Atlas International Company


Steam Showers frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do people take steam baths?
2. Are there any restrictions on using a steambath?
3. Is there a difference between a Steambath and a Sauna?
4. How much does it cost to operate a steam room?
5. How do I choose which steam shower unit is right for me (modular or build my own)?
6. Can my existing tub/shower be converted to a steambath?
7. Does my existing tub/shower require any modifications to make it a steam shower?
8. What should I expect to pay for my modular steam room?
9. What should I expect to pay for my steam room equipment?
10. Is a modular steam room less expensive then a building my own room?
11. If I need help during installation is there someone I can call?
12. I have very hard water. Is there anything that I need to do to protect my steam unit?
13. Do you need an exhaust fan in the steamroom?
14. Can I use a 110V steam unit instead of a 220V generator?
15. Does the steam generator take up any usable bathroom space?
16. Is the steam unit expensive to use or operate?
17. How do I take a steambath my first time?
18. How does the warranty work if I should need it?
19. Steam vs. Sauna. What's the Difference?
20. I have a broken part, what do I do?
21. How hot does will my steam shower get?

22. My acrylic product has a chip / crack on it. Can I repair it myself?


Question: Why do people take steam showers?
We all need water to survive and we know how important it is to our health, hygiene and our environment. Yet when we think of water, most of us automatically relate to it in its liquid form; the water we make coffee with, take a shower in, spray on the lawn and drink throughout the day. This fundamental element has the ability to transform into solid and liquid states and in each of these states water fulfills different roles. One important role is water vapor or steam. Used for everything from powering engines to pressing clothes, steam also plays an important role in our health and relaxation. With a steam shower, we are now able to have the luxury of a spa in our own home.

For thousands of years, cultures around the world have indulged in the soothing warmth of aromatic steam baths. Ancient Romans and Chinese were well known for creating elaborate baths. Steam baths have also become part of Native American cultures all the way from the Alaskan Eskimos to the land of the Mayans. These cultures used steam baths to clean the body, cure illness, rejuvenate tired muscles and provide a sense of spiritual identity. It wasn't until the twentieth century that steam baths became a more common part of North American culture.

In the 1960s steam baths first appeared in large public facilities, such as private clubs and large health resorts. The benefits of steam showers, it seemed, were designated for those who had the money and resources to access the treatment. Later in the same century, steam showers increased in popularity drastically - to a point where taking a steam shower was part of regular health treatments and followed a daily workout at the gym.

Over the past 10 years, steam showers have become a popular component in new home construction and bathroom renovations. With new developments in plumbing technology and products, steam showers are easy to install in almost any bathroom and have become an affordable private retreat. Steam showers can be used daily and provide numerous health and aesthetic benefits, and is a great way to have a steam treatment without the inconvenience of having to leave your home.

A steam shower looks like your regular shower except with sealing doors. With an optional seat, which is highly recommended, we are able relax and enjoy our steam, rather than stand on tired restless feet. Steam showers can come pre-packaged from a factory or can be custom designed to fit a specific bathroom. In either case, the components will include a steam generator, steam outlet(s) and regular shower head(s). The steam generator houses the element that creates the heat necessary to produce steam. The steam then moves through the steam outlet in the shower wall and fills the shower area. The steam generator can be installed either in the bathroom vanity near the shower, under the floor, or in the bench seat. Custom showers should include a sloped ceiling to prevent condensation from dripping. Aesthetically, the unit is streamlined and well-finished. There is also a reduced risk of mold and mildew in these types of units because they are enclosed and designed to withstand the humidity produced.

In our custom steam shower we can either take a shower, have a steam or both at the same time. For days that we choose to have a regular shower, it's pleasing to know that, with the custom sealing doors, we will be cozy and warm while lathering as the humidity from the shower will linger in the spa. The steam outlet operates on a timer and can include a small reservoir where essential oils, respiratory medications or perfume essences can be diffused. We all know that men and women enjoy showering at different temperatures, so why not splurge on a custom shower that will accommodate his and her temperatures at the same time? Custom steam showers can include a combination of adjustable shower heads, body sprays, hand sprays and steam outlets to keep him and her happy and comfortable. Our custom steam shower line can also be equipped with accessories such as a CD player, in shower speakers, steam free mirrors, chromatherapy mood lighting and remote control for heat, music and light.

Before making the decision to install a steam shower it is important to consider several factors. The space that we are going to use may indicate whether a factory unit or custom designed shower will accommodate our needs. The available hot water volume may have to be increased and the budget and decor selection will have to be reviewed.

