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Why It’s Important To Choose A Good Shower Mixer

April 13, 2020

In the video below, you will start to appreciate the importance of a good shower mixer. There are many different types of shower mixers to choose from.  You can import them yourself or just walk down the road to your local Bunnings and purchase one. Does it matter which shower mixer you chose? Is quality and long durability important? Lets have a look at why its important to do your homework before committing to a shower mixer. 

If you are buying a shower mixer it will most likely be because of the following scenarios:

  1. You are installing a new shower and are in need of a new shower mixer.
  2. You are replacing an existing shower mixer that has failed failed or is leaking.
  3. You are upgrading an existing shower mixer from low pressure to mains pressure. 
  4. You are upgrading the whole shower unit and the shower mixer is part of that upgrade. 
  5. You are being told you need to replace the shower mixer. 

Depending on your scenario, just make sure to cover all your bases by going through a simple checklist before committing to a shower mixer. 

Why is it important? Because unlike “outside wall” fixtures, the shower mixer is a critical and complex plumbing component inside the wall. Once the shower mixer is in, You may tile or install expensive water proofing membrane. The last thing you want to do is cut walls open to repair a failed shower mixer! So whats the answer? Put the right product in the wall and save yourself cash and time.

#1 New Shower

A new shower means a new opportunity to add some features to your shower, such as a dumper to the additional spray. To switch between the spray and dumper you can use a Shower Mixer with a built in Diverter.  Some brands will sell you the full kit which makes it easy to plan your shower renovation, whilst some home owners love to pick and chose which parts they prefer in the shower. With the later, its very important to pick a quality diverter shower mixer because moving parts that are used regularly will be more prone to failure and / or maintenance.   

Diverter shower mixers

Diverter shower mixers allow you to choose between taking a shower or filling your bathtub (or using a second shower head such as ceiling dumper). It diverts water into the bathtub or into the shower head and vice versa.

In using diverter shower mixers, you need to adjust first the water temperature before activating the diverter and sending water to the shower head or to the bathtub.

Having a diverter shower mixer can save you space and money as compared to having a separate shower mixer for your bathtub and for your shower head.

#2 Replacing a damaged shower mixer.

The first thing people want to know is WHY. Why did the shower mixer fail? Why did it leak? Why did it blow up?

As demonstrated in the above video, a shower mixer can flood a home with no warning! Why?

Here a list of how these faults can occur and what you may be able to do to prevent a flood and even remedy the problem with your shower mixer at a reasonable cost

  1.  Over use:
    If your home only has one shower and 6 people are sharing that shower, you can do the math on how many times that handle will move up, down, left and right. Internal parts of a shower mixer are made of fragile plastic parts, the more wear and tear the more potential for damage. Knowing this, you may want to purchase a robust product or even consider a commercial model. Spend a few $$ more now and save 1000’s later. 





  2. Upgrading Pressure:
    When your hot water cylinder goes the last thing you think about about is your shower. If the plumber doesn’t mention it and you have upgraded from low pressure to mains pressure, you are at risk that your current shower mixer could fail and cause a flood. This can be prevented if your plumber follows some basic steps:
    1) Identify your current shower mixer brand and pressure rating. If this is not available, run an operating pressure test. Many shower mixers such as Felton which are popular in New Zealand have upgrade kits to mains pressure, avoiding a full replacement.
    2) Identify current low pressure setup. Is the low pressure system even or uneven (Balanced or unbalanced). When the low pressure system was originally installed several factors would have played a role resulting in the hot water setup you currently have. Some homes have a higher cold water pressure in comparison to the hot and some homes have an equal low pressure on hot and cold. 
  3. External Factors:
    External factors includes a range of things that may have taken place but you haven’t connected the dots yet because its seems unrelated. 
    Water main repairs are one of the leading causes for faulty shower mixers. When a water main is repaired (or any pipework in the system for that matter including recent renovations) almost always debris finds its way into the line. Next time you operate a toilet, shower, laundry etc this debris is heading your way. Depending on whether your home has a strainer/filter, debris will work itself into the smallest parts of your plumbing system. Suddenly taps are running slower and you may experience temperature fluctuation in your shower. This is mainly caused by blockages or prevention of a seal. A shower Mixer cartridge is a very fragile piece of your shower mixer, it is made up of mm thin washers and plastics that regulate hot and cold. If these are damaged or blocked, it may seem like you need a new shower mixer. The good news is you dont! If you have purchased a reputable brand you should be able to replace the cartilage. We hope your plumber will be able to identify this and make the right recommendations.  
    High Temperature: Modern shower mixers are less tolerant to high water temperatures. Thanks to tempering valves which are now becoming popular and a requirement as part of any new hot water installation. Manufactures dont have to use high grade materials anymore which offers them savings. As a result, many plastics simply cannot cope with 60+degrees water on a consistent basis.  They break down and faults begin to appear. If you are replacing your shower mixer but still have an old hot water system at home, please ensure you install a tempering valve or purchase a shower mixer that guarantees operation at 60-75+ Degrees Celsius. 

