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Benefits and cautionary notes and technical information on using Steam
Saunas and steam rooms both use heat therapeutically, but they do it in different ways. Essentially, a sauna uses dry heat, while a steam room incorporates high humidity and warmth. Both open up the pores of the body, helping them to eliminate toxins through sweat, ease joint pain, improve circulation, relax bathers, and strengthen the immune system. Which one you use is a matter of personal preference; most people who cannot endure the dry heat of a sauna, for example, greatly enjoy a steam room. A sauna uses a heater or a wood burning stove in an enclosed room to elevate the temperature, usually above 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius). In a traditional dry sauna, sauna bathers sit or lie in the sauna to absorb the warmth, which elevates the internal temperature, stimulates blood flow, and opens up the pores. After a set period in the sauna, the bather jumps out into a cold plunge or shower, and then rests at room temperature before entering the sauna for another round. Some saunas incorporate small amounts of steam, usually in the form of cold water which is sprinkled on the sauna heater, or rocks placed on top of the sauna stove. Often, the water is mixed with essential oils such as lavender to relax or eucalyptus to improve to ease muscle pain and kill germs. The brief burst of humidity caused by the steam makes the sauna feel more hot, and can in fact scald sauna bathers if the sauna is too hot, causing the steam to boil the skin it contacts. For this reason, water is used sparingly in a sauna. A steam room is maintained at a much lower temperature, usually not more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), but the humidity is kept very high: usually around 100%. Bathers who enter a steam room are usually immediately surrounded by a cloud of vapor, and sit or lie on benches to absorb the benefits of steam. The cooler temperature makes steam rooms more bearable for some people, and also helps asthmatics and other people suffering from breathing conditions. In the case of both a sauna and a steam room, bathers should immediately exit if they feel at all unwell, and they should also drink plenty of fluids. Drinking fluids helps the body to eliminate toxins through sweating, and also prevents dehydration, which often causes dizziness and fainting. If you are in a public sauna or steam room and notice someone feeling unwell, help him or her out and hail a bath attendant to assist. Notes regarding steam generator The steam generator operates between 220-240v. The steam generator has a maximum output capacity of 2.8 @ 220V which will increase to 3kw at between 230 240 V. Where the voltage to the electronics of the shower is below 230v the steam generator will operate at a lower capacity meaning it may take longer to achieve the desired cabin temperature or fail to reach higher temperature settings. Steam Temperature Please also note that many other factors can affect the ability of the steam shower to achieve the desired temperature. The fabric of the shower will absorb some of the temperature increase, the number of occupants, internal volume of the shower, ambient room temperature, power voltage fluctuations, lime scale build up, water type (soft, hard, desalinated). The temperature of the shower is calculated from the temperature probe location which varies depending upon model.
How do I go about getting replacement parts after warranty is expired?
We stock all replacement parts for all models. All parts will be instock and available. If your shower is still under Warranty, then these parts will be supplied free from the relevant manufacturer. If your shower is out of Warranty, there will be a charge for the parts, please call the Customers Service Team to arrange replacement parts.
What do I need to know or purchase before I fit my shower?
Checklist for installing a steam Shower: WATER This needs to be between 1-3 bar (ideally look to have 2-3 for maximum results).If you have a Combi Boiler, you WILL need a Pressure Equalising value (PEV). These cost around £70-80 and balance the water pressures. This protects the Thermostatic valve from damage and prolongs its life.If you have a low pressure water systems, such as Gravity fed, you may need a Shower Pump. Ideally a twin impellor pump with a rating of around 2-3 bar. This will increase the water pressure.For other systems, ensure you have ideal water pressures, if not, a pump will allow you to do so. Please consult your plumber or ourselves for more advice. ELECTRICITY Most of our Steam Showers require a single 13amp connection. Whirlpool steam showers, require 2 x 13amp.The shower should be connected via isolated fused spurs. If your mains board (consumer unit) has RCDs fitted, then REMOVE the ones fitted to the power cables of the shower. FLOOR:The floor should be smooth and level. The floor under and around the shower MUST be level . Tiling only up to the shower stops the cabin to be slid away from the wall if required. Carpet, carpet tiles, lino, vinyl flooring should NOT be used as it will not allow free movement of the shower for installation and service. DO NOT site sinks, bidets, baths etc too close so as to inhibit the shower being slid away from the wall.The back walls of the shower are not transparent, so tiling behind is not normally required.Although fitting edging or boxing around the shower can be done, please note that should you need to gain access behind the shower at a later point, such as for servicing, then this may need to be removed.
