WA-based Therm-Oz Showers have been trading in Australia for just over three years and are going from strength to strength.
Although busiest in the eastern states — no doubt due the size of the population in that side of the country — they enjoy very strong support from WA plumbing firms. It's easy to understand this popularity when you see the benefits that Therm-Oz delivers.
Safety, constant temperature and simplicity
A Therm-Oz thermostatic shower delivers water at a constant temperature, automatically compensating for any fluctuations in the water supply, such as those that occur when someone flushes a toilet or turns on another tap when the shower is running. The ability to maintain a constant temperature means there is no chance of scalding.
Therm-Oz thermostatic showers are WaterMark certified (Licence WMK26224), made and tested to AS4032.4 and fully compliant with AS/NZS3500.
The heart of a Therm-Oz thermostatic shower is the thermostatic mixing valve unit, which on the outside has the deceptively simple appearance of a stainless steel tube with a handle at each end. A twist of the right handle operates the flow. The left handle controls the temperature, which is normally set at a safe 38°C. A safety over-ride button allows the left handle to rotate and increase the temperature to a maximum of 45°C or turn in the opposite direction for a cooler shower. After changing temperature, the safety over-ride button re-sets. Another smart feature is the Cool-Touch Technology that ensures the outer surface of the valve is always cool and safe to touch.
The Therm-Oz range
There are three products in the range - the Reno Kit, New Build Kit and Deluxe Dual Hose Shower Column.
The Reno Kit is the most popular product. It has all the components to convert a standard two tap manual shower with need for pipework alteration or electrical work. As WA plumbers have discovered, the Reno Kit can be used as a quick fix if a shower breech has a bad seating that can no longer be re-seated. Provided one seat is still good, which is usually the case, there is no need to chop out the bad one. With the Reno Kit installed, the problem is solved and the customer gets an awesome shower.
The Reno Kit can also be a solution if there is a leak in the tee pipework of a shower breech. If both seatings are still good, the tee pipework becomes dead, so if there was a leak in that section it will no longer be a problem. There is no need to chop out to find and repair the leak.
There are two versions of the Reno Kit. The Reno Kit Complete (RK001) has the thermostatic valve and a parts kit including adjustable slide rail, hose, handset, and soap dish. The Reno Kit Valve Only (RK-CT100) comes without the parts kit.
The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) have funded hundreds of the Reno Kits now, mostly the RK-CT100 because it opens the possibility of also fitting a grab rail style shower kit to give greater independence to anyone who needs assistive care. NDIS offer a self-managed fund of $1500 and requires the product to be installed by a licenced plumber. The Reno Kit should fall within this pricing but it is essential to include a pressure reducing valve when quoting.
New Build Kit
For new installations or total reconfigurations, Therm-Oz have their New Build Kit, which comes in two versions. Both versions contain the valve and a fixing bracket to pipe up to and locate it in position before tiling. The New Build Kit Complete (NB001) includes the standard slide rail, hose, handset and soap dish. The New Build Mixing Valve Only (NB-CT001) 001 comes without those parts.
New Build Kits can also be used to replace manual single lever mixers. This obviously involves more work than using a Reno Kit, because the mixer valve must be chopped out of the wall, the fixing bracket installed, two copper tails soldered in and finally, tiles replaced. There are step-by-step instructions available on the Therm-Oz website.
Deluxe Dual Hose Shower Column
The Deluxe Dual Hose Shower Column has a diverter valve to switch from a shower handset to an overhead shower rose. It’s called ‘Dual Hose’ because it has a short hose to connect to the exposed shower valve, and a 1.5 metre hose for the handset. It works perfectly with both the Reno Kit Valve Only (RK-CT100) or New Build Mixing Valve Only (NB-CT100)
The Deluxe Dual Hose Shower Column comes without the overhead shower rose, which gives the customer the freedom to choose their own from the many styles and sizes on the market. available from your preferred merchant.
Pressure reducing valves are important
Pressure spikes above 500 kPa will damage the Therm-Oz valve and void the warranty, so plumbers must consider using a pressure reducing valve. You must use one if the water pressure is above, or could spike above, 500 kPA.
How Therm-Oz reduces Legionella risk
To avoid the likelihood of Legionella bacteria growth in the hot water supply pipe work, AS/NZS3500 recommends that stored or delivered hot water should be no cooler than 60°C and a thermostatically controlled tap be installed that complies with AS4032.4. This is exactly what the Therm-Oz thermostatic mixing valve is.
This is something vitally important for both plumbers and customers, considering that someone can contract Legionnaires disease under the shower by inhaling water vapour contaminated with the bacteria.
The new era has begun
The upward growth in sales really got started after Channel 7’s Home in WA program showed a three-minute video about Therm-Oz a couple of times. Rob and Sarah say the best part has been all the testimonials they have received from happy customers.
Thermostatic showers have been the norm in the UK, most European countries and Japan for well over 30 years and now they on their way to taking over in Australia.
For more information, see www.therm-oz.net.au