I’ve been kicking around an idea for a shower at the farm. It’s going to be quite some time before we can get a well drilled up there. Normally we carry our drinking water in, but washing is another issue.
Now, we could go down to the creek and wash up, but that’s not a great idea. For one, we really don’t want that gray water going straight into the creek to pollute and contaminate it. For another, in the spring and fall…and winter it will either be super chilly or just flat out frozen.
So, the solution is to be able to take some water (as needed) to the top of the hill. This will give us the opportunity to heat that water for washing and, with the proper drainage, to let the soil filter that gray water long before it gets back to the water shed.
A few years ago I built a small wagon/trailer/cart. I decided to attach a 55 gallon drum to that and add a pump so we can pump water out of the creek, haul it up the hill, heat it and run a shower.
First I had to get some parts and components.
This is a portable, propane fired tankless water heater. Super fuel efficient
There’s the trailer, the drum, a new pump, and a few of the plumbing fittings.
Finally ready for testing. If you notice, its after dark when I finally got this joker put together, I am definitely NOT a plumber. Lol
In the background to fhe right you can see the water heater hooked up. It worked well, except for one thing…I had a leak..a pretty big one. If you look where the green hose comes out of the pvc you can see a black rag wrapped around the fitting. It by no means stopped the leak, but it kept water from spraying everywhere. I’m going to have to change out that green hose to something a bit more rigid. When filling the barrel (simulated creek) the pump was powerful enough to collapse the hose. Even with the collapsed hose I can fill the barrel in just around 3 minutes.
The water heater had a bit of trouble because it has a low pressure safety switch that turns off the burner when the pressure drops. Well, the rag wrapped fitting caused the pressure to drop to the heater. Water still flowed out of the shower head at a decent rate, but not with enough pressure to ignite the burner.
A couple of adjustments and some tweaking is in order, but I think it will be a glorious addition to the farm. After working out the bugs it will be time to build a nice, cedar deck to stand on while showering.
Let me know if you have an outdoor shower and how often you use it. I’d actually prefer to shower outdoors regardless of the weather.
I’d love to hear what you’ve got!
We hope you all have a great week.