Thermostatic faucets: variations, device and connection
- How does it work?
- Manufacturers Overview
- How to choose?
- How to use?
- Pro tips
Today it is difficult to find a residential building where a water tap or mixer would not be installed. Their main disadvantage is that they are very dependent on water pressure in the water supply system. The stability of their work is often in doubt, which is why there may be problems with the water temperature - it will be cooler or hotter.
You can not pay attention to this, but there are cases when the difference between the pressure in the hot water supply and in the cold is so great that it is difficult not to notice. At some point, you can just burn your hands with hot water. To prevent this, there are so-called thermostatic mixers.
According to the standards that are in force in our country, the temperature of the water in the hot water supply mechanism is not constant. It can range from fifty to seventy degrees. Agree that this is quite a serious scatter. Employees of public utilities will be happy with this situation, because they should not worry about going beyond the standard indicators. But consumers have to put up with certain inconveniences. For example, it is necessary to carry out the installation of various adjustment devices, or to correct water supply. That is why a thermostatic mixer will be needed. This is a device with a thermostat that allows you to see the temperature of the water entering the faucet.
In total there are 3 groups:
- based on mechanics;
Mechanics will be the most affordable. Adjustment is carried out using a conventional valve or lever. The other two categories have a range of electronic components that require electrical power.
How does it work?
The main characteristic that thermostatic taps have is that they can maintain a constant water temperature, regardless of the changes that may occur in the water supply system. Electronic thermostatic faucet for a bath or washbasin can have a memory where you can save water parameters that suit users. Before you begin to wash, simply select the desired program, and the thermostatic mixer independently adjusts the water temperature.
This solution allows you to quickly adjust the water to the desired temperature level and not wait until you adjust the water, as in the presence of mechanics. In addition, it is very economical.
To understand how such a device works, it is necessary to understand the principle of its operation, which is quite simple. The main thing in the design of such a thermostatic solution is a special thermostatic cartridge or, as it is also called, a cartridge. It is made of materials with a large rate of expansion of the temperature type. For this reason, it will react very strongly and quickly even to minimal temperature changes. Typically, such a thermostatic cartridge is made either of bimetallic plates, or simply filled with wax. This is what allows the crane to respond as quickly as possible to a temperature drop. In this case, the user does not have time to feel the changes.
And the process of temperature regulation occurs automatically by using a special adjustment screw., which is directly connected to the chuck. To set the required value manually, there is a control knob with a blocking button (for models of mechanical type). It limits the maximum temperature to 38 degrees. If you need water a little warmer, then just click on the button and select the temperature.
Another important element of such a cartridge is a thermostatic safety lock. Its function is to block the water supply if the temperature starts to exceed 80 degrees. This allows you to significantly increase the safety of the person and save him from burns. You should also be aware that the thermostatic mixer can only regulate water flows, but can not change the temperature. For this reason, turning off the water in emergency situations will be the best way out.
Also the constituent elements of such a mixer will be:
- a ceramic cartridge that provides a change in the pressure of the liquid at the outlet of the mixer;
- temperature control head for different types of water;
- a control head that regulates the head with a designation of positions that correspond to the off and on states.
Thermostatic mixers can be presented in various models. We list the most common ones.
The first type will be an option for the shower. This model is distinguished by the absence of a nose or spout, this option is usually used in the bathroom. It is considered standard and has a shower head that switches to a standard spout. It can be made in different versions, but the most classic is the tubular version, equipped with toggle switches on the edges.
There are solutions of the wall type, as well as faucets, embedded in the side of the bath.
Another model is designed for the sink. This is a vertical faucet, which has no parts other than the spout. There may be two solutions - it can be a wall or mounted on the surface of the sink.
Another option - a faucet for the shower. Confuse it with a model for the shower should not be. It does not have spouts or watering cans. Simply put, this is the most common core that connects to the entire system using tubes.
Another option that should be mentioned is a mixer built into the wall. In this version, the bundle includes a special box for wall mounting by flush mounting.
Above it was said that the crane can be mechanical or electronic. About them should say a little more detail.
Mechanical type models equipped with thermostats have the following components:
Their advantages will be:
- quick response to temperature changes.