In Summery

Lower pressure

If your hot water pressure is lower than the mains cold water pressure, you need a lower pressure shower mixer (unbalanced). Low pressure hot water usually occurs because old hot water cylinders are not designed to handle high hot water pressure. With this in mind, you need to use a lower pressure shower mixer. Check the water rating on your hot water cylinder or best ask your plumber to help with your decision. 

Mains pressure

If your hot water pressure is strong and is equally strong with the mains cold water pressure, then you need a mains pressure shower mixer. If you want to know if you have mains pressure, just check the label of your hot water cylinder or best ask your plumber to help with your decision.

Shower Mixer Repairs

Shower mixer damage and problems may occur at any time. Common problems can be caused by blocked inlet filters, a damaged shower hose or or blocked shower head, among others plus shower mixer problems mentioned above.

Here are common shower mixer problems that you may encounter.

Intermittent flow of hot and cold water

The intermittent flow of hot and cold water is usually caused by a blocked shower head, kinked or damaged shower hose, or blocked inlet filters in the shower. The best repair solution for this is to clean the shower head and /or replace the shower hose. If non of the above work, it will most likely be an issue with the shower mixer itself. 

Permanent running of water (either hot or cold)

Despite your efforts of adjusting the temperature, your shower mixer still runs hot or cold water constantly. With this, the problem may be caused by blocked inlet filters and faulty non-return valves. If repairing the blocked inlet filters and faulty non-return valves still do not fix the problem, then you might need a new thermostatic cartridge. The only problem with this is that the cost of a new thermostatic cartridge is the same as or may even exceed the value of a new shower mixer.

Reduced water flow

This problem is also caused by blocked shower head, damaged shower hose and block inlet filters. Blocked filters on a pump may also be the reason for the reduced water flow. Since the pump is blocked, it prevents the boosting of the water supply to the shower. The best solution for this is to clean the showerhead with a descaler. You may also opt to change the showerhead or the shower hose if it is severely damaged.

As a trusted plumbing contractor in Aukland, New Zealand, we, at Euro Plumbing can repair your shower mixer by replacing the damaged parts to make it look and work like new.

We have highly-skilled professionals who are trained to repair any issues of any types and brands of shower mixers.

Moreover, if you want to change or upgrade your shower mixer, we have experts that can help you.

No matter how tight fit the shower mixer is in the wall, we have experts who can carefully and smartly cut the wall open to replace it with a new one. We will also use smart and good looking flanges to cover the hole if larger holes are needed.

When it comes to shower mixer repairs, you need the help of a professional to ensure the right repair is done. Avoid doing any do-it-yourself repairs or contacting an unlicensed contractor to do the job as this may only make the situation worse.

Moreover, it is important to buy a quality shower mixer to avoid any issues or problems in the future. Low quality or substandard shower mixers are damaged easily. They also tend to have a high maintenance cost. The cost of repairing a low-quality shower mixer is more expensive than just getting a new one. Furthermore, it can also put your safety at risk.

If you are looking for a quality shower mixer, we have listed a couple of good qualities that you can choose from. If you have an existing one and wanted to upgrade, we, at Euro Plumbing can always assist you.

Upgrading your shower mixer

Are you currently using a Felton low-pressure shower mixer or Toplis low-pressure shower mixers, among others, and wanted to upgrade?

We, at Euro Plumbing, can replace your old Felton or Toplis low-pressure shower mixer by carefully and smartly removing it.

We have experts that can help in the successful removal as well as the installation of your new choice of shower mixer.

We also do all the testing to make sure everything works fine.

If you are looking for the best shower mixers, here are our top 5 mains pressure shower mixers that can you can consider for upgrade.

Top 4 Mains Pressure Shower Mixers

1) Methven Futura Shower Mixer and shower mixer diverter

RRP (Incl GST): $464.00

Futura is New Zealand’s most popular mains shower mixer and shower mixer diverter. It’s state-of-the-art features allow users to combine everyday luxury with water efficiency. 


Some of its features include:

Smart water control 
Easy switching
Built to last
Safety Control

2) Hans Grohe

Price: $144.27

 

Hans Grohe has a wide range of good quality mains shower mixer.

This one is a Hansgrohe Pressure Balanced Valve Trim with Integrated Diverter

This wall-mounted shower mixer weighs about 2.39 pounds. It has a flow rate of 4.5 GPM and a water consumption of 1.5 GPM.

It has 2 handles and includes a Pressure Balanced Valve Trim.

3) Felton Mains Pressure

RRP (Includes GST) $212

This is one of the many lines of mains pressure shower mixer of Felton.

This is a Max Mains Pressure Shower Mixer. It is a quality metal faceplate with 35mm quality European cartridge.

4) EuroWare Shower mixer and diverter

Euroware is a relatively new brand in New Zealand. Their shower mixers and diverters have undergone stringent tests and quality control. They offer high quality products at competitive rates. 

Euroware are based in New Zealand and offer installation and repair services directly to their costumers which makes the whole process very attractive. 

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