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Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor Shower Enclosures

The author has an interest in landscaping and knowledgeable about outdoor shower enclosures.

Outdoor shower enclosure with plumbing from home.

Outdoor shower enclosure with plumbing from home.

Where Should I Get the Water Supply for My Outdoor Shower Enclosure?

An outdoor shower enclosure may be just what you need for your home, but there are a few things to consider before you jump into your own outdoor shower installation. You must not be considering an outdoor shower room until you have a water supply planned for that shower area.

Many people fail to realize that they've got options for the water source for an outside shower. Nonetheless, it is vital that you decide which source is well suited for your shower before making construction plans.

Utilizing Your Plumbing

In most cases you will need to run the home plumbing to the outside shower area. The benefit of this setup is that it is permanent and professional.

You should also be able to have a shower outside whenever you like, with virtually no worries about the water. However, you must consider that you are likely to wind up doing more routine maintenance on your water system over time, particularly if you are living in a climate with severe winters or summers.

Using an Outdoor Hose

Possibly the simplest source of water for an outdoor shower area is from one of the taps along the side of your home. It doesn't take a lot of effort to find a non-toxic hose that you can run from a faucet to your shower. Any time you want to, you can just remove the hose. If you set up your shower area using a hose for the water supply, you can easily hook it up when you are in the mood for a shower.

Keep Water in a Cistern

A cistern is a water tank used to collect rain. If you do not have plumbing close to your shower area or you're concerned about the climate, a cistern is an excellent alternative. Even when the home plumbing is not working, you could go out and take a shower if you've got a cistern. Cisterns are not common nowadays, especially in specific climates. If you've an existing cistern on your property, it may be the most suitable option.

Summing Up

Having an outdoor shower enclosure is a fantastic convenience for lots of homes. Consider very carefully what kind of water supply works best for you, as you don't want to make permanent modifications to your home plumbing without doing so. You can find even more ideas at Lowe's.

How to Get Your Outdoor Shower Water Heated Up

Outdoor showers are good for many purposes, but people wonder about the easiest way to heat them. There are three ways that are commonly used, and each has its pros. The most common is to run plumbing directly to the hot water heater in your home.

The second calls for something referred to as a tankless water heater. Solar water heaters are gaining popularity in certain places because they appear to be cheaper in the long run and because they are eco-friendly. Check out the list below.

Piping in the Hot Water

This is a great setup when you're needing something long term and have the exterior shower room in close proximity to your home. There isn't a great deal of difference between installing the hot water pipes for an interior shower area and an outside shower in this situation. There are many advantages to this. There's no learning curve involved in shower operation. With this setup, it would be far more difficult to change your outdoor shower room location at a later time.

Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless mobile water heater can be a fantastic help when you need a shower away from the amenities of home. Basically, these units make use of a propane tank to produce a flame that heats the water. You'll want to hook up your shower head to a heat-tolerant water hose. This type of heating system is what's referred to as an on-demand water heater.

Solar Energy

The simplest and most eco-friendly way of heating water is to let the sun heat a black bag filled with water for you. Regardless of how basic this method sounds, it is one of the best ways. It is important that the bag be black in cooler climates or when the sun is obscured. A simple hose connection delivers the water, and you may be amazed how quickly it gets hot, though you do need full sun in order to get the most from it. Check at Home Depot for the latest in solar energy heating.

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Bottom Line

In moderate climates, these methods work for the outdoor shower enclosures. A direct hook-up to your home water lines might appear to be the best solution. If you would like to go farther afield, a water heater can work very well. If you want to take the easiest, greenest method and you have plenty of sun, a solar-powered solution could work wonders.

Exterior Shower Enclosure Variations

Outdoor shower enclosures come in an assorted array of materials. The materials used to create them are the most important method of classification, with the shapes being secondary methods of classification. Your shower enclosure material choice will affect the time and money needed to construct it at least as much as the shape and location will.

Wood Exterior Shower Enclosures

If you are in need of a fairly low-cost choice that's also good to look at, you can look into building a wooden enclosure. Although wood has a nice natural look to it, it is important to treat wood with a good sealant so your water and weatherproof the enclosure (otherwise, the wood could possibly decay faster than you'd like). Among the best things about a wooden enclosure is that it has a tendency to blend in easily with your landscaping, no matter the style or motif you are using.

Metal Shower Enclosures

You'll find a number of metals appropriate for shower enclosure use. You must bear in mind the exposure to water when you're deciding on your metal. Keep an eye out for metals which do not corrode and materials without sharp points. Many types of metal are comparatively cheap and can easily be created in any shape without losing structural integrity. Nonetheless, metal should be weatherproofed to tolerate the elements also.

