Having an outdoor shower is a great sustainable alternative to your regular indoor shower and can be very practical and convenient. For instance, after messy garden work, you get to clean up without stepping a foot in your house. So it is not a matter of whether you need one, but what the best outdoor shower is.
Constructing a fully plumbed outdoor shower can be both complicated and costly. However, a solar-powered outdoor shower is somewhat simplistic. The best part – there are plenty of great solar shower ideas online you can use as an inspiration to make yours.
Prepare the Foundation for Your Solar Shower
Before even considering making a foundation, check out if one doesn’t already exist. For example, you can use a small deck, rarely-used edge of a patio, or even a cement slab. If not, then you can start thinking about making a foundation. It is pretty simple to create a well-drained and stable base with some fill and a shovel. First, make the base a bit larger than the size of the shower. The base needs to be a bit larger than the shower.
Let’s say you got a standard four-by-four foot shower. A six-foot square excavation, eight to twelve inches below grade, is enough for drainage.
Build Walls and Roof
After creating the foundation, you need to dig the corner post holes. Ideally, you should make 36-inch-deep corner holes so that you don’t have to worry about frost in winter. The outside corners need to be some 45 inches apart from each other. Once the posts are nicely set and stable, you need to connect the corner posts. You can use that brace as a base for the rafters.
To make the walls, you need to get your hands on some pre-built panels.
You can even use the same pre-built panels to make the roof. Nowadays, many places are willing to customize pre-built panels according to your measurements. However, a bit more work will be necessary to make the door and properly attach the hinges.
A splitter Y is one of the most essential parts of the plumbing. One end receives the pipe that brings hot water from the solar unit, while the other receives the garden hose. The output pipe is connected to the shower valve. A low-flow showerhead is sometimes installed to limit how much water is spent. Regardless of whether you do all the plumbing or you hire pros to do it for you, a functional “air vent” is a must so that you can completely drain the pipes in winter.
On a safety note, you need to be extra careful if planning to bring electricity to your outdoor shower. A ground-fault circuit interrupter outlet is necessary to minimize the risk of electricity getting in touch with the shower area.
On the practical side, make sure that you grade your shower base. That way, the water drains away from the shower cabin. Know that, on average, an outdoor shower can produce an evenly amount of runoff as short-lived summer rain.