amerec vs mr steam vs thermasol steam shower

panchoandleftyJune 13, 2012

Trying to choose a steam shower for a 4 x 5 shower remodel. Our contractor did not offer many options. I think most clients just take whatever he offers without question.

For better or worse, I'm a compulsive researcher. As I look into generators, I see several manufacturers with interesting features. Amerec seems OK, but not on top of my list.

Is there a real industry leader (or lagger) among steam generators? Does one manufacturer stand out?

I am leaning toward Thermasol, but I don't know if they are the best fit or if they just have the best marketing. They appear to have the easiest install, low-maintenance features, and a lifetime warranty.

Thanks

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hemera

From the research I've done, I think Thermasol is the best.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 12:10PM
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Scary_Cary

I went with the Thermasol pro-series and found that it was pretty easy to install without making major changes to the hard plumbing. They have a good reputation as they created the original steam generator in the 50s.

The lifetime warranty was a big selling point for me also, especially since I do all of my own installation work, but I haven't had any problems at all in the last two years.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 1:55PM
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polonyc

We had the same dilemma when choosing the steamer. I always thought steam is steam but there is a difference when experiencing steam. We went to couple of places and one place had Mr. Steam and ThermaSol installed in the same shower. Once you see the construction or both you will go with Thermasol. Also they have the feature on the RED generator that makes the difference when using it. You do not get the burst of steam which is nice and relaxing to have.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 4:00PM
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kashmi

For what it's worth, I, too, am a compulsive researcher. In many ways the internet is as much a curse as a blessing. But eventually, we came to the same conclusion as others: ThermaSol and the Pro version. We've now had our steam shower up and running for about a month. too soon to tell about much, but so far it works well. The installation was probably the easiest part of the bathroom reno.

BTW, love your use name! One of my favorite Willie Nelson songs.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 2:41PM
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saunadr

I am glad you are doing your homework on picking a steam unit. I have been a steam unit installer for the past 37 years. I have installed all major brands of steam units. I would like to address items out side of the marketing lit you have seen. please note: I have no ties to just one brand or company I work on them all and sell many kinds every day.
My Rating of the 3 unit listed would be
#1 Mr. Steam.
Why. Top of the line out of all brands out there I see the least amount of problems.
Mr. Steam has a great autoflush feature that drains the unit after each use, ( not flooding the tank like Thermasol)Installation is easy ( all three wire and plumb basicly the same way )Mr. Steam's warranty is unbeatable with its limited life time warranty. inshower controls, stainsteel case and tank, mircoproccer circut board and an industrail hi voltage contactor ( amerec do not have contactor )
#2 Amerec
cons
painted case not stainless steel
small tank
screw in elements
no contactor mirco relays on circut board
good warranty
this unit ok
#3 Thermasol
no comment ( My company will not sell )
to many con's to list
If you would like more info please post a follow up for me to answer

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 1:32PM
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jgopp

The club I am a member of has a steam shower with a Mr. Steam unit and controller. In my experience the thing seems to be broken more often than not. It has crapped out 4 or 5 times in the last 6 months. I don't have experience with the others though.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:47PM
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polonyc

saunadr - what is your company?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 1:52AM
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pun1

Having terrible noise problem in the shower with my Thermasol steam unit. Check everything brand new can't figure out why we are getting extreme loud noise.

Wondering if saunadr can help or anyone else

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:32PM
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HardonF

I have one to add to this, I'm wondering what to get, a Di Vapor steam shower or a Jacuzzi one?

What do you think?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 11:07AM
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dianne47

We're in the country on well water. When we first built our house we went to the best water softener company in Albuquerque, Sodeco, which is recommended by all the custom home builders around here. They installed their own proprietary water softener and we've had zero problems with the unit in 3 years.

So when we got ready to add the master suite and wanted a steam shower we went back to Sodeco. The owner only sells Amerec, so that's what we bought. HIs pricing was about as good as online and we wanted to buy local for warranty or other issues.

We're in the final stages of completing the shower, so I can't comment on the steam yet. But I trust the guy at Sodeco and suggest taking a close look at Amerec.

This post was edited by dianne47 on Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 13:29

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:28PM
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xedos

saunadr -

please list the cons of the Thermasol units if you don't mind.

Otherwise it just makes you less credible because of the fact that you don't sell them. Also, thermasol units have features and warranty that easily best Amerec's negatives yet you rate Amerec higher ??? Makes zero sense.

Either you have an ax to grind or are simply being a disingenuous sales weasel. Why not be a good doc and give the pros AND cons of all the units and let the patient decide what's best for himself instead of trying to "sell" us on what butters your bread the thickest?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 7:49PM
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drsusan

does anyone have any updated info on mr steam v thermasol steam units??

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:02PM
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roomplicity

i havent updated mine yocheved :)

www.esteamshower.com

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 2:49AM
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lolli

I'm researching steam showers right now and based on the recs in this post I was leaning towards ThermaSol so I went to the website and letter starting out with this language popped up "ThermaSol warranties are NOT VALID for products PURCHASED on the Internet or through other means of electronic commerce.* etc." Has anyone run into issues with their warranties being denied? I much prefer to buy items on the internet but this is scaring me off of ThermaSol.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thermasol

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:59PM
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sbollag

That is one of the things that put me off ThermaSol, given that they have only ONE dealer in the entire New Orleans area, who had nothing else that we were interested in; that and the fact that they seem unnecessarily expensive compared to what seem to be perfectly acceptable alternatives. Ended up going with Mr. Steam (and did end up getting it locally), but don't have it installed yet.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:51PM
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xedos

Lots of manufacturers do this in order to maintain control of their distribution and quality levels of the end product.