How does the shower arrive?
Our showers and steam showers are all supplied in a number of boxes (normally 3-5). The largest box in most cases is the tub/base. All boxes are able to pass through most standard doorways. Since most bathrooms are located on the upper floors in a building, care and thought should be given to if and how the boxes/contents will navigate stairwells. Often stairwells are narrow and have lower height regions, corners and banisters. Also remember that once the shower is fitted, access must be considered to enable access behind the cabin for servicing and installation, so the position of toilets and sinks, should not inhibit.
Will the tub/tray support my weight?
The tub/bases in our units are all supported by a steel framework, this means that unlike some other products on the market they will not bend or move when you stand in them. This gives you a comfortable, and safe environment to shower or bathe. All our product are designed and tested to withstand occupants and water on a regular use basis. Caution should be taken to ensure that, larger items, especially the twin whirlpool baths when filled with water and two adults don't exceed the structural capacity of its installation area. We would always recommend that you seek professional services before you buy our largest products if you are at all unsure.
I'm in a hard water area, can i stiil have a shower?
Yes. If you know you like in a Hard water area, you may well have a water softener fitted to your water supply to remove the build up, if not it may well be worth considering, as this increases the life of many household appliances, such as Washing Machines, Kettles and of course your shower. Typical signs of Hard water are the build of 'fur' in your kettle. If you are only mildly affected by Hard water, then consider using the following steps: In hard-water areas, wash down the unit and remove the dirt periodically. Fitting a water filtration device is also advisable in areas where the water is likely to lead to a build up of minerals within the pipes and diverter assembly. It is recommended to run a cleaning solution through the Steam Generator every 3 months if you live in a real troublesome area and don't have a water softener fitted. Cleaning solution methods: dilute 5~10gs of citric acid with 1.4 litres of water, disassemble the connection pipes of the steaming device, pour the diluted liquid into the steaming device and assemble the connection pipes. After 60 minutes, start the machine and heat for 30 minutes, then stop the device and drain out the water from the tank.
Do I need to tile under or behind the unit?
It is recommended that you fully tile under your shower, steam shower or whirlpool bath, this is because they are designed to be freestanding and as such may be required to be slid away from the wall for service access. Tiling fully under the tub enables you to slide the shower/whirlpool with ease. Tiling behind your shower is optional as the glass at the rear of the cabin is not transparent. We would recommend that you only need to tile one or two rows of tile behind the edges to ensure a tidy finish.
Whirlpool baths and showers should be cleaned and sanitised regularly to help remove the build up of bath deposits and dirt, and to help minimise the growth of bacteria - even if the system isn't used very often. WHIRLPOOLS:We recommend you use a solution produced especially for Whirlpool baths that does not contain harsh abrasives, acids or alkalis. These can be used to clean the whirlpool hoses and pipework. This is particularly advisable if the whirlpool has not been used for some time. STEAM AND SHOWER CABINS::The shower cabin can trap dirt in gaps between joints of panels etc, which may require extra care and attention during cleaning. To minimise dirt build up between panels, the application of a bead of silicone sealant suitable for shower/bathroom use will fill the gap leaving a smooth finish and both stop dirt build up and offer an extra level of water tightness. The steam shower cabin can be cleaned with any suitable cleaning solution that is neither abrasive, acidic, nor alkaline, and is recommended for use on acrylic and glass surfaces.Use of the ozone function will help to minimise the build up of mould etc, but we recommend that after use the cabin doors are left open to allow the cabin to dry. AFTER USE: Allow the steam shower to run the ozone program and allow the shower to aerate and dry completely. Using the extractor/circulation fan may help this process. Opening the shower doors is also advisable to assist drying. The steam shower also requires regular cleaning with non abrasive cleaning products suitable for the types of surfaces on the shower cabin. Failure to allow the cabin to fully dry may result in excessive build up of dirt and lead to mould build up. ShowerGuard is a protection system that can be used to permanently protect your new shower. ShowerGuard will protect glass, ceramic (including glazed tiles), mirrors and acrylic from limescale, soapy deposit build ups and other deposits. ShowerGuard forms a protective nano-barrier that does not mark or discolour. Simply, pre-clean the surface with the provided pre-clean solution, then apply ShowerGuards revolutionary protection coat. All you need including latex gloves are supplied in the kit. Shower Guard does NOT mean no more cleaning, but it will mean NO MORE scrubbing to remove built up deposits of limescale and other contaminates - simply wipe and rinse to reveal its original beauty!
