Steam Shower: The Complete Buying Guide | Nick's Plumbing

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Complete Guide to Steam Shower Installation and Repair in Houston

For many Houstonians, the definition of a steam shower is a short walk around the block on a July day. There’s no need to invest in a steam shower when we have a naturally occurring one right outside our door most months out of the year.

But when the colder months of October settle in, and the drier air starts to rob your skin of that much-needed moisture. Or that persistent winter cough just won’t leave, you may long for a warm and soothing steam shower.

Steam showers are beneficial to maintaining your overall good health, from helping to alleviate some of the common cold symptoms to relaxing your muscles and releasing toxins from your body. Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning knows this well. We own a steam shower or two ourselves. When we’re not busy enjoying its benefits, we’re installing them for our customers.

What is a steam shower?

Steam showers use the cold-water supply in your home and an electric generator to create steam delivered through specially designed showerheads. The shower stall itself differs from a traditional one in that a steam shower is enclosed to keep steam from escaping into the bathroom. Steam showers will generally have a small bench-type seat, and larger enclosures may include a more extensive bench for two or more people. Steam showers are available in various materials, including tile, fiberglass, stone, and wood.

How long have steam showers been around?

Steam showers are believed to have been invented during the Roman Empire, where they were utilized as a health remedy and a social gathering spot, much like a modern gym. The Roman steam baths got their hot water from natural underground hot springs.

Is a steam shower the same as a sauna?

No. A sauna uses low humidity and high heat (up to two-hundred degrees) and is generally a wood construction. By comparison, a steam shower uses high humidity and lower temperatures (between one-hundred and one-hundred-twenty degrees). It looks more like a standard shower stall with tile and glass doors.

You will sweat more in a sauna, but since the body recognizes the wet steam as hotter than it is, a steam shower will feel as hot as a sauna.

How does a steam shower work?

When you’re ready for a steam, turn on the generator. Cold water piped into the steam generator will be heated to the boiling point.  The water then releases the vapor into your shower. The length of time it takes to steam up will vary by generator and by shower size. The digital controls inside the shower either on the wall or remote control will let you; the user adjusts the steam’s temperature and duration.

Can a steam shower be used as a regular shower?

Yes. A steam generator can be added to your standard everyday shower. There is no need to install a separate unit or stall.

Do I have to remodel my entire bathroom for a steam shower?

Naturally, the best time to consider installing a steam shower is when you’re remodeling your bathroom. However, you can put a steam shower in just about any bathroom that currently has a stand-alone shower with little modification. If you currently have a standard tub-and-shower in your bathroom, some modest changes will need to be made to enclose the new shower stall. Still, the rest of your bathroom can remain untouched.

How much water does a steam shower use?

Luckily, steam showers are eco-friendly. Many steam generators use just 2 gallons for a 20-minute steam. Every steam shower will use a different amount of water depending on several factors, including generator size and efficiency, number of steam heads, stall materials, and the size of the shower.

How do I pick the right size steam shower?

The size of your steam shower naturally depends on the size of your bathroom. Remember, even the smallest bathrooms can have a steam shower. They just need to have a more compact steam generator installed. You can also have a steam generator in a shower stall as small as 3ftx3ft.

We find that many of our customers focus too much on the size of the shower instead of the size of the generator when making their choice. Too small and it won’t produce enough steam. If it’s too large, it will produce too much steam for your shower space. That’s why an online sizing tool is essential to finding the right type of steam generator for your shower stall.

What to look for when selecting your steam generator?

  • Delivery speed- The superior models of steam generators take less than a minute to build a head of steam.
  • Auto-flush-This feature reduces the quantity of calcium deposits on the heating element. It saves you from having to perform a manual flush-out every 50 uses.
  • Remote Controls-You want to choose a steam generator that comes equipped with a remote control. That way, you won’t be obligated to get up from your seat or bench to adjust the steam or temperature.

