The benefits of an outdoor shower

At the end of the day, a warm shower before hopping in the spa is a fantastic way to unwind and wash away the dirt and grime of the day.

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An outdoor shower is a great addition to your outdoor area, especially if you have a spa. Showering before you enter the spa removes oils, dirt and bacteria that can build up on your body and helps keep your spa water clean and clear.

An outdoor shower is also a great addition to your beach house, so you can rinse off the sand and salt before heading inside or relaxing in the spa!

In this article, we cover:

And more!

What is an outdoor solar shower and how does it work?

An outdoor solar shower is a standalone shower unit that contains water in a holding tank or reservoir, which is heated by the sun’s energy. Most solar showers don’t require plumbing into mains plumbing, they simply connect to a standard garden hose for their water source.

Many solar showers contain a mixer so you can blend cold water from the garden hose with warm water in the shower body, to get the temperature just right.

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What is the best outdoor shower?

Best value option: 35L solar shower with foot wash The 35L solar shower has a black PVC body that absorbs the sun's energy