How To Build An Outdoor Shower
Hook up an outdoor shower much like you would an indoor one. Plumbing connections and practices should mirror indoor plumbing codes and installation practices. For example, if you are including both hot and cold water, add a pressure-balance valve to prevent scalding.
If you live in a cold climate and will be shutting off the shower in the winter, make sure you include a shut-off and drain valve to winterize the shower.
Our shower is attached and connected to a three-season pool house that is winterized at the end of the season. All of the plumbing fixtures will be drained and the pipes blown out with compressed air.
Most outdoor showers simply drain into the ground or through a bed of stone. This is less taxing on a septic system than an indoor shower but may be in violation of local codes. In many municipalities, outdoor showers are subject to building codes, check with your local inspector for guidance.
Our project has a blue stone patio with a built-in drain. It drains into a nearby dry well. Read more here on installing a dry well.
Most people want some privacy, typically that means a small fenced-in area. To be safe, design your outdoor shower to accommodate the most modest person and you’ll be fine.
If large enough, outdoor showers can contain a bench to sit down on, clothes – towel racks, and soap dishes. Some larger showers even feature a separate “dry” changing area.
Depending on the location of your shower enclosure you may want to consider overhead privacy or protection from the sun. This might be more of a concern in the city with privacy concerns from windows in adjacent buildings.
On our outdoor shower project, we built in a “dry” changing area adjacent to the shower area. The dry area could also be used to store towels or a laundry hamper for dirty clothes or wet towels.
The shower area also has a bench seat just out of the flow of water that could be used for changing as well as holding a towel or shampoo.
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