The only drawback is the need to set parameters manually. The electronic tap is a touch mixer that is controlled either by it or by keys. Typically, these faucets have screens on liquid crystals, where the temperature of the water is displayed, as well as its pressure.
One of their types are contactless models of infrared type, which are equipped with sensors. Their kind will also be a contactless infrared automatic mixer. This option is interesting because it is regulated either by remote control or remotely.
The advantages of such models will be high regulation accuracy and comfort during use.
Of the minuses, we note the high price and technical complexity of mounting the device.
While the mechanical models are autonomous, an electronic power supply is required. As a rule, we are talking about a battery or a network adapter. In addition, thermostatic solutions differ significantly in their design. For example, besides solutions of a universal type, quite specific constructions are also found here. For example, there are taps intended only for the kitchen, for a shower or for a bidet.
When choosing a faucet with a thermostat, whatever it may be - batch, single lever, mechanical, electrical or any other, one should prefer solutions that are made either specifically for use in domestic water supply, or models from well-known European brands.
To date, many foreign manufacturers have mastered the production of such equipment specifically for domestic standards and requirements. It is these models that are worth looking for, so that even a person who is not well versed in these matters could quickly carry out the installation.
It is necessary to distinguish the categories of solutions with thermostats. For example, there are thermostatic solutions that are intended for the heating mechanisms of the valve, as well as models specifically for showers and sinks.
You can find models with built-in thermostat from manufacturers such as:
- Finnish company Oras;
- Italian manufacturers Cezares and Gattoni;
- German companies Hansa, Vidima, Grohe, Kludi;
- manufacturer from Denmark Lemark;
- Japanese company Toto;
- Turkish company NSK.
There are also domestic manufacturers - Iddis, as well as SmartSant. Speaking generally, the products of German companies in this area are the best. But other brands try to keep up with their German colleagues and offer users solutions in various price categories. Very strongly when choosing a manufacturer, reviews of people who have already purchased this or that technique of this kind can help.
If we talk about Grohe mixers, users note that such models are durable, although they do not cope well with domestic water supply systems. As an example, users cite the situation when warm water comes from a cold faucet, and the faucet lowers the temperature and simply blocks hot water in parallel.
Also, users write that at low temperatures hot water tap does not provide the desired flow. Although when everything is in order, to use this option is very nice. Many say that it is desirable to supply water to it, which previously passed through the filter.
Users also note the high quality of the mixers from Hansgrohe. Thermostat mixers from this brand are a solution that is quite simple to operate and can not only change the water pressure, but also regulate its temperature. On the case there are designations of regulators, which is very convenient, so it becomes impossible to confuse the buttons. There are also keys on the regulators, which exclude the transfer of the device in an extreme mode of operation.
So, you should choose mixers by several criteria:
- the country of manufacture of the device;
- readiness for work in the Russian conditions;
- feedback from users who have already purchased this or that model.
Models for bidets and baths must be adapted to domestic standards, otherwise you will have to completely change the pipe configuration, which would entail serious additional expenses. And, of course, the manufacturing company will be an important factor in choosing this type of mixer. Models from German manufacturers will be the most reliable.
How to choose?
If you want to choose a high-quality thermostatic mixer, then it should be said that the first criterion to which attention should be paid is the material from which the device is made. If, for example, we are talking about brass, bronze, copper, then such solutions will be expensive, but at the same time very durable. Ceramic models are not so reliable, but have a nice appearance. Silumin models are very cheap, but their durability is extremely small. And plastic has a low price and is rather unreliable. Another factor that will help you make the right choice will be the material of the shut-off valve. Valves made of rubber and leather wear, as a rule, very quickly. Their wear rate is very high, which is why it is better to choose models with a ceramic valve. They are more durable.
You should also be aware that when choosing, it is necessary to take into account the fact that it will be necessary to install check valves and coarse filters if they are not in the thermomixer itself. In addition, when choosing such equipment, it will be extremely important to find out from the seller how to connect water pipes to it. If you attach them incorrectly, the thermostat will simply break.
