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 Sewer Services 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 Sewer Services 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.
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.
- No Steam
The majority of problems that require our help at Nick’s Plumbing and Sewer Services 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 Sewer Service 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.
- 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 Sewer Services, 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 Sewer Services.
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 Sewer Services, 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.