Did you know that there’s a superhero hiding behind your shower curtain? It has all of the might of Spiderman, but without the blue tights: Your pressure balanced valve.
Photo: GoldPrinter | Etsy
This vital piece of plumbing faithfully protects the water temperature in your shower. Typically, hot and cold water comes from two different pipes that mix together in your shower. But if the pressure from one source suddenly drops, your shower can go from perfect to disaster in a split second without a working pressure balanced valve! This heroic device will adjust the flow of both water sources anytime there’s a pressure change, so your shower temperature stays consistent.
How does that connect to Spiderman? Glad you asked.
Most people don’t know what a pressure balanced valve is, let alone what it does. Similarly, only a handful of people know Spiderman’s secret identity, Peter Parker. To most, “Spiderman” is just a masked enigma, just like “pressure balanced valve” is just a group of words.
Spiderman’s DNA was permanently altered by a mutant spider-bite, giving him superhuman reflexes that allow him to dodge bullets. Pressure balancing valves can sense the slightest change in water pressure and then react almost instantaneously.
If there’s a sudden change in water pressure from either the hot or cold water pipe and your pressure valve isn’t around to help, you could be burned by scalding water. Without Spiderman, citizens of the Marvel Universe would be defenseless against the attacks of villains like Venom, Dr. Octopus and the Green Goblin.
Pressure balancing valves are complex pieces of equipment that represent the pinnacle of plumbing evolution. Peter Parker is a genius scientist who’s so good at chemistry and biology that he was able to invent his super-strong webbing while still in high school.
So, if you’re headed out to catch the new Spiderman flick, give some props to your pressure balanced valve during the opening credits.