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Old 03-27-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
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Outdoor shower questions


We are just starting to build a home - groundbreaking is this week - so now we're just kicking around options and things to do differently than our basic design. We're hoping to do much of the work ourselves.

One idea I'd like to consider is an outdoor shower for when we've been working in the garden or are otherwise muddy, etc. The shower would install on the outside wall at the backyard side of the garage.

We're planning a relatively low budget build - T1-11 or Vinyl siding to start with an upgrade later on. So question one is would we need to tile or otherwise cover some section of the outside wall where we would make the shower or could the shower run against the siding?

Second question is drainage. Could we tie in to the foundation drain or should we run a separate gray water drain from the shower to air at a point below the house?

Would regular plastic or stainless bathroom fittings work?

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Old 03-27-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
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Outdoor shower questions


Your drainage will depend on your local code.

Good luck. I <3 an outdoor shower!

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Old 03-28-2011, 06:59 AM   #3
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Outdoor shower questions


Use t-111 for sure. Whatever you go with in the future can nail directly to the t-111; vinyl you'd need to tear off. T111 is cheaper too, because it doubles as your sheathing (way less labor, too)

If it was me, I wouldn't worry about the t-111 in the shower. If it does get ruined from the shower (not likely) then just replace a piece of it. When you upgrade you can do the tile. Just make sure to use a whole piece where the shower is (no joint).

Drainage depends where you live -- some places it's illegal to run off gray water (Florida comes to mind). If you camp there and your gray water line has a little tiny drip they'll fine you. If you can do it legally, you might just make a slope on the dirt, lay down a piece of pond liner that laps up on the foundation, under the T111, cover it with gravel, and put down concrete pavers, and let the water run off into the yard.

One thing to do, if you live where it might freeze, is make sure you include a way to drain the supply lines in the winter.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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Outdoor shower questions


Thanks, Leah and Pyper for the drain comments. In the rural area where I live, there are virtually no codes except for having the septic system inspected (which has already been done). I have a little over 2 acres where I am building. The bad thing is that the back is on the high side of the slope so we will have to pipe all the way around to the front for drainage or let the shower just run into the yard. Running water into the yard isn't necessarily a bad thing, I guess. It's common to run the sprinkler or hose around one's yard, huh? But I also would not want to create a wet spot that remained wet a lot.

Our plan does include a washroom in the garage so there is a house drain available but we're thinking of including separate gray water drain from the septic system. Plus we don't know if there's any risk by exposing an interior drain system to freezing outside weather. Is this a possible solution - this option actually makes it good I asked this before the footings go in.

As another possibility, I was wondering about having the shower drain to the foundation drain. But purposefully introducing water to the foundation, even in the drain, doesn't seem like a good idea on the surface. What do you all think?
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:15 AM   #5
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Outdoor shower questions


Pyper,

Thanks for the feedback on the siding. I like that idea. It makes sense to just go with the siding. The shower isn't spraying pressurized against the wall, so it is really less of a threat than the rain - as long as we don't use any surfactants like soaps, etc in the shower. Maybe I'll paint that section with marine paint, just for safety.

Your statement about using the T1-11 as sheathing brings up a few other questions. I'm going to ask those in another thread just to keep this one on topic. I hope to see you in that thread.

Thanks,

Dale
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:55 AM   #6
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Outdoor shower questions


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Originally Posted by dalepres View Post

But I also would not want to create a wet spot that remained wet a lot.

Yeah, but how often will you use it?

But you need the ground to slope away from the house for 10 or 12 feet. I wouldn't run the shower into the foundation drain, but you could run drain pipe in the same trench. You could also make a drywell.

I still wouldn't worry about the T-111, but if you did want to use soap and shampoo, you could rig up a shower curtain that would protect the siding. Just a couple tea cup hooks maybe -- hook it up to use it, and then take it down.

Another idea would be to put some metal roofing on the side of the house. Two sheets of 5V would probably handle most of the splash.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:29 PM   #7
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Thanks. This all helps save me a lot of errors. I'm going to plan a two inch unperforated drain pipe in the same trench as the four inch perforated footing drain.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:10 PM   #8
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Dig a big hole (catch-basin) somewhere nearby to drain the shower into. If you can protect it from the weather you can fill the hole with large rock and it will perk naturally as long as it doesn't fill with rainwater all the time..

You could dig the hole, pipe the drain, fill with rock, cover with sheet metal to shed rain water then grow grass (or whatever) over the top and no one will ever know it is there.

There are a lot of ways to do this.

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