Your steam shower have an Extractor Fan, why is this and what is required in my bathroom?
Due to the enclosed nature of steam shower cabin, the moisture and humidity created by steam and general showering our showers have a built in fan to help remove moisture when you have finished using the shower. Most bathrooms/en-suites have an extractor fan fitted to expel moisture from the room to the outside. A combination of the fan on the shower extracting into the bathroom and the extractor in your bathroom will help to remove moisture after use. It is advisable that you allow the shower to air and dry after use fully to prevent the build up of mould etc.
My plumber is inexperienced with steam showers
All of our showers come with comprehensive instructions in full English to help your plumber install your new shower quickly and correctly. Steam shower UK is also very customer service orientated and are very happy to answer any questions your plumber may have, either before or during installation. We have spoken with many hundred of fitters and helped to guide them though to completion.
Safety Glass?
All of our showers are fitted with safety glass. Safety glass has enhanced thermal resistance, and breaks into small cuboid fragments rather than irregular shards of glass and therefore is less likely to cause injury. Safety glass is often called tempered glass or toughened glass and has a greater level of resilience to impact than regular glass under normal use, however it may be easily damaged/shattered if it comes into contact with hard surfaces such as tiled floors etc especially if struck on the corners of the glass. NOTE: Even the cuboid glass pieces may still cause personal injury. When handling the glass wear protective gloves, rest the panels on wood, rubber or several layers of cardboard rather than hard surfaces. When fitting, take care when hanging the doors, and fitting the cams (wheels). During everyday use, always treat glass with care as you should with glass, sharp knocks, slamming of the doors etc can cause the doors to shatter or chip. If a chip forms it may weaken the glass and make it liable to shatter easier.
How does my order arrive?
Your delivery (if over 30kg, ie Whirlpool baths, Steam Shower cabins, shower cubicles and some larger parts) will be delivered on a pallet delivery service if ALTO, OPUS or AQUAPLUS. If you have ordered INSIGNIA brand the item will be delivered on there own delivery vehicles unless express option has been taken. It is important that you check and inform us of any weight restrictions that my mean a large lorry (over 7.5 tons) cannot get you property. This also includes, long driveways. If you fail to mention any delivery restriction and the delivery cannot be made, there will be a re-delivery or cancellation charge. The delivery driver is only able to take the delivery to your doorstep (or as close as he can get to that point). Insurance does not cover the driver to enter your property with such large items. As such at least one fully able bodied person must be present to take delivery Smaller items and parts are sent either via post or courier. It is standard practice to send items under 1.5kg via post and heavier (or large sized items) by courier. Items sent by Courier are sent for next day delivery and post goes first class. If you require items to be sent by more secure or faster methods this is possible, but will incur extra cost.
What does 'parts warranty' mean
All the showers on our site come with a parts warranty. If any other fault occurs, we operate a no quibble warranty system where we will send any required replacement parts to you on a next day delivery service where possible, completely free of charge for a period of your warranty from the date of purchase or installation. (Please retain your original invoice number to validate this)
Where are the water connections at the back of the shower?
