Solar outdoor shower

rosesr4meMay 16, 2008

I would like to build an economical solar outdoor shower (live in FL). Maybe using PVC pipes for storage and heating? I would rather not use solar panels due to cost.

Any design ideas or tips?

Thanks in advance.

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I grew up using a "solar" outdoor shower. It was a 55-gallon drum painted black with a shower head coming out of it overhead, and some way to turn the water on and off (I can't really remember how that worked anymore). My older brother filled the barrel each morning with the garden hose, added a tiny bit of bleach to keep algae at bay, and the sun warmed it nicely so that the six of us could take a nice shower in the late afternoon/evening. We also had a fitted screen over the top to keep "stuff" out. Occasionally the water had to be tempered with more cold because it got too hot in the Kansas sun. Nothing more complicated than that. No solar panels or anything... If I were to make one today, I'd make sure it was an enclosed unit, like all our rain barrels. You lose a lot of water to evaporation if you have a screened/open barrel.

My older brother, now in his 60's, has a similar unit today, except I believe the 55-gallon container is plastic and he got it from the farm supply store. He fitted the bung hole with the shower head and spigot from the hardware store.

You can also use portable 5-gallon camp showers. I sit a couple of them outside during the day and then we hang them in the INdoor shower to use (hubby built a special bar for this - 5-gallons of water weighs a little over 41 pounds so you want something that will hold that much weight).


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 5:29PM
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Grainlady - thank you for responding. I assume the 55 gallon drum was elevated so the water was gravity fed to the showerhead, correct? If so, how high was it elevated?

Solargary- thankyou too for responding. I have checked out that link and it is a truly creative website!

I have thought of the coiled hose, but I would like to use something closer to the ground. I am considering using a large diameter PVC pipe vertically installed with a hose connection at the bottom and a showerhead at the top. (saw a commercially available outdoor shower of a similiar design - for $250). I wonder if the water pressure from the spigot would force the heated water upward and out the showerhead (of course some mixing would occur). Any thoughts??

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 6:25PM
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