Outdoor showers are a convenient addition to most any backyard landscape or swimming pool area. If you've been looking for that one last addition to complete your backyard, a backyard shower may be just the thing. Here is a look at some of the different types of outdoor showers you can choose from for your home.
Types of Outdoor Showers
There are two primary styles of outdoor showers. Standalone showers are mobile structures that attach to flexible plumbing hoses. Wall-mount shower systems are permanent structures that connect to your home's pipe system.
At their most basic, outdoor showers can be connected to garden hoses with a fixture at the end to disperse the water. You can even create your own custom outdoor structure. Just remember to use stainless steel or brass for all of the fixtures to avoid weather damage.
Single-hose Showers – A single-hose shower system is simple and easy to install, but the single hose system means that it's only going to supply cold water. They are usually the most portable, though, which makes them convenient.
Pedestal Showers – Pedestal showers are a bit more permanent than single-hose systems, but they can still be placed independently in the yard. These structures support both hot and cold water lines, which allows you more flexibility for water temperature.
If you invest in a pedestal shower you'll need to have an anti-scald device installed on the line. This is important, because they typically feature a mixed temperature control. You can find these showers available in kits that make it easier to assemble.
Wall-Mounted Showers – Wall-mounted structures are the most permanent of the outdoor shower designs. They are usually attached directly to the house and connected directly to the home's plumbing system. Since the plumbing for these showers are integrated into the design, the installation usually requires the services of a plumber and can be more costly.
Once you've chosen your outdoor shower structure, it's time to look at some of the other features you can add. Here are two areas to focus on when you're considering the finishing touches.
Protecting Your Privacy
In most cases, you'll probably want to make sure that your privacy is protected at all times when you use your outdoor shower. In order to do this, you'll need to build an enclosure that will encompass the whole shower. You can often use tall fence panels or something similar for this. If you don't have the skills to construct one on your own, you can order pre-fabricated shower enclosure kits that you can install easily.
Securing the Pipes and Drains
One of the things that you need to consider with outdoor showers is protecting the drain pipes and the plumbing lines, particularly with permanent structures in environments where the temperatures can drop below freezing.
Permanent showers need to have frost-proof lines and fixtures. These may cost more in the initial investment but they will keep your outdoor shower safe throughout the winter. If you don't have frost-proof lines, you'll have to blow out the pipes at the end of the warm-weather season.
The drains will typically run into a line in the ground or into a stone and gravel drain bed. Either way, you need to be sure that it drains as it is intended to. Check it on a regular basis to help avoid backups and other serious problems with your plumbing.
With so many choices for outdoor shower systems, there's sure to be something that will fit your home's style and need. No matter what you choose, consider talking with a plumbing contractor about the installation so that you can be sure that it is done properly. The right shower choice and professional installation will prolong the lifespan of your new shower investment.