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    Steam - FAQ

    What is the difference between a Steam Bath and a Sauna Bath?

    The primary differences between steam and sauna baths are the temperature, humidity levels and room construction. Steam is a wet environment with temperatures usually in a range of 110 to 125 degrees F and relative humidity close to 100%. Sauna is a dry environment with temperatures ranging between 165 to 185 degrees F and low humidity levels of 10 to 20%. Sauna rooms feature walls and benches made of soft woods such as cedar, hemlock, alder or spruce, while steam baths require moisture resistant walls such as porcelain tile, marble, granite, travertine or acrylic material. The choice of one versus the other is usually because of personal preference. Are there any health concerns associated with Steam Bathing?

    People who are in good health should have no concerns about enjoying the benefits of steam. Please consult a physician before using a steam bath if you are pregnant, elderly, have high blood pressure, diabetes, suffering from heart disease or not in good health. You should also avoid steam bathing while intoxicated.

    Can Aromatherapy products be used in a Steam Bath?

    Yes, steam baths are an excellent environment to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy. Fragrance oils enhance the steam bathing experience and provide additional relief when suffering from a cold or when your respiratory system is congested. Amerec steam heads feature a reservoir to hold aromatherapy oils and an optional fragrance pump is available to inject oils directly into the steam line is available with the Amerec K200i Freedom Control system. Fragrance oils are not to be used in acrylic or fiberglass steam rooms, per pump instructions.

    How long does it take for my Steam Bath to heat up before it's ready to be used?

    Steam will begin flowing into the room within 4 to 6 minutes after the system is turned on. Depending on room material and other room construction variables, it should take an additional 10 to 20 minutes for the ambient room temperature to reach the desired setting and the steam bath is ready to be enjoyed. Entering the steam bath before the room heats up to the preset temperature may prevent the bather from experiencing the healthy benefits of heat therapy.

    Amerec offers a Warm Start option on all AK and 3K Series steam generators to reduce the time for the generator to produce steam. When the Warm Start feature is activated, steam will begin flowing into the room in less than 60 seconds.

    Can an existing shower be converted into a Steam Bath?

    Virtually any shower space can be converted to a steam bath by adding an airtight door and totally enclosing the space to prevent steam from escaping . A qualified professional contractor should be consulted before starting the project. What utilities are needed to install a Steam Bath generator?

    Installation of a steam bath generator is similar to that of a residential water heater. A dedicated 240V electrical circuit and cold water supply line must be run to the space where the generator will be installed. Amerec recommends a cold water supply to allow the optional automatic drain cycle to cool water in the tank before flushing. A water drain line should also be installed so the generator can be drained and flushed regularly.

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

    Amerec manufactures a 120V generator, but it is only to be used with a small acrylic shower enclosure. The larger space dimensions and custom wall materials such as porcelain tile, marble, travertine, etc. common to most custom steam showers requires a 240V generator to ensure a comfortable steam bath. 208V generators are also available if required to match your available power source. Where should the steam generator be located in my home?

    There are several places suitable for installing the steam generator provided electricity and water are readily available. Common locations include under a bench inside the steam shower, a closet, a cabinet, basement or attic, provided the space isn't exposed to freezing temperatures. The generator should be located as close to the steam shower as possible, but can be up to 25' away. The generator location must provide sufficient service access.

    What is the best ceiling height for a steam room / shower?

    The ideal ceiling height is 7' to prevent uncomfortable temperature variations common in steam rooms with ceiling heights greater than 8'. As heat accumulates near the ceiling, bathers may experience uncomfortably cool floor temperatures. Amerec's EvenSteam Air Circulation Fan option available with our K200i Freedom Control system improves bather comfort in steam rooms with ceiling higher than 8'.

    Does the steam room need to be insulated?

    Insulation in the walls and ceiling will make the room easier and more economical to heat. Also, insulated walls will reduce exterior noises from disrupting the tranquil environment inside the steam bath. Insulation is highly recommended. Should I install an exhaust fan or special ventilation in the steam room / shower?

    Ceiling vents inside the steam room are not recommended or necessary. Steam is quickly dissipated when you turn on the water to shower after ending your steam bath. If vents or exhaust fans are used, they must be installed with a vapor-tight seal and have a positive closing damper to prevent heat from escaping. Many people install an exhaust fan in the ceiling near the steam shower door to remove excess steam when the door is opened.

    Do I need a special drain in the steam room / shower?

    No. Any standard drain suitable for a shower is sufficient. Steam will dissipate and water will flow down the floor drain.

    How does the steam enter the room / shower?

    Steam is piped from the generator through a 1/2" copper line that connects to a steam outlet head(s) installed in the wall of the room. It is recommended that the steam head be located a minimum 18" above the floor, and should be in an area that minimizes potential bather contact. Amerec recommends mutliple steam heads be installed in large rooms for more even steam distribution.

    Do I need a water softener or water filtration system?

    No, a water softener should not be necessary unless your water source contains particularly high levels of limescale or calcium. Amerec offers a ScaleX water filtration system that can be installed on the water supply line to reduce scale build-up inside the generator tank and extend heating element life.

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