Warranties are contracts, not implied statements about a product's quality, value, or performance.

It's a signal to the consumer about the company's intent to deliver a quality product or service. Practically every car has a 100,000 mile transmission warranty. What would you surmise about a transmission warranty that good for as long as you owned the car ???

Part of wording the contract negating a warranty if you buy from and unauthorized dealer does a couple of things. It helps to insure that dealers can make a profit, and can provide the time and service of educating you about which product best suits your needs.

If all you want is the lowest price on a widget - then you are not looking for the best product - you are looking for the cheapest product which may or may not serve your needs over the long haul. There is always someone out there willing to build it for less. They will have your money and will be no where to be found when you need a left handed metric leap year dohickey to repair the thing. Or your tradesman installs it backwards, or upside down. Or, care that you complain on GW or Yelp or Amazon about how it doesn't heat very well.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 9:01PM
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sbollag

xedos,

I'm not sure if your comments were directed at me or not, but I feel the need to respond.

I think Mr. Steam is hardly "the cheapest product." In fact, in all of my research, it seems that Mr. Steam runs a close second to Thermasol, if not its equal.

While I can certainly appreciate a company wanting to control its quality and distribution, it's a bit aggravating when they are so exclusive that only one, not very helpful in any other way, supplier in a quite large metropolitan area carries its product.

Yes, you pay for what you get, but you can also very easily overpay just for a name.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:37AM
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GMcMurry

I just started having my first problems with my Mr Steam. The Smart/Plus Control panel only lights the lowest LED for Temp when I turn it on. If I push the time or temp buttons, the time and temp scales do come up but turn off as soon as I stop pressing the buttons. In other words, IT DON'T WORK.

I checked around and the replacement for these panels is $700. Unbelievable for a little panel with an on off switch and a thermostat.

Anyone have any advice for me?

Greg

    Bookmark   November 4, 2014 at 11:15AM
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xedos

You should get in touch with saunadr and ask him what happened to mr steams lifetime warranty?

Since we all know where that'll go - better to scour fleabay one of those controllers.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2014 at 7:21AM
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Joan3366

I would definitely not recommend Mr. Steam. The price of the generator does not include the "on" switch. Also, the heating element broke within two months and there has been very poor customer service. I am still waiting for the company to send me a replacement part.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2014 at 3:10PM
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xedos

Here are a few musings I have on steam shower generators:

They are finicky animals, and all of the name brands are overpriced in my opinion.

You must feed them quality water (pH neutral) or they will scale up on you , burn thru the element and possibly rot the tank, and maybe blow out the control board from over current. This means a water filter and conditioner for most people. $$$ on top of the generator.

You better have a well grounded electrical service and clean power or you might blow out the control boards.

Many of the control panels have crappy buttons or coverings that fail prematurely from use. $500 + for a new one.

Intake and drain solenoid fail too. More $$$ to repair.

People should view steam showers like owning an old classic car. The purchase is only the beginning of the expenses, and they require constant maintenance .

1 Like    Bookmark   January 9, 2015 at 10:11PM
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PRO
Wascha Studios

I've not heard anyone mention Kohler's steam shower. Anyone have any opinions on that one?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2015 at 9:04AM
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PRO
Tundra Finish Works LLC

Kohlers look fancy.......But who makes them for Kohler??? and whats under the hood?

If you go wirh an Amrec, thermasol, ...etc

you are dealing with the MFG.

Xedos:

wired , plumbed , and maintained properly they can be very maintanace free.... Dedicated circuits a must.

what units are you talking about???

    Bookmark   March 4, 2015 at 4:01PM
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PRO
John Whipple - By Any Design ltd.

This page is linked often online. The Top Five Steam Shower generators and how to size them properly.

After installing steam showers for coming on six years I would say my favourite is ThermaSol. Then locally I like the Relax-A-mist brand for price point and function.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 6:01AM
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cozyinpajamas

We intend on installing a new steamer but I was wondering if anyone knows what difference natural gas has on picking a brand?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2015 at 5:26AM
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xedos

Pajamas - nat. gas has absolutely no bearing on steam shower generators.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2015 at 6:04AM
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PRO
John Whipple - By Any Design ltd.

I've never seen a gas powered steam generator. They might make one but I have never seen it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2015 at 6:45AM
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aschunemeyer

Hi John What is your opinion on the pre fab shower steam units like the "ariel?"

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 5:52AM
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PRO
John Whipple - By Any Design ltd.

I have never tried them out as yet. They look like space ships most of the ones I have seen. I have heard gossip that a local sales show room has had some pretty "Intense" party's after dark in their steam shower boxes.

I have tried a lot of steam showers. Even the oldest Hamman in Istanbul. Lots of health clubs. After trying so many I like a few things the most.

Heat.

Wet Steam.

A slow trickle from a rain head - dead cold.

Yesterday someone reached out and asked me why the Relax-A-Mist units had no pressure relief valve. Good question. I called their tech support and learned that tank needs none since it is itself a relief valve in a way.

Most or all American generators are one piece tanks welded solid. They need a pressure relief valve. The Relax a mist will separate if the pressure gets to high.

Their is so much to learn and I wish I could answer your question. But understanding a ready made box does nothing for my bottom line. I like building pretty, tiled showers with steam as an option.

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 6:45AM
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