice a drop in the water level, you should check for sediments, and get the pipes refitted to solve the problem.
People still opt for copper as material for these pipes, but, undoubtedly, CPVC plastic or PEX pipes are getting to be more and more popular. This is because they do not cost much and are very easy to fit.
Shower Drain and Shower Strainer
All the waste water in the shower is sent out through the drain system. While these were made with galvanised steel earlier, currently, they are made with PVC plastic. The following are the different parts of a drain:
The drain cover:
At the point where the drain system starts, there is a cover called the drain cover. It is made either out of metal or plastic. In a shower pan, you will find it in the centre and in a tub, it is located at the bottom. Before the water reaches the drain system, it flows through this drain cover.
The drain tailpiece:
These water tight pipes are normally made of chromed brass or plastic. They are tightly attached to the hole in the shower pan.
Drain P- trap
There are possibilities of sewage gases in the bathroom. The drain P-trap is a part of the shower strainer and it effectively prevents problems because of sewage gases. It drains out water that is collected in the bathroom. In case of a blocked drain, this can be opened and emptied.
The trap arm
The trap arm, which forms the tail end of the P trap, is a short-level pipe. It tilts downwards marginally.
The Shower Cartridge
The shower cartridge is an important part of the shower as it controls the release of hot and cold water. When the trigger in the shower is pulled, the shower cartridge also moves. When it moves back and forth, it releases cold and hot water as required.
The Shower Hose
This hose serves as the connection between the tub and the shower outlet. It has been made stretchable so that we can control the flow of water.
The Waste Outlet Pipe
As the name indicates, this pipe flushes out waste.
The Shut-Off Valves
These valves manage the supply of water to the shower pipes. Opening these valves ensures that water flows into the pipes. Shutting them cuts off the water supply to the pipes completely.
If you’re in the market for a new shower, be sure to keep these things in mind. You may not need all of the features offered by most high-end showers, and some of them can even end up being more trouble than they’re worth. By understanding what’s available and what each part of a shower does, you’ll be able to choose the perfect one for your needs.