Conducting routine maintenance of your steam shower helps prolong its life so that you can enjoy the health and wellness benefits of steam for years to come. The best way to accomplish this is through regular attention to your steam generator unit. Here are our top three tips for maintaining your steam shower.
Top 3 Steam Shower Generator Maintenance Tips from MrSteam
A frequent question from MrSteam customers is how best to care for and maintain a steam shower generator. We always recommend the following.
1. Install an AutoFlush system
Flushing your home steam room generator after each use is the best means of ensuring years of trouble-free enjoyment.
If not routinely flushed from the generator, minerals in your water could turn into calcium and reduce performance. When they do, they form a barrier from the heat source so your generator needs to work harder (and draw more energy) to achieve the same temperature.
Exclusively offered by MrSteam, the AutoFlush system automatically and electronically flushes the generator of mineral buildup two hours after every steam bath cycle. Think of it as a detox for your home steam generator after each and every shower.
Installing an AutoFlush system is simple, and it performs all the necessary cleaning for you. Once the AutoFlush valve opens, the water drains completely from the generator.
The best part: having the AutoFlush hooked up to your steam bath system ensures clean, fresh water every time you turn on the controls.
2. Add a water softener system to your home
Depending on where you live, hard water can be a serious problem.
Hard water refers to the concentration of mineral deposits in the incoming water. In practice, hard water leaves behind insoluble film of soap, causing your hair and skin to “squeak;” overly soft water leaves skin feeling “slippery” or the impression that you “can’t rinse the soap off.”
The mineral deposits from hard water cause scale to accumulate over time, reducing the life of your steam bath generator. If you live in desert states such as New Mexico and Arizona, you likely have the hardest water and will need to be extra proactive in maintaining your generator.
As discussed, the AutoFlush system flushes out the steam generator water after each shower, helping to prevent mineral buildup. Installing a water softener can also help ensure mineral deposits won’t accumulate and inhibit performance. Both will work together to maximize the life of your steam shower system.
3. Do a manual cleaning of your steam room generator every few years
We recommend having a plumber or authorized service provider do a manual descaling of the generator unit every few years. Follow the troubleshooting guide below for instructions on cleaning the generator, including the water level probe.
To Descale the MrSteam Generator Unit:
1. Be sure power to your steam unit is off at the main breaker.
2. Drain all the water out of the steam unit. If you have an AutoFlush installed, your unit should automatically drain once the power has been shut off. If your steam unit is clogged with calcium, it may not drain completely. Have towels and/or a bucket available. Units without the AutoFlush installed will need a bucket under the drain ball valve. Open the valve and drain all the water. If no water comes out, stick a long screwdriver inside the ball valve opening. This will break away the calcium build-up, and water should flow out quickly.
3. Once all the water is drained out, remove the access door located on the left side of the steam generator.
4. Remove all blue wires hooked to the heating element posts (7/16 nut driver) and move them to the side. The MS90-MS400 has only 2 blue wires. MSSUPER1-SUPER6 has 4 wires.
5. Using a 3/8 nut driver, remove all 6 nuts around the element flange. Remove element from tank.
6. Removing all of the calcium build up is very important. Use a crowbar or a piece of bent copper pipe. Scrape out all of the loose build up, making sure to knock down all the loose build up on the tank walls. Inside the tank to the right, there is a welded "C" channel. Make sure that it is completely cleared of debris. Use a shop vacuum to suck out all of the small debris.
7. Once all debris has been been removed, install the new silicone gasket on the tank.
8. Slide the new element into the tank making sure the arrow on the element flange is facing upward when installed. (If there is no arrow, there will be a stamped "Sussman Top" on the flange.) Bolt down the element in a star pattern. Torque down the nuts to 22 ft. lb.
9. Before installing the blue element wires, make sure the nuts on the element posts are tight. (Do not over tighten nuts.) Install the blue wires in the same location where they were removed.
10. Install the access door on the left side of the unit.
11. Remove the liquid level probe (looks like a spark plug). The probe will have a purple wire connected to the top. Use a 13/16 socket to remove.
12. Replace probe with new one. Make sure to put some Teflon tape on threads of probe. Make sure the ceramic piece on top of the probe is not loose, tightening the nut above it if necessary. (Only tighten a little past hand-tight, as the ceramic piece may break if over tightened). Reinstall the purple wire on tthe probe once it has been replaced.
13. Turn the power back on at the main breaker.
14. Turn the steam unit control on. Steam should begin within 5-7 minutes.
We've included the image below as a handy reference.
(Click on the image for a larger view.)
Following these three maintenance recommendations will help keep your steam generator functioning properly, so you can always count on having the freshest, cleanest steam showers whenever the mood strikes.