How much does it cost to install a steam shower?

Including the steam generator unit installation through Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning ranges in prices from $4000-$6000.

Some of our clients opt for a straightforward steam shower installation with no bells and whistles. Others opt for mood lighting, surround sound, a pump for aromatherapy oils, and a custom tile enclosure, increasing the cost. It’s entirely your decision how much you want to spend on your steam shower. 

What are the most common steam shower repairs?

For the most part, a steam shower will require the same maintenance that your current shower requires.

  1. Mold

One of the most common problems is mold or mildew growing on the inside of your shower. Primarily if your steam shower gets used often and never has a chance to dry completely after each use. We suggest that after every use, you spray it down with an anti-mildew spray and leave the shower door slightly open to let the space dry.

  1. No Steam

The majority of problems that require our help at Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning stem from the electric-powered steam generator, which can be prone to failure after several years of use. Suppose your steam shower is not producing any steam at all. The first thing you want to do is to check the circuit breaker for the steam shower.

If checking and resetting the circuit breaker does not restore function to your steam shower, it’s time to give Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call. Seals and valves within your steam shower may be leaking, resulting in the steam that doesn’t reach your shower. Instead, it might be vented out by a faulty part.

  1. Low Steam Pressure

A lack of steam pressure is often the result of faulty seals. Several seals can be found throughout the supply lines and drain lines to the steam and outlet pipes. At Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we have the experience and knowledge to accurately check the fittings going into and coming out of the general steam unit. We’ll be able to verify if there’s evidence of a leak. 

Can I install a steam shower myself?

Installing a steam shower might sound like a simple enough idea. But installing one of these in your home requires the service of a few pros. Firstly you’ll need to find a professional that sells steam shower generators such as Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

Then you’ll need a tiling contractor and shower-door installer to build a steam-proof enclosure. When that is complete, one of our licensed master plumbers will bring in the steam shower generator you’ve chosen and hook it to all the necessary pipes. 

A licensed electrician will be able to hook up the generator’s electric cables and digital controls.

Though some online DIY websites may lead you to think that steam shower installation is quite simple, that it is something you can do yourself.  A licensed electrician and plumber need to be involved to ensure that all piping and wiring are accurately installed.

Steam shower repair & installation

If you’ve always envisioned your bathroom as your little spa retreat, including a steam shower, now’s the time to install it.  With the help of Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help transform your dreary bathroom into an oasis of relaxation. By contacting us, we’ll ensure that your installation will be a pain-free and professional experience.

We look forward to hearing from you.

More About Steam Shower Repair & Installation on The Potty Mouth Guys Show

Nick’s Plumbing  & AC Live Video Transcription:

Today’s show. It’s all about steam shower installation and repair in Houston.

I’m John Eccles, Richard Saad. Today we’re talking about steam showers in Houston, repairing them and installing them. Let’s try it, man. Dude, this, this is a product that’s become really popular over the last few years. Lot of customers are requesting and asking for them more than, you know, obviously before, um, you know, mainly because, you know, convenience, health and value. Right. That’s what we like to attribute it to. You know, convenience. No longer do you necessarily have to, you know, have a gym membership to experience this sort of comfort in your own home. Right. Which makes it a little bit easier. I can tell you all these new homes that we do, you know, the custom homes that we do, we’re putting a steam shower pretty much in all of them because they’re all doing these little home gems. Yeah. Right. And there’s so much health benefits, so many things that this will do for you.

Oh. And we’re basically putting these steam units in every house we’re doing. Oh yeah, yeah. The health benefits, you know, not only is it good for your muscles after workout, but it’s really going to pull and flush those toxins out of your skin and your body, which is really good. And then you said another thing, you know, we’re putting them all in ride the value. So it comes with a little bit of cost. But what we’ve been seeing, Ryan, what our customers have been telling us, it’s added to the resale. So they’re recouping a lot of that money that it’s cost but it in, so it’s adding some value to those homes, especially ones with those home gyms already built in as well. Right. You know, so I mean those are some good things and that’s probably why they’re popular. But you know, would that be and said, let’s start off, what is this thing?