The water connections at the rear of the shower originate from the diverter assembly. Connected to that are the two braided Hot and Cold Water supply hoses. These hoses are approximately 1 Mtr long and have 15mm Compression fittings. The end of these hoses should be connected to the Hot and Cold water supply in the property. Ideally you should ensure that you finish your pipework around 1 Mtr from floor level in the corner for corner fitting showers, or in the middle of the shower, if you have purchased a shower that fits against a single wall. You should make the connection for the pipes with an 15mm Isolation valve
Do the units come with all the necessary pipes?
Yes, the units have all the piping included and everything you need right out of the box. They have a flexible waste pipe located underneath the tub. The pipes to supply the various ancillaries on the unit are all connected to the back of the 3 way valve in the central control panel and not to the tub. These should all be labelled as to which ancillary they should be connected to such as the foot massage, hand shower, Steam Generator etc, and are all supplied with necessary 15mm connectors with washers in situ.
What are the water pressure requirement for your showers?
Steam showers require between 1 and 3 bar of pressure at the unit to operate. For optimum results 2-3 bar is recommended. Please note that all Steam Cabins require a flow rate of at least 7.5 litres per minute and steam showers around 14 litres. The water supply to the unit must also be balanced. If you have a combi boiler, this typically provides water at a pressure suitable for the shower, but if you are unsure, ask you plumber to check the pressure for you. If you have a Combination (combi) boilder, you WILL need a PEV. (pressure equalisation valve) If you have gravity fed water, or you water pressure is not high enough, then fitting a Pump wiil help. We highly recommend Salamander Twin impellor pumps (see website for details). These are twin impellor, which means they provide both Hot and COld water though them at an equal level. Fitting a twin impellor pump does not require a PEV to be used as the water is balanced. PLEASE ASK YOUR PLUMBER FOR MORE DETAILS
Guidance on electricity within bathrooms
FOR REFERENCE ONLY PLEASE CONSULT A QUALIFIED ELECTRIAN ELECTRICAL REGULATIONS The 17th Edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations redefined the zones for electrical equipment in bathrooms and must be used for installations designed after 30th June 2008. They are now identified from 0 to 2, with 0 being the wettest - the previous zone 3 is no longer defined. Zone 0 - the interior of the bath or shower that can hold water. Requires electrical products to be low voltage (max 12V) and rated IPX7. Zone 1 - the area directly above zone 0, limited to a height of 2.25m above the bath or shower. Requires electrical products to have an IPX4 or better. Products should use safety extra low voltage (SELV) with the transformer located in zone 3 or beyond. Zone 2 - the area beyond zones 0 and 1, stretching 0.6m horizontally and up to 2.25m vertically. Also includes the recessed area of a window with a sill next to the bath. Requires electrical products to have an IPX4 or better. SELV with the transformer located in zone 3 or beyond. Zone 3 - the area beyond zone 2, stretching 2.4m horizontally and up to 2.25m vertically. There is not a specified IP number for this zone, although some products are marked as not for bathroom use. SELV or shaver units are permitted, all other portable electrical equipment is not. NOTE:701.410.3.5 The protective measures of obstacles and placing out of reach (section 417) are NOT permitted.The regulation above can be understood to include, but not exclusively refer the placement of sockets within ZONE 1 (under or behind the tub base). The zone shall therefore NOT have items below IPX4, this includes sockets. BS 7671:2008British Standard. Requirements of Electrical Installations The electrical supply for your steam shower or whirlpool bath must be via an isolated fused spur that is switched outside of the bathroom. The shower/whirlpool is delivered with a plug and RCD. The plug is for testing only and MUST be removed in order to complete the installation and to enable connection to the fused spur. The RCD can also be removed if the electricity to the bathroom is protected by an RCD at the mains board/ Consumer unit. All electrical work MUST be carried out by a qualified Part P registered electrician and in accordance with current regulations, Failure to adhere to these regulations may cause serious injury, even death and will invalidate your product Warranty, it may also be illegal.
What are the electrical requirements of a Steam Shower?
