A steam shower generator produces the water vapor for a home steam shower unit where a bathtub or walk-in shower stall has been converted to also be a steam shower or sauna. Steam showers have become extremely popular because of their health benefits for the skin, joints, immune system, and circulatory system. There are many types of ready-made steam units available, but many people choose to convert their existing shower unit to a steam unit because of cost benefits and space restrictions.
A generator is a small tank, usually holding up to one gallon of water, that is placed within 40 feet (12 meters) of the steam bath. Steam units come with controls that are placed inside the generator, and the steam shower unit to allow the person to adjust the heat. A steam shower generator works by funneling hot or cold water into the tank, where the electrical unit then heats the water up to 118° Fahrenheit (47° Celsius). The steam is then distributed to the enclosed shower unit through a steam valve into the nozzle and fills the area with steam. A generator should be able to create steam within two minutes, and a person should only stay in a steam shower for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
As long as the person has some knowledge of plumbing and has electrical skills, a steam shower generator can be installed, but there are also professionals who can assist in setting up the generator. If not installed properly, steam can build up in the generator, which can be dangerous. A steam shower generator should be installed in an area where there is an outlet and a water source, and many people usually end up placing the unit inside the cabinets under the bathroom vanity or in a closet.
A steam generator will only work if the area that the water vapor is funneled to is completely airtight, which can be accomplished by having a custom-made door installed. If converting a shower or tub to a steam room, the room should be made of materials that can withstand damage from the hot, wet water vapors. The enclosure should be made of ceramic tile, glass, or vinyl, and the underlying structure should be made of water-resistant materials. Everything should be sealed well with materials that will stand up to high temperatures. People should also plan on how to channel the water that will form on the ceiling of the steam shower room away from dripping over them while bathing.