A professional plumbing and heating firm will be able to assess which system will work best in our home and provide suggestions for custom spray systems, such as body sprays, overhead shower heads, hand sprays, and multi-directional shower heads. Once installed, our new steam shower will require little maintenance. Regular cleaning is encouraged and periodic draining of the system and physical inspection of the electrical components are advised.

Steam showers are used around the world by professional massage therapists, chiropractors, coaches, estheticians and other health and beauty practitioners during treatments and therapies. With cold winters and hot summers, steam showers prevent the skin from becoming dehydrated and itchy. Steam showers provide a wet heat that is different from the dry heat created in a sauna. Steam showers open our pores so our skin can excrete toxins and dirt, increases blood circulation, and can help clear sinuses and nasal passages to help us breath more easily. It is especially helpful for those who suffer from asthma, bronchitis and allergies. Steam showers can also sooth tired and aching muscles. Additional benefits of steam showers include the following:


  • Reducing stress
  • Relaxation
  • Rejuvenating the skin
  • Detoxify the body
  • Increase metabolism
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Increased circulation
  • Pain relief
  • Enhancing the respiratory system
  • Aromatherapy
Given that the average adult spends approximately 5,475 minutes or 91.25 hours in the shower every year, making it a comfortable and relaxing experience can ensure that time is more enjoyable. Certainly, having a custom shower with all the bells and whistles is worth it and will make our daily ritual a personal retreat. With increasing demands on our time and growing stress in our lives, a steam shower can provide a quick and affordable escape from the day-to-day.

The ultimate reason for installing a steam shower in our home however, could be its ability to iron. Yes, iron. Simply hang clothes in the shower and turn on the steam for 10 to 15 minutes, and our clothes come out looking freshly ironed.

Question: Are there any restrictions on using a steam bath?
Yes. Although doctors consider steam baths generally healthy to use, those people suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, pregnant women and the elderly who are not in good health should not take a steam bath unless otherwise directed by a physician. Please consult with your doctor if you have any questions pertaining to health issues and before acquiring a steam generator. Also, steam bathing should be avoided while intoxicated.

Question: Is there a difference between a steam bath and a sauna?
Yes. The temperature and humidity levels differ along with the room construction. Steam is wet with a temperature generally ranging between 110 - 120+ ° F on average and close to 100% relative humidity. Sauna is dry with average temperatures ranging between 165 - 180+ ° F and with 10 - 15% humidity. Room construction for steam units is generally ceramic tile, stone, or acrylic while cedar or redwood is used for sauna

Question: How much does it cost to operate a steam room?
Depending on the kilowatts the average steam session costs 10-25 cents per hour.

Question: How do I choose which steam shower unit is right for me (modular or build my own)?
It's really a tossup to what kind of place you are building. Modular steam showers are a favorite because they are very easy to install in comparison to building your own unit and the fact that setup is nearly cut in half in time and expenses and often they come with their component parts built in. The downside to modular base shower units are they often are built with extra you either do not need or perhaps are placed in the wrong positions to favor your individual needs (for example, larger individuals sometimes find the body sprays not placed high enough for them). Also there is a certain aesthetic taste that perhaps will clash with what you envision your bathroom looking like since a lot of prefabricated modular units come in a very contemporary look.

In this case, building your own units come into play. Completely open to whatever you can imagine, custom units are the best way to go to specifically tailor to your needs. The downside here is costs in extra plumbing and labor. But this can also be an advantage as you know specifically what is running your system.

Question: Can my existing tub/shower be converted to a steam bath?
Depending on existing circumstances, it may be converted. However, you must get the advice of a qualified professional (a licensed contractor with plumbing and electrical experience) before proceeding ahead with your plans.

Question: Does my existing tub/shower require any modifications to make it a steam shower?
Yes. The door and enclosure must be totally enclosed, 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 more dense steam experience. (See Important Considerations for Planning Your Residential Steam bath)

Question: What should I expect to pay for my modular steam room?
The average home has a 3x4 to 4x7 steam shower; the cost is between $2,000.00 and $11,000.00.

Question: What should I expect to pay for my steam room equipment?
The average home has a 3x4 to 4x7 steam shower; the cost is between $900.00 and $1,500.00

Question: Is a modular steam room less expensive than a building my own room?
Modular steam rooms cost more however cleaning a modular steam room is super easy and fast. Keeping grout clean can be tough.

Question: If I need help during installation is there someone I can call?
That is one of our biggest features. Yes, our technical department is available to help you during our business hours.

Question: I have very hard water. Is there anything that I need to do to protect my steam unit?
You may want to consider a whole house water treatment system if the water quality is a concern. A lot of steam showers can operate in conjunction with a water softener. It is important to realize that good water is a condition which is desirable for drinking as well as protecting the plumbing systems, decorative hardware, faucet and glass from the negative effects of hard water. An automatic drain is also available but not required for the generator.

