Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "What is the difference between automatic and manual blowdown?"
A. The automatic blowdown automatically removes the water from the heating tank every time the unit turns off. With manual blowdown the user has to physically turn a valve in order to drain the water. Blowdown in general is a great idea for customers with hard water or a well. Removing the water every time the unit shuts off reduces the amount of calcium build-up, therefore, reducing the amount of maintenance. You are also getting fresh water in the tank with each use instead of using stagnant water to create steam. In most situations, automatic blowdown would be the better choice (much more convenient). The manufacturer only recommends using the manual blowdown for vacation homes or alternative applications where the unit is not being used on a regular basis. Everyday users would greatly benefit from the automatic blowdown option.
Q. "What is the purpose of the Gemini Combo Kit?"
A. With the Gemini combo kit, you can place the standard on/off digital timer outside the steam room. This allows you to turn the steam room on before you go in. You can then set the timer from the inside using the deluxe timer and programmable temperature control.
Q. "What happens if one of the steam generators fails?"
A. If one of the steam generators fails, only one unit will produce steam. This causes only one of the steam heads to release steam. Depending on the size of the steam room (and materials used), there may or may not be enough steam for the user to have a complete steam bath experience.
Q. "Are steam generators expensive to use or operate?"
A. These steam generators are designed to be energy and water efficient - using between 1-2 gallons of cold water per 20-minute steam. To put that in perspective, a 20-minute shower with a 2gpm shower head would use 40 gallons of water heated by your water heater, and the average bath uses 35-50 gallons of water - also heated by your water heater. Even if you take a cool 10 minute shower after your steam (as is recommended by many health professionals), your total overall water usage is less than 25 gallons and the steam unit uses less energy than your typical tank water heater.
Q. "What’s the difference between a steambath/steam shower and sauna? Which is better?"
A. The difference between a steambath and a sauna is basically "wet heat" versus "dry heat". Sauna room temperatures may actually be higher, but you may "feel the heat" more by adding steam. Both steam and sauna systems provide similar benefits for your mental and physical well-being - whichever is "better" for you really comes down to personal preference. Some people find it easier to breathe in a steam bath, while others prefer the hotter feeling of a sauna. Keep in mind also, that a steam bath/shower is usually easier to integrate into an existing bathroom than a sauna, which will usually require separate construction. If you're designing a new home, steam rooms are also generally less expensive to integrate into the design than a sauna as you can utilize one space for both your regular shower and steam shower.
Q. "So does that mean I can convert my existing tub or shower area into a steam room?"
A. Depending on existing circumstances...maybe. However, you must get the advice of a qualified professional (a licensed contractor with plumbing and electrical experience) when planning the conversion. These steam generators are compact so they won't take up much space, low maintenance, and are relatively simple for a professional installer to hook up. While this may not mean a major remodeling project for some, others might have to essentially "start over" with their bathroom since the steambath area must be properly enclosed and all surfaces should be able to get wet without having to worry about mold, mildew, or water damage.
Q. "Who can use a steam shower? Are there any restrictions?"
A. Medical professionals consider "steam and sauna" generally healthy to use, but people suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, pregnant women, and the elderly who are not in good health should not take a steambath without consulting a physician first. As with all activities involving heat, it is important to maintain good hydration and "self-monitor" one's body for irregularities or negative effects of the heat. Those with cognitive impairments or who may otherwise not be able to appropriately monitor their own steambath usage should be supervised. Additionally, some say children can use steambaths for short periods of time while others say not at all - we say talk to your child's pediatrician first to help avoid any possible risk of harm.