Shower basically a generator you guys. So the way it looks, it’s a box. It’s bad like that and like that, um, goes in the attic and you put it in just like a water heater basically. And it delivers steam into the shower. That is the sole purpose of that generator. And within that shower you need to do some things to make sure that that scene stays within that shower. So you’re getting all the benefit of that steam. But it’s basically, it looks like a box goes somewhere. You can put it in the attic area, you can put it actually behind the shower if you’ve got room right. And then you run a line into the shower that delivers this thing. It is separate from your shower controls. Okay. People actually think I can control it from my shower controls, at least a few of approached me with that.

So you have an additional control for it. You have additional control for that. So now your shower takes a two prong approach. You can bathe in it or shower in it. And then you have this other function, which is the straight of steam shower, which I absolutely love it at the gym. You know, I’d really be interested in maybe having one of these put my home. Oh they’re awesome. Yeah, I’ve used it. How long they’ve been around. You guys are gonna Laugh, but they’ve been around since the Roman times. They had been getting the benefit, they just didn’t have the generation port a generator portion of it. So how would they do that? So the whole thing is old Julius Caesar, right? They would have natural hot springs and those natural hot springs areas is where they would congregate and have social gatherings and it was almost a natural steam shower where we’re talking about, you know, creating that through, uh, advances in modern science and things of that nature.

They did it in a much more um, nature impacted way, but at the same benefits, same kind of thing. Right. Um, the steam would come up, do the same thing that we’re talking about in their own natural, you know, cave area. They learned early on that it really helps detoxifying the body. Yeah. Yeah. They were really the understanding and vendor, not inventors, but they really understood the benefit of that one. I think that’s where you see the translation. So you got the early ages, big social gathering area, right, of these natural hot springs where the steam is going. Then it went to what Jim’s right. And they are so low. It’s a big room that multiple people sit into. Well now we’re taking it a step further. Personalize steam shower for the customer. That’s right. Right. Can you use that steam the same time you’re taking a shower?

That’s a good question. Can you? Yes. Really? Yes. Oh, so you can use the steam portion of it and take a shower at the same time? I guess separate because they’re separate controls. That’s exactly right. So you can completely steam up your shower if you want. Uh, they right. I’d probably be really relaxing, very relaxing. It is. So I know that when I go to the gym, I see both. So I’m going to ask, is a steam shower the same as a sauna? Different. Okay. How is it different? So, um, I know, cause I really liked the sauna is as much as, that’s why I’m asking you because I know, you know. Yeah. So the sauna is a low humidity, extreme high heats situation. So they use almost zero humidity at temperatures upwards around 200 degrees. Right. Whereas the steam shower or the steam rooms is a much higher humidity with still a high temperature.

But lower than that 200 it’s a high committee with probably about 120 degree temperature, which is what really creates, right. Without humidity, you can’t have this theme, so obviously. Right, right. So yeah. So those are the kind of the differences that a go along with those. The Sauna, you just feel like you’re baking. Oh yeah. You know when you’re, when you’re sitting in there and you’re adding on those rocks, you’re adding a little bit of water in there. It’s producing the stain, but it is so hot. You’re not going to get that exact same feeling from having the generator into your shower. The steam unit, I mean, it’s going to be a different feeling. It’s not nearly as hot feeling can can use in this theme, shower, reduce my water usage should not have anything to do with that. So it’s still efficient and stuff like that. Right. Okay. Yeah. Very efficient. I see your question now uses very little water. Really? Yeah, very little because it’s converting the water into the steam. Right, right. So it’s not using a ton of water to do that. Hmm. Interesting. After you’re using it in combination with taking a shower, then of course you’re using more water.