If you need to make the connection of this type of mixer with your own hands, then it would not be superfluous to know that this process does not differ much from the installation of the ordinary tap itself. You only need to know exactly where the connection of hot and cold water to the faucet. If you make a mistake, then the failure of the device is guaranteed. If there is no possibility to deploy the mixer, then it is necessary to change the supply pipelines. This is best done if you apply the so-called flexible hoses. But there is a possibility that it will be necessary to rebuild the entire layout of the plumbing mechanism right next to the faucet to be mounted.
If we talk briefly about the installation procedure, it will be as follows:
- First, shut off the water supply, both hot and cold;
- we carry out dismantle of the mixer which already is;
- we mount eccentric discs with dilution for a new mixer;
- we install gaskets and decorative elements;
- fasten the thermostatic mixer to the right place;
- Now we install parts of the mounted type;
- open the valve and carry out a test of the device, which is installed;
- we regulate the temperature of the water that comes from the thermostat mixer.
In order to eliminate the possibility of leakage, you should use a fum-tape, tow or their equivalent. On the water supply should be installed check valves, as well as coarse filters.
The mixer of this type is extremely sensitive to the quality of the water that enters it. It will not be superfluous to take care that there is no sediment such as sludge in the liquid.
Difficulties may arise when it is necessary to install a separate mixer. It will be necessary to prepare a place for the main part in advance, in which the thermal regulator is integrated, and to properly attach the pipe.
If there is a hidden installation in the wall, then only a spout will be visible from it, as well as buttons or a knob regulating the thermostat. All other elements must be covered with decor. The interior of such a bath will be beautiful, but if the thermostat breaks down, it will be necessary to break the wall, as well as to disassemble the tile.
If in this case it is necessary to adjust the thermostat, then this can be done using a special adjustment screw or a valve, which is located under a special protective cover. This can be done with a screwdriver and a conventional thermometer. If calibration is not carried out, then the temperature at the valve and in reality can differ quite substantially.
How to use?
After installing such a mixer, it is necessary to ensure the symmetry of cold and hot water supply, so that the temperature control is as accurate as possible. The location of the taps is also important - the cold water tap should be on the right and the hot tap on the left. Otherwise, such a device will not work. If the design provides another option, then the valve will either have to be turned over, or you must first connect small hoses to the pipes so that you can install the mixer as you need. But in the market you can find both right-handed and left-handed models.
After installation, it is necessary to adjust the thermostat. The fact is that the mixer can be designed for a temperature of 55 degrees, and water will flow from the tap, for example, 59 degrees. This may cause malfunctions. To perform the adjustment, it is necessary to remove the cover and calibrate the temperature values with the help of the handle and the thermometer.
You should also decide before installation what type of thermostat you will install - open or closed. With the first, everything is simple, but in the case of the second you will need to tinker. They are mounted in the wall, and if you need to perform repairs or simply clean them of debris, you will have to dismantle the tile and break the wall. A cleaning will have to, as from time to time filters that are installed before the tap. need to change.
Before buying a particular mixer model, you should clearly know what the temperature of the water that flows into your home. For some time it will not be superfluous to measure it, after which it will be possible to choose a device that will work ideally with precisely such temperature parameters.
Before buying, you should decide what type of model you need - embedded or open. Also, it will not be superfluous to decide what material the crane should be made from. The advantages and disadvantages of each type can be simply read above. In addition, do not neglect the installation of special filters. Otherwise, the failure of such a mixer will be a matter of time. Also, do not neglect the implementation of the adjustment valve. If it is designed for one temperature, and the water from the tap is hot, then sooner or later such a mixer will fail.
Another important tip is to choose thermostatic taps based on reviews. This will allow you to choose a truly reliable model that will last more than one year.
Selection of thermostatic mixers for the home is a difficult process that requires a conscious approach and an understanding of all its actions. Even before purchasing a particular model, it is necessary to take into account all the main points and imagine what your kitchen or bathroom will look like and what type of faucet will be installed there. But thanks to the advice outlined above, you can accurately find a high-quality and interesting model that will serve for a long time and ensure comfortable use of water in your home.
How easy it is to install a Grohe thermostatic bath faucet, see the following video.