You should always seek advice from an electrician prior to installing your shower and also view the installation instructions in this regard 3kw Steam Showers (without Whirlpool baths) require only a single 13amp electrical supply. With whirlpool require two Typically the shower is supplied with a standard UK socket - this is used for testing ONLY and this is removed when you install as the use of sockets within bathrooms is dangerous/illegal. Please refer to a quallified electrician who will be able to install the shower via an Isolated Fused Spur.
Do I need to use sealant on my shower?
You should first and foremost follow the instructions for your unit in this regard We would always recommend using a suitable waterproof sealant to seal your shower during and after installation to ensure you can fully soak every inch of the shower worry free. Ensure that the shower is completely dry before you proceed. 1: Apply a bead of sealant either side of the central tower vertically and between where any two panels touch and simply wipe away an excess the presses out .2: Silicone horizontally between the tray/base and the back panels (AVOID the little water gullies/channels that allow water to return to the tub) 3: Around the top, between the back panels and the ceiling.You may wish to seal along the front, where the frame joins the tub/base and also the ceiling, but this is optional.
How much does it cost to run the steam function of the shower?
The steam functions cost surprisingly little to run. Based on current costs for electricity to operate the steam function for a recommended maximum of half and hour is around 30 pence Compare this to the cost of visiting a Sauna in a Health Spa etc.
How much clearance is there under the shower?
Under most of our steam shower tub bases there is approximately 25mm clearance from the bottom of the waste assembly to the floor. (This height is variable depending on the height the adjustable feet are set). The waste from any shower needs a suitable 'Fall' to enable water to leave the tray correctly. Slow draining water means that the fall is too shallow. If your shower is located on a wooden floor or built onto a raised level, you can easily acquire the correct fall required. Where the shower is installed on a solid floor allowing for a suitable fall should be considered. You will also need to ensure that a low level 'Trap' is fitted on the waste pipe.
My doors do not open or run smoothly
In order for your doors to open and run smoothly they need to be correctly fitted to ensure they are not too tight in the runners, that they run level and finally that they are lubricated.Using the spanner supplied with your shower follow the instructing in the manual to align the door heights and so they open and close without binding. Once the doors are opening and closing smoothly, you may wish to apply some silicone lubricant spray. Due to the door wheels (Cams) coming into constant contact with water and detergents, the wheels may become awkward to move, by regular cleaning and lubrication of the wheels, you can ensure they provide a long service life.
There are 3 chrome knobs on the control panel, what do they all do?
Many of our units come with 3 control knobs located on the control panel to operate the ‘water’ functions in the unit. The top control is a divertor valve, turning this will divert the water to the various functions in the shower such as the foot massage unit, the hydro massage jets, the Monsoon Shower head and the personal hand shower and on the whirlpool bath units, there is a 5th setting which fills the bathtub. (Please note, the unit divertor only operates one function at a time.) The middle control knob operates the pressure of the water, and the lower control knob is the thermostatically controlled valve which has a safety switch that stops it at 38 degrees. If the knob is depressed, the unit can be set higher than 38 degrees if required.
What is the Ozone device fitted to your steam shower for?
The Ozone device fitted to our steam showers is used to help prevent the build up of mould and mildew which thrive in warm moist places. Your steam Shower is fitted with an 03 cleaning function. Ozone is a highly effective natural steriliser that can inactivate practically any organic contaminant on contact. As it is a highly reactive gas. As the additional Oxygen atom breaks free, it will oxidise any organic matter it touches, killing organic contaminants at a cellular level. Essentially, Ozone disrupts the cellular structure by rupturing the cell wall - a process referred to as 'cell lysing'. By intelligently controlling atmospheric Ozone concentration, we are able to safely decontaminate any given area, as the additional Oxygen atom in Ozone oxidises and inactivates a broad spectrum of pathogens. O3 sanitation is effective in combating: Bacteria, Viruses, Odours, Allergens, Mould - Fungus and Infestations. The Ozone function MUST be used when the shower is not occupied. The Ozone process should last approximatly 10 minutes and depending on on model with either be an automatic function after using the steamer or a manual O3 button on the pad or remote. Once the process has completed, OPEN THE SHOWER DOORS and leave the shower to air dry fully.