Elite Steam & Steam Shower FAQ

What are the benefits of a steam shower?

A steam shower has many benefits, both mental and physical. From improved sleep and circulation to stress relief and exercise recovery, a steam shower is a pleasurable experience that boosts overall well-being. You can read more in our article the health benefits of a steam shower.

How does a steam shower work?

A steam shower basically consists of a sealed enclosure, a steam generator, and a control. The generator, located near the shower, produces steam, which is pumped into the enclosure. You regulate the level and temperature of steam with the control.

What’s the difference between a steam shower and a sauna?

Steam and sauna systems provide similar benefits for your mental and physical well-being. The difference between a steam shower and a sauna is basically “wet heat” versus “dry heat.” Sauna temperatures may actually be higher, but you may “feel the heat” more by adding steam. Also, a steam shower can generally be more easily integrated into an existing bathroom or new home plan at a lower cost.

How much does it cost to put in a steam shower?

The costs of steam shower installation can vary widely depending on the size of your bathroom, the materials you choose, and other details. Prefabricated steam shower units tend to be less expensive than custom steam showers, but they come with their own set of pros and cons. While the initial costs may be lower, the total cost of ownership may actually be higher. Read our analysis of steam shower enclosures.

The majority of steam shower enclosures cost between $2,000 and $4,000. A custom steam shower could range from $4,000 to $10,000 or more, but increased customizability and durability can be well worth the additional cost. Further – total cost of ownership may be lower and these systems should last longer if you’re looking at the long term functioning of your unit.

What makes a steam shower an “attainable luxury”?

Adding a steam shower to your home doesn’t have to be a major remodeling project. The compact steam generator can fit inside a typical vanity cabinet, and the plumbing and electrical connections are simple for a professional to install. In many cases an existing tub/shower can be converted into a steam shower by simply sealing the existing enclosure. Our steam shower kits have everything you need at one low price.

Is a steam shower a good investment from a real estate perspective?

According to The New York Times and other publications, yes. The steam shower has been increasing in popularity in recent years, making it an asset to your home as well as your personal health and well-being.

What goes into building a steam shower?

There are a number of steps and considerations that go into building your own steam shower. The size of your bathroom will determine what size generator you need, so that is a good place to start. Check out our steam generator sizing guide to begin.

Can my existing tub/shower be converted to a steam shower?

Depending on the circumstances, your existing tub/shower may be converted. However, you must get the advice of a qualified professional (a licensed contractor with plumbing and electrical experience) before proceeding with your plans. Generally speaking, the door and enclosure must be sealed, so the steam does not escape from above. A 3/8″ gap at the bottom of the door will allow cooler air to enter the shower for a denser steam experience.

Can I take a regular shower in a steam shower?

Yes. Most prefabricated units are designed for this, and custom showers generally include this in the design. In general people follow a steam shower with a regular shower to rinse off, and this will also condense the steam.

Can I use aromatherapy products in my steam shower?

Yes. Aromatherapy can provide a wonderful enhancement to the steam experience. The EliteSteam steam head (supplied with product purchase) has a well in the top where you can add drops of essential oil. However, this should not be done while steam is being emitted, as there is possibility for injury due to burning. Steam is 212°F; in other words, steam is HOT!

Does a steam shower require any maintenance?

The EliteSteam system is virtually maintenance-free and is covered by a limited ten-year parts warranty on the steam generators.

I have very hard water. Is there anything that I need to do to protect my steam unit?

Our products maintain the same warranty under all water conditions, but you may want to consider a whole house water treatment system if the water quality is a concern. This is desirable for drinking as well as protecting the plumbing systems, decorative hardware, faucets, and glass from the negative effects of hard water. The EliteSteam steam generator can operate in conjunction with a water softener. EliteSteam recommends, but does not require, that a generator pan and auto drain be installed; both are offered as accessory options.

Do I need an exhaust fan in the steam shower enclosure?

No. Never place an exhaust fan inside the steam shower. At the end of a steam shower most people take a regular shower to rinse off, and this serves to condense the steam. A general-purpose shower exhaust fan/vent may be installed outside of the steam shower.

What do I need in order to install an EliteSteam steam generator in my house?

The installation requirements are relatively simple, with connections similar to those of a 240-volt water heater and a cold (or hot) water supply to the steam unit. A steam line to the bathing area and a glass steam enclosure are all that’s required to complete the installation.

Can I use a 120V steam generator instead of a 240V generator?

A 120V generator has limited applications. It can be used in small acrylic shower units, which don’t have high heat demands due to size and wall materials. In more upscale steam showers demands of time and materials, such as marble, travertine, etc., have power requirements, which are best served by a 240V generator. Heat loss from an open door can be recovered quickly. This is not possible with a 120V unit. For these reasons, we do not offer a 120V product.

Do your steam generators require a neutral wire?

No.

Does the steam generator take up any usable bathroom space?

No. The unit is small and compact and can be installed up to 25 feet away from the bathing area in a vanity, closet, insulated attic, or basement.

