How does a simple little outdoor shower bring so much pleasure and look so great in any backyard? It doesn’t have to be elaborate, in fact the simpler, the more rustic, the better in most instances. And when you stand under it, letting the water fall on your body, after a sweaty session of lawn mowing, or to wash the salty residue from your sun kissed skin, it can be exhilarating.
An outdoor shower can be a great addition to any backyard to beat the summer heat. Not only can they be used to rinse off the chlorine from your swimming pool, or the salt if you are lucky enough to live near the beaches, it’s a great place to clean up the kids from dirt and mud after a long play in the backyard or to wash the kids in summer - bath time doesn’t have to be a chore and there’s no clean up after! Use it to clean the muddy best friend, your dog! Or cooling off after a workout session or mowing the lawn.
The best part about an outdoor shower is you don’t need much room in your backyard or down the side of your house to fit an outdoor shower. You can create a cosy niche or put it on the corner of your deck, they are practical and look great.
The best bit is your outdoor shower ideas don’t have to follow any strict rules. Have some fun and use different materials to add style to a simple shower. They can be as elaborate as you like or simply just a shower.
Now what does it take to install your own outdoor shower?
Just add water –
The simplest and most cost-effective installation is to hook your hose to the outdoor shower. Your showers will be cold and will limit the shower use to summer months only.
To keep installations costs down, install it close to water supply, usually an existing bathroom or the garden taps. The further away the shower is the more the costs in labour to dig the trenches for the pipes and cost of the pipes.
Hot or cold water? This would depend on your personal needs but hooking up to hot water, means you can use it year-round.
Take note of the location of your hot water tank because if it will be some distance from the outdoor shower it will use a lot of water waiting for the hot water to come through. Also ensure the hot water is tempered to 55 degrees as most outdoor showers do not have a tempering valve.
If your outdoor shower will be located against the wall of the house or other building structure or the slope of the land heads towards these structures, it is best to install proper drainage by a plumber. This will stop water affecting the house walls or foundations over time and will prevent mould and moss growing around your shower area.
Garden drainage – this is where the grey water seeps directly into the garden surrounding the outdoor shower. You will need to have permeable ground for the water to drain away at a reasonable rate. A pit can also be dug out and filled with gravel, pebbles or other permeable material so the water can slowly drain into the surrounding soil, instead of sitting on the surface.
Use the existing outdoor drains – connect the drain to the existing outdoor drainage system.
Connect to the wastewater system – this will require a licensed plumber to join the outdoor shower drain to the existing wastewater drainage system. Although this is more expensive than the others, this solution prevents any water damage from the outdoor shower.
If you are unsure, Mr Drains can advise on the type of drainage which will be best suited to your outdoor shower.
Waterproofing will be needed if your outdoor shower will be against the wall of your home or very close to something that could be damaged from the water. If it is free standing or away from your house, there is no need for waterproofing.
As with everything you install that is exposed to the elements, ensure it is durable to stand the weather and harsh climate. Structural or marine grade steel are robust materials suitable for an outdoor shower. Brass and copper can be used as well and will develop a beautiful patina over time. Choose fittings that are designed for outdoor use to extend their life, and look for products that offer a warranty.
You may not need to install an outdoor shower enclosure for a little discretion. Check the view from your neighbours, as they may not like being able to see you showering. Use plants, glass, wood panelling or sheets of corrugated iron for a little privacy.
Slips, falls and burns are the dangers from an outdoor shower. Give some thought to the following -
• Choose non-slip flooring to prevent falls and slips.
• Install the outdoor shower away from powerlines and power points to prevent electrocution.
• During installation, ensure the plumber tempers the hot water to a maximum of 55 degrees as most outdoor showers do not have a tempering valve.
• When using the outdoor shower, run the water for a few seconds before using as sometimes the sun can heat the water and cause scalding.
Add-ons for extra special fun
Do you want to add a bath tub for the ultimate in outdoor bathing! Hours of entertainment for the kids (and cheaper than a pool!) or wash the pooch without the mess.
Will you need a shelf for soap and shampoo? Use bio-degradable products to care for the environment. How about a seat or bench to sit on or use for your clothes?
Have a think about how you are going to use the shower. If it is after a session of surfing, you may want a spot to lean the surfboard on, somewhere to hang up a dripping wetsuit.
If it will be used for swimmers, hooks for towels and wet swimming costumes is a nice touch.
Here are some cool outdoor showers to get your creative juices flowing. Or sometimes, the trusty old hose and tap will suffice!
Call Mr Drains today on 9986 1234, if you have questions or concerns regarding the installation of your outdoor shower.