Pressure Balance Showers vs Thermostatic Showers

Picture this: You step into the shower after a long day and immediately feel your stress wash away. You think to yourself, "Is this even real? This is the best shower of my life." The temperature of the water is perfect, and the pressure hits just right. The shower gods must be shining down on you because this rendition of Shake it Off that you're signing would call for a standing ovation by Taylor Swift herself. But then, out of nowhere, your shower takes an awful turn, and you're hit with scalding water. You quickly retreat to the farthest corner of the tub, praying that you don't meet your demise because you have shampoo in your eyes, and all it takes is one slip. You wait for the steam to subside, step back in, and are shocked by what feels like glacial water with barely enough pressure to rinse the suds off. 

And now you have trust issues.

Sound familiar? While probably not as dramatic, almost everyone has experienced this at some point. The culprit? A family member decided to flush the toilet while another one decided to run the dishwasher. (How dare they?) When a toilet flushes, its tank quickly fills back up, diverting all the cold water from your shower, leaving you to boil al dente. Similarly, when the dishwasher runs, it uses hot water, and you're left with cold tap water and a decline in pressure. But it doesn't have to always be like this — there is a way out.

Pressure balance and thermostatic showers can now balance temperature and pressure, allowing you to enjoy your shower in temperature-controlled comfort — independent of how much water is used elsewhere in the house. Keep reading to learn the key differences between the two and which Vogt shower system might be for you.


Pressure Balance

As the name implies, pressure balancing valves measure the pressure ratio of hot and cold water entering to ensure consistent pressure and temperature. When a toilet flushes or runs a load of laundry, pressure balance showers compensate by monitoring changes in the cold-to-hot ratio and adjusting the hot water flow appropriately. 

A pressure-balancing shower control has a single handle that regulates the water's volume and temperature. The temperature is proportional to the volume of water, and vice versa. However, you may experience a change in pressure when entering water temperature fluctuates.

When you switch on a pressure-balance shower, the water will come out as a cold, low-flow stream. As you turn the handle farther, the volume will rise in tandem with the warmth. If you're the type who enjoys a light pitter patter of steaming hot water, the pressure balance shower might not be for you. Also, if you have an overhead shower and a handheld shower or body spray, they cannot run simultaneously on a pressure balance system.


Thermostatic showers also perform as their name implies — by maintaining a constant water temperature. Thermostatic valves detect water temperature changes and combine hot and cold water to produce a consistent, ideal temperature.

Thermostatic showers are a good safety feature, especially if someone in your household is elderly or has limited mobility. It will also keep kids safe from scalding as the water will not exceed the maximum specified on the shower control.


The thermostatic shower has two handles, so you can adjust two shower components: volume (or water pressure) and temperature. The water temperature is controlled by one handle, which may be set to your preferred temperature at all times, while the second handle is used to switch the shower on and off. Once you've found it, you won't have to look for it every time you shower unless you share the washroom with someone else who has a different temperature preference. Thermostatic showers allow the temperature of the water to remain constant regardless of flow volume, so the water remains cold, warm, or hot, whether on full blast or a gentle trickle.

Unlike pressure balance showers, the distinct volume and temperature settings of a thermostatic shower also allow you to utilize more than one shower head at once. In other words, feel free to run that rainhead, handheld, and body spray all at once — you deserve it.

It comes down to preference

Many people find balance controls to be more user-friendly, while others prefer the feature of "set and forget" that comes with thermostatic showers. Regardless of your preference, Vogt carries both and can help you pick the perfect shower for many more encore performances of Taylor Swift's Greatest Hits.

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