Vinyl Or PVC Exterior Shower Enclosures

Think about using PVC or vinyl. These materials could be even less expensive than wood and often come in do-it-yourself kits for individuals who prefer a building project. These materials are particularly resistant to water damage over extended periods of exposure. Only be aware of the fact that you have to go over the materials carefully because these kits often supply you with cheap-looking final products.

Concrete And Cement Block Enclosures

If you wish to install a very long-lasting, fixed outside shower enclosure, you can do this with these materials. Water has minimal effect on these materials, which makes them a very good selection. Having said that, this might not be the most eye-catching material unless you've got artistic inclinations and wish to spruce it up in your own special way. These materials can have fantastic results with the right amount of hard work.

Whether you opt to go with a traditional wood enclosure or an artistic cement appearance, have fun showering in the outdoors.

A diagram Gravity Drain System

A diagram Gravity Drain System

Is It Vital for Your Exterior Shower to Have a Drain?

It feels great to use an outdoor shower enclosure after taking a swim. When you have an outside shower, you can clean all of the grime and toxins off of your body before you stroll across your gorgeous carpet and sit in your favorite recliner. You want both your body and your home to be clean.

You may be thinking that installing an outside shower area is a somewhat trivial project. Actually, it doesn't have to be difficult to perform the installation itself. Nevertheless, you should ask yourself the question, Does my exterior shower room require a drain? Most of the time, outdoor showers do not require any kind of specialized drain, but in other instances, municipal codes and laws demand it.

The Gray Water Laws

If you plan to use your shower area for bathing with soap or shampoo, you will be creating grey water that must not be allowed to drain into your yard or garden. Check with the local government to find out what restrictions there may be regarding gray water waste. A sewage-system-connected drain is usually required for even exterior shower enclosures.

To avoid any punitive measures by your government in the future, you should make certain you install your enclosure according to the local codes. Doing things correctly will help you avoid penalties and other damages.

Gravel Drainage

Dealing with an exterior shower that won't produce grey water is much easier. Gravel drains are simple systems which essentially enable the runoff water to go through the gravel on its way back into the soil or pipes. Lots of people just send this water off toward a storm drain or other water ditch.

Utilizing Gravity

Another solution is to use a gravity feed from your shower floor that diverts water to your yard or garden. Several folks usage this as a method of re-filling a fish pond or keeping a garden watered.


An exterior shower is an excellent feature for houses in close proximity to the beach or swimming pool. Be certain to check on any codes in your area that could apply to how you have to build your outside shower system. The significance of proper drainage can't be overstated, so you'll want to discover if you need a drain before you start construction.

Copper or CPVC for My Outside Shower?

It is only natural that you ask whether you should put in copper or CPVC when you have found a style for your outside shower that you like. It is important to take careful note of how well each of these withstands severe weather conditions and how much each of these will cost you. These are the things you should have a look at when you are trying to make your choice between copper and CPVC.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Copper

Most metal water pipes aren't as flexible as copper pipes. Whatever may be in the way of running piping to your exterior shower, copper is more easily maneuvered around them than other materials. Copper is rather easy to install, and you could usually have your shower created quickly.

You'll find that copper pipes are a much better choice in earthquake zones since they bend easily and are fire-resistant. Additionally, it's compatible with a good range of water temperatures.

There are some drawbacks to copper. Copper could break in freezing weather if it is not properly insulated for the local climate. Water may have problems passing through copper that has begun to rust. If your water has a high acidic content, it can pull copper elements from the material and likely cause health issues (this is more of a concern if you are drinking the water).

Reasons For And Against CPVC

As you might expect, CPVC does not cost as much as copper. It is much better able to cope with acid and other corrosives. If you are doing your plumbing all by yourself, it is actually simpler to work with this material than it is with copper. As CPVC is itself an insulating material, there is less risk of electric shock. In addition, you don't have to be concerned as much about thermal changes in your water as it passes through CPVC.

Not everything about CPVC is good. As CPVC ages, it becomes much more brittle, and it is also more vulnerable to damage from UV rays than copper. Thus while you reduce costs in the short term by making use of CPVC, you might discover that the costs of breakage leaks and repair are much more costly. In addition, you may have to be sure you find a material that can sustain hotter temperatures than most typical CPVC pipes, depending on your city's or region's local laws.


Copper and CPVC are both legitimate materials for piping water to outdoor showers in most places. Copper has a higher short-term cost. CPVC is cheaper and is extremely flexible and resistant to rust. Both work fantastic!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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