How hard is it to install one? It’s from the, from a plumbing perspective. If your house is already built and your shower backs up to a sheet rock wall, we can take it down that sheet rock wall, as long as your attic is above it and we can install that. Um, if you’re not on a sheet rock wall, that’s going to be a problem. You’re looking at a different remodel. Okay. Um, more destructive. Okay. There are some things that you’re going to have to do, like you’re gonna have to put glass all the way to the top. So all the steam stays in that shower closed off completely. It’s gotta be closed off completely. Okay. So, and saying that we can get it in as long as you’re on a sheet rock wall. If not, then we’ll have to explain, okay, well we’ve got a demo, this and that to get it in.

Okay. If your master bathroom is on the first floor, right, and you got a second floor above, those are hard to get in. Okay. And let me explain because we need to put that generator in the attic or we’ve got to put it into a queue outside wall closet so I can get the temperature and pressure release valve to go outside. Oh, Gotcha. Right. Okay. Much complicated install. Right. But we can still get it in. Okay. So are we just go through the attic and we got to carry a line down from the attic down the second story to the first story and put it into the shower. So then it can be done regardless, but there’s gonna be very in degrees to correct your current situation. Obviously new home is very easy, right? You just got her report. But if you have an existing shower, depending on that location or even existing tub, right, we can take out a tub and put a liner in, in shower in there.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Depending on what your current setup is and where it’s set up compared to the home, single story, two story. So there’s varying degrees on how much remodel will have to be done. Then it also depends. It depends on what steam generator that you purchase. Okay. Because some only allow us to carry the piping distance x. Okay. While other ones allow us to have a longer pipe distance. Okay. And that will depend on where you can put that generator. Does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely. I hope that makes sense everybody. It makes sense to me. But you know, the good news is I was thinking about is is we offer estimates. Correct? You’re not sure. Right. And you want to get some information, you can always ask and we can always come out and look at your set up, see what’s going on, and then tell you kind of what degree of difficulty it’s gonna be and what it would cost to get it done.

You know? That’s right. So what if, so what if I have one of these, what are some typical repair problems that come up? Like if it’s not working, what are some of the easy troubleshooting things that could possibly happen? Check circuit breaker. That’s number one. Make sure your circuit breaker did not get thrown off for some reason to where you’ve got to put it back on. That’s number one number to go up into the attic and, and make sure that you’re getting water. Make sure nobody turn the valve off for some reason or somebody messed with it and make sure there’s still water open to it. Absolutely. So those are really the only two things as a homeowner you’re going to be able to do if the power’s on in, in, because this is, I’ve never worked on one of these, right? I’ve only seen them installed.

Can the generator because it can it fail itself. I’m sure it can, right? I mean, it’s mechanical, it’s mechanical. It can fail and sometimes we can fix those and sometimes we cannot. Now these are all electric or electric. Do they make gas ones? They do not. Okay, so it’s all electric. Okay, so an electric units, I’m sure that, okay. That’s why he said circuit breaker, Duh. That hello, wake up. Um, so obviously if that’s not it, then they’re probably could be some sort of electrical component or something like that. Something’s gone out, Peter Gone. It’s gone out. Something’s going out on it to where the weather, maybe we can fix it and maybe we cannot. Okay. Seems pretty simple. It is. And I’m sure once you get past the troubleshooting portion of it, right? So this is an exciting product, man. This is, um, you know, if, if you’re interested in a steam shower installation or you already have one and you need a repair, give us a call. We’d be happy to assist you in it and then point you in the right direction. We say this all the time, call us up. We’re so happy to give you all the information that we have. You know, Richard or I were always at the office and you know, even if you don’t use Nick’s, we’d love the points in direction and give you some information. Yeah. And even if we don’t have the answer for you, we know where to get the answer. Absolutely. And we will then relay that message back.

I think that’s all we got for today. Right. Thank you guys. Thank you so much. Give us a call.

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