Where is the best location to install the steam generator?

In an adjacent closet. Most bathrooms are designed with a nearby closet and this closet is an ideal location.

Can I install the steam generator in the attic?

Steam generators should be installed only where temperatures do not exceed 104ºF and do not drop below 40ºF. High temperatures can damage electronics, while freezing can cause water damage. Therefore, the attic is not a good place for the steam generator unless the attic is insulated.

Is the steam generator easy to operate?

Yes. The digital steam control inside the steam shower makes it both convenient and very comfortable to relax and enjoy the steam experience.

Do I need to drain the steam generator or need an optional auto drain?

No. Unlike other manufacturers, maintenance is not required to maintain your warranty on EliteSteam products. If you have concerns about your water quality, an auto drain can be a solution. For residential applications, with the water supply coming from either the local municipality or from a treated water well, draining the product is not necessary.

Can I drain it into the steam room?

This is dependent on local code, but in general the answer is no. Since the temperature of drained water may be as high as 130ºF, we do NOT recommend draining it directly into the steam room.

Where do I run the pipe from the safety valve?

We recommend routing this line into indirect waste, where local codes allow.

Can I install your product outdoors?

No.

Do I need to pitch my ceiling?

No. The intended benefit of a sloped ceiling is to keep the condensate from dripping on the bather, but the effect is minimal at best, and the architectural consequences usually make this difficult.

Do I need a tiled ceiling?

Yes. Steam will condense on the ceiling, so the ceiling must be treated in exactly the same manner as the walls.

How long can my steam pipe be?

For optimum performance, we recommend that the steam pipe be under 25′ in length, but up to 50′ is acceptable. If the pipe is longer than 10′, it should be insulated. Be sure not to create a water trap in the steam pipe (i.e., the pipe should not be curved).

Where should I install the steam control?

The control should be located inside the steam shower, near the seating area and away from the steam head. (The steam head should be installed as far from the seating area as possible.) We recommend placing the control 48″ above the floor.

How long is the control cable?

The supplied cable is 35′, but 50′ cables and extensions are available.

How long does it take to heat up a typical steam shower with an EliteSteam product?

Our sizing guideline is intended to get your steam shower hot in 10–20 minutes. The actual heat-up time is dependent on multiple factors, including the kW, the heat loss of the room, and personal expectations.

Do your products need to be winterized for a vacation home?

Possibly. All appliances connected to water must be protected from freezing and drained. If the vacation home is kept warm to prevent freezing, there is no need to winterize. If you allow the property to freeze, then just like all the pipes in the home the generator must be disconnected and drained. This can be done by turning the generator on its side with the plumbing facing down and allowing the water to drain out.

What is the breaker/wire size?

See electrical installation instructions.

Do I need hot or cold water?

Hot and cold will work equally well. A steam shower typically does not use enough water to need the hot water line.

Do I need more than one steam head?

No. Steam is hot and will exit the steam head at 212°F. Using multiple heads will create multiple hot spots. It is best to have only one and keep that one as far from the seating area as possible.

Do the walls need to be insulated?

The exterior walls do need to be insulated. For intermittent home use there may not be a practical benefit to insulating interior walls, but it may save some energy on longer steam bath cycles.

What type of door do I need?

You want a vapor-proof door designed for a steam shower. Most manufactures produce doors specifically for this purpose.

Do I need a generator pan?

The generator is designed for years of trouble-free operation, but as with any water appliance, if it were to leak and that leak would cause damage, then a drain pan should be used to protect your home.

Which Telco jack on the steam generator do I use to connect the control?

There are two Telco jacks on the circuit board inside the steam generator. It does not matter which jack is used for the user control and which is used for the optional exterior control.

Do you offer any packages to simplify the purchasing process?

Yes. Check out our EliteSteam shower kits, proudly made in the USA, to order what you need for your steam shower in one easy bundle.

What is the product warranty?

EliteSteam comes with a limited two-year parts and labor warranty on the steam generator and control. The steam generator comes with a limited ten-year parts warranty to the original owner.

What is your return policy?

EliteSteam will accept returns for unused products within 30 days from the time that the order was placed and shipped from EliteSteam. More information here.

Is your product UL approved?

Yes.

How long will it take to ship the product after ordering?

We typically ship within 3 business days of receipt of an order.

How much does it cost to ship your products within the US?

Shipping within the US is FREE.

Do you ship to Canada?

Yes, using a flat rate.

Do you ship worldwide?

Yes, at an additional cost.

Do you sell direct?

Yes.

Do you charge sales tax?

Yes, in states where required.

How do I contact EliteSteam with product questions?

You can contact us Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm at 800-555-6890. For sales, email sales@elitesteam.com. For support, email support@elitesteam.com. Or you can fill out our online form and we will get back to you.

Is there any reason why someone should not use a steam shower?

Yes. If you are an elderly person and/or in poor health, if you are pregnant, or if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or diabetes, do not use a steam shower unless otherwise directed by your physician. You can find more health and safety guidelines here.