Gone Outdoors

How Do Steam Rooms Work?

by Liisa Sullivan


Steam rooms are a popular way to relax and also to gain some health benefits. The Greeks, Romans and Russians have been enjoying these rooms for thousands of years. Steam rooms work under the power of a generator that provides hot steam that fills an enclosure where people sit. Most spas, gyms and other health clubs have both steam rooms and saunas.

How a Steam Room Works

Steam is generated by one of two ways--electricity or gas. A generator produces steam that fills an enclosure. The type of generator that is used is dependent on a few factors. Almost all steam generators are powered by electricity. There are some that are gas-powered, but they are typically for commercial applications, as these can easily accommodate larger spaces. Second, the type of materials used for the enclosure or room will determine the power of the generator needed to produce the steam to fill the space. The generators are measured by their capability to produce the steam needed. The units that they are measured in are cubic feet. So, once the materials are picked for the steam room you will be able to figure out what kind of generator is needed.

Essential Parts

Basically, there are three parts to a steam room. The generators, the control unit and the steam head. The generator is the engine. The control unit regulates the amount of steam, heat and length of the steam produced. Finally, there is the stem head, where the steam that is produced in the generator travels to and enters the enclosure.

Power Needed

There are three elements that combine to allow the unit to produce steam. First, 240 volts of electricity is needed to supply the generator. Any electrical professional can do this. Next, a cold water line is needed to supply the water to the unit to produce the steam. The final part of the puzzle is the hot water or steam pipe that flows to the unit to provide the steam to the room. Make sure a licensed or qualified plumbing professional installs the proper lines for the steam room.