Question: Do you need an exhaust fan in the steam room?
No. After a steam bath take a hot or cold shower and the steam condenses down the drain.

Question: Can I use a 110V steam unit instead of a 220V generator?
110V definitely can be used for the steam unit. 220v units are available, but the costs of running the 220v electricity line can get very expensive. 110v steam units are the most common units used in American and Canadian homes today and do not present any problems.

Question: Does the steam generator take up any usable bathroom space?
No. The unit is compact in size and can be installed preferably up to 25 feet away from the bathing area in a vanity, closet, insulated attic, or basement.

Question: Is the steam unit expensive to use or operate?
No. Conservative on water (1 - 1.5 gallon average) and electricity, steam showers are a very cost effective way to relax at home. As compared to whirlpool tubs, 2-3 fills of the tub can give the bather a year's worth of steam baths.

Question: How do I use a steam bath my first time?
The method that has proved successful for the sauna applies to the steam bath, too and you should practice this regimen in order to recommend it to your clients:

Shower before the first session-time the stay in the steam bath in accordance with your personal sensitivity-do not exceed 15-20 minutes- cool off with cool fresh air and cool water without shocking the system and avoid shivering-take a warm foot bath if you have cold feet- do not take more than 2-3 sessions in the steam bath. In the case of combined facilities like sauna and steam bath, which provide for different types of bath, you may also switch from one type to another. It is essential that you cool off thoroughly after each session. Never start a fresh session if your body is warm (or worse still, hot) and never change from one type of bath to another until you have cooled down properly. To do so could overtax your circulation. Unless the body has cooled down properly after a steam bath, even a swim in a heated pool could be physically harmful as it can be after a sauna. Used properly, a steam bath will help to overcome the stresses of everyday life, to relax and recover and to gain new strength and improve general physical and mental well being.

Question: How does the warranty work if I should need it?
SteamShowersInc.com warrants to the original consumer purchaser that it will, at its option, repair or replace any of its plumbing products found by it to be defective under normal use and maintenance within the following periods from date of purchase: Electronic Components; Pump Motors, Fittings and Plumbing for up to 5 years for residential use with installation and assembly by a licensed professional. In the event of a limited warranty claim proof of purchase will be required—save sales receipt.

This limited warranty DOES NOT COVER the following:

  1. Defects or damage arising from shipping (beyond the freight insurance coverage), installation, alterations, accidents, abuse, misuse and lack of proper maintenance, in all cases whether caused by a plumbing contractor, service company, the owner or any other person.
  2. Deterioration through normal wear and tear.
  3. Expense of normal maintenance – periodic replacement of washers, seals, etc. is a normal maintenance requirement.
  5. Postage or shipping costs for returning products for repairs or replacement under this limited warranty and labor or other costs incurred in connection with product removal or installation under this limited warranty.
  6. ANY LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, ALL OF WHICH ARE HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED, OR THE EXTENSION BEYOND THE DURATION OF THIS LIMITED WARRANTY OF ANY IMPLIED LIMITED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING THOSE OF MERCHANT ABILITY OR FITNESS FOR AN INTENDED PURPOSE. (Some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on how long an implied limited warranty lasts, or the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so these limitations and exclusions may not apply to you.)
  7. Responsibility for compliance with local code requirement. (Since code requirements vary greatly, distributors, dealers, installation contractor and users of plumbing products should determine whether there are any code restrictions on the installation or use of a specific product.)       
  10. Expense of normal maintenance.                                                                       
This limited warranty gives you specific legal rights.You may have other statutory rights that vary from state to state or province to province, in which case this limited warranty does not affect such statutory rights.

Question: Steam vs. Sauna. What's the Difference?
Answer: Dry sauna, wet sauna, steam sauna, herbal sauna ... Do you know the difference? And what, then, is a steam bath? Read on to find out what all these different terms mean.

  • Dry sauna is the sauna where you do not sprinkle water over the stones or humidify the air in any other way. The low humidity (just 5 to 10%) means that you can increase the bathing temperature to over 90° C.
  • A wet sauna is best enjoyed at temperatures of around 75 to 85 ° C with a relative humidity of 15 to 30%. By pouring water into the in-built humidifier on the sauna heater when you first switch the heater on you can ensure the right balance between heat and humidity from the start of your sauna bath to the very end. During a wet sauna water is also sprinkled over the sauna stones to increase the humidity.
  • A steam sauna is a gentler form of sauna bathing enjoyed at temperatures of 45 to 65 ° C with high levels of humidity (40 to 65%). To experience this form of sauna bathing you need a special sauna heater with a built-in water reservoir.
  • The herbal sauna is a variation on the steam sauna theme. Here liquid fragrances are added to the water sprinkled over the stones to perfume the air with the invigorating scent of aromatic herbs.
  • The steam bath is a totally different form of bathing. A steam generator located outside the steam room itself produces clouds of soothing steam in which to bathe. The 100% humidity means that, for most people, the bathing temperature is most comfortable at around 40 to 45 ° C.
Question: How hot will my steam shower get?
Steam is wet with a temperature generally ranging between 110 - 120 ° F on average and close to 100% relative humidity. Our Infrared sauna is dry with average temperatures ranging between 110 - 150 ° F and with little to no humidity.

Question: Should these units be sealed?
Yes, you should always seal any two connecting pieces whether it is glass, aluminum or acrylic. You should also seal all screw and bolt holes. If there are any jets, drains or other fixtures/accessories that are sealed, we recommend checking and resealing them for added protection as they may have become loose during shipping.

Question: What kind of water pressure do I need?
A standard home's water pressure will be sufficient enough to use our steam shower units as all the water features will be used independently.

Question: What type of amperage and power supply do I need?
Please refer to your unit's manual or go to the product's page for more information as all units have different specifications.

Question: My Ariel Platinum DZ972F8-W steam shower came with black screws? What do I do?
Hardware screws for glass will still be black. They can easily be painted white at the customer's discretion.

Question: My DZ972-1W steam shower came with black silicone, do I use this?
Black silicone is supplied with this unit directly from the manufacture. If you would like to use a silicone that would match your shower, you can choose to use any kitchen and bath silicone in white or clear.

Question: What temperature is my steam set at when I start the unit?
By default, when you start your unit, the steam temperature will be set at 104° F. The temperature range can be adjusted from 68° F - 122° F.

Question: When I turn on my steam, why does it only last 30 minutes?
By default, when you turn on your steam, the time is auto-set to 30 minutes. The time range can be adjusted from 5 minutes to 55 minutes.

Question: Can I hook up an MP3 player to my Ariel Platinum model?
Since these models do not have aux connections, a FM transmitter can be used in place of an aux connection to use your favorite MP3 player.

Question: I have an Ariel Platinum steam shower unit and I see a phone icon within the display, am I able to use the phone function?
There is a phone icon within the display, but it is not functional on our F8 touch screen control panel at this time.

Question: What is chromatherapy?
Lighting research proves that different lighting has different psychological effects upon the user. This new discovery has been widely used to help people who live under day to day stress, to quickly relieve the pressures created by everyday life.

  • RED: Stimulating
    Red stands for movement, passion and emotion. It increases heart rate; releasing and restoring both mental and physical energy spend during strenuous activities.

  • REDDISH BROWN: Stimulating
    Reddish brown brings happiness and serenity by stimulating the vital functions of the body: appetite, enthusiasm, and creativity.

  • ORANGE: Cheering
    Orange stands for health, maturity, and happiness. This color helps lift up the spirits of people with depression.

  • YELLOW: Cheering
    Yellow is pure sunlight, which provides beneficial warmth to the entire body.

  • BLUE: Relaxing
    Blue brings calm and inner peace. Research shows that sea blue and sky blue colors have soothing effects.

  • PURPLE: Creative
    Purple helps people focus on creativity and artist thoughts. Research shows that thinking in purple light is 10 times more effective than white light. Be sure to take a shower in purple light whenever you need to think hard!

Question: How do I use the chromatherapy feature?
You are able to rotate between 6 different colors by clicking on the sun icon. After that, the auto-rotate feature will automatically rotate between all colors in one to two second intervals.

Question: What is the difference between the hinged doors and sliding door units?
The sliding door units offer more space inside your bathroom just in case you have a toilet, vanity, or furniture in doors pathway.

Question: I have a small nozzle on my drain, what is this for?
The nozzle connects to the steam generator by an opaque flexible hose. It is used to purge or drain water from the steam generator after every usage.

Question: How far should the flexible drain be from the sewer hole?
It is recommended that the flexible drain connects to the sewer hole, around 1 foot to 1.5 feet away from the shower drain.

Question: Where should I install the electrical lines?
Each and every unit is different and you should check your unit's manual. We recommend having the electrical lines higher and away from your water sources for safety.

Question: Do I need to test the unit before installation?
We highly recommend testing the unit's electrical and water features prior to placing the unit in its final location.

Question: How many people are needed to assemble the unit?
All units are different and it depends on the strength of your contractors. Typically 2 average sized contractors are able to assemble the unit.

Question: My acrylic product has a chip / crack on it. Can I repair it myself?
Yes – You can order a kit from here. Fixture-Fix, offers an acrylic repair kit that matches most of our colors.

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