Installation Guide: How To Install A Steam Shower
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When we think about bathroom luxury, one of the first things that come to mind is a steam shower. These units are available in several designs and made to suit all tastes. They can be installed with the help of a professional or can be done through a DIY install. If you are planning to or you have already purchased one for your bathroom, and you are planning to set it up on your own, we have rounded up the best tips to help you get started with building a steam shower
Never screw the bolts fully tight until the very end of the installation process. Doing so will allow you to adjust the unit’s panels and glasses and allow for movement.
Things to prepare before you start installation
Among the most important things that you need to have in place are the hot and cold-water connections. Steam cabins typically work with 15mm – 1/2 inch connections. These are located at the back of your unit and should be adjustable so you could link it to your steam unit.
You need to remember that the connection behind your system will always be a “male connection” or 15mm. When connecting your unit to the supply, the best way to do it is through “braided flexible hoses.” These hoses will allow you to move the unit back and forth once it has been fully installed since the system, will almost always be installed away from its final resting position.
If ever you need shut down or turn off the water supply for some reason at any point in the future, it is essential to incorporate 15mm isolation valves.
It is also recommended to have a few isolating valves connected to the pipes feeding the water supply. Through this method, you will be able to turn the water supply back on to the house as you go through the installation process.
The waste pipe to the unit is to be placed under the floor to allow the unit to fit perfectly against the wall or corner that you want it to be in. Doing so will remove the need to cut or modify the unit itself. Having a 1 1/2inch waste pipe with a sufficient downward fall should be placed anywhere under the unit.
Furthermore, you need to have the “flexible waste connector.” that comes with the unit connecting to the shower trap. It will also allow you to move the unit to and fro while undergoing the installation. They are included in the package when you buy the system but if not, you can always make a quick run to the nearest hardware store.
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These special type of cabins normally come with a 13 amp standard 240v connection for its electric feed. If you purchased a whirlpool bath, you will notice that you have two of these. Bear in mind that the electrics is among the most important elements of this system. You also need to remember that carrying out any work related to the electrics needs to be done with caution especially since you will also be working with water.
You will need a 13 amp isolated fused spur as it will make sure that the connection is waterproof. In addition, you have to ensure that the sockets are on an RCD. It will allow you to isolate the unit if needed and to also make sure that it is safe. The unit’s power will be converted doen to a safe 12 volt for the lights, radio and other internal functions.
You have to work with an electrician when it comes to the electrics. They will provide you with expert advice and they will also perform any installation required. Electrics and water do not mix and if you are in anyway unsure and not 100% confident, you MUST employ a professional
Basic Rules To Follow
- Always use PTFE or Poly Tetra Fluoro Ethylene for every 15mm threaded connection. These are also known as the “Plumbers Tape For Everything” within the plumbing community.
- Never screw the bolts fully tight until the very end of the installation process. Doing so will allow you to adjust the unit’s panels and glasses and allow for movement.
- Make sure you have all the components that you need before you start.
- You need to have a PEV or Pressure Equalising Valve on hand. This item will be useful as it can help protect the life and functionality of the unit’s shower valve. It can also help with maintaining constant temperatures.
- Check the tub or tray before you start – check if there are any cracks or leaks. You can do this by filling it with water, fitting and testing the waste pipe and “fall” of the pipe and drainage is also advisable.
- Once you are finished with your steam shower installation, do not use it yet. Let it sit for 24 hours so the silicone used will have enough time to fully set.
Base And TubOnce you have all the things that you need and you are all set, the first thing that you have to deal with is the tray or tub base of the unit. You need to make sure that the connections of the trays trap and pipes are tight and waterproof. Rubber gaskets and fittings should also be tightly fitted. It is highly suggested to add water to the trap or the tub to eliminate the possibilities of drips. If there are leaks and you were able to discover them at this stage, then it will be easier for you to access and deal with it even before you get deeper into the process.
The next thing that you have to do is to check the tray. You need to fully level the tray or tube using the adjustable legs. The key point here is to check, double check and triple check that it stands straight and it is positioned upright. Making sure that the tub is levelled or sitting appropriately is important as it helps guarantee that all connections are made while each component are left without any gap.
Walls And Control Panel
- When it comes to the walls and control panels, you will need the help of at least two people. Here are some things that you should do:
- Check every panel and the back of the control panel
- Tighten up the valve connections, water jets, and all the other components. These parts are usually just hand tight, for transport only. It means they are not watertight and that is why you need to make the necessary adjustments.
- Place the back panels onto the tub
- Tighten them up – enough to keep the fixings in place but also loose enough to allow them to be adjusted.
- Add in the control panel. The best units will come with a rubber or plastic strip that is as long as the length of the panels to ensure that they are watertight. If not, it is recommended to run a small bead of silicon between any joining panels. When you do this and then wipe off any excess, you will have a watertight unit with minimum silicone visible to the eye.
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Door Frame And Glass
At this point, the unit will start looking a bit more like a shower. The next thing that you need deal with is the framework of the glass doors. It is recommended that you build it separately from the unit itself and it is a little fiddly.
When dealing with the connection screws, you need to first ensure that you have sufficient workspace. This will allow you to have enough room needed for manipulation or movement of the unit and ensure you’re not knocking anything over in the process.
You then have to begin at the bottom. Attach the sides to the base and then fit the top of the framework. Once finished, you then have to add in the fixed glasses and support pieces to the framework that you have just set up. Pick up the framework and place onto the shower tray or tub. You can use silicon if you need to tighten up the connection between the panels and the framework. Keep in mind that nothing should be permanently and tightly screwed yet so each component will have enough time to fall into its proper place during the fitting process.
The roof is an essential part of the unit. It is where all the main functions are integrated. When dealing with the roof, make sure that you carefully lift it onto the shower to make sure that all holes are filled and line up, as they should. Also, you should remember that there is no need to put silicone between the roof and the panels since water is not expected to reach that portion of the unit.
This phase is the better time to attach any shelves, riser rails and other parts that are included in the shower. At this point, you can fully tighten up the screws and shower fixings that you might have left out. Some people like to fit these onto the panels as a first step before attaching them all together but for best practice we much prefer to do it now all the heavy bits are in place and nothing can accidentally mark the more fragile components.
Make all the needed connections to the fan, speakers and so on. It is also the best time to connect the hot and cold water using the braid hoses. Be sure that the connections are straight forward and match one another.
The steam generator needs to have three connections – The feed in – this could fed from the shower valve or directly from the cold water supply. The Outlet – which runs from the generator and into the cabin. The third, which is the water drainage, this usually fits into the waste through a pipe that is connected by a spigot or joint
The last one is the door. Before you install it, make sure to run a small bead of silicone along the sides of the panels and framework and the tray or tub. Doing this will help make sure that everything is fitted perfectly and is water tight. Although this is not mandatory, it could really help make sure that no water will ever get out of the cabin. After that, spend some time checking if there are any gaps, weak points on the frame, or other places where water may probably leak. Once done, fit the doors to the framework runners while adjusting them and sliding back and forth to ensure they move cleanly and smoothly.
You MUST now wait 24 hours and allow all the silicone to dry and fully set
Final Check of your Installed Steam Shower
When checking if everything is working, start with the electric and water connections. Check the upper portion, at the rear part and underneath and determine if there are any leaks or drips. Turn on the shower head and start spraying on all panels, sides and areas of the shower slowly and systematically. This is a good way of checking for complete water integrity. The key tip here is to be very thorough with the final check. Ideally once person would be doing the spraying and another would be behind the shower checking all is ok.
Viola! You now have your own steam shower cabin! Hopefully, this guide has given you a good idea as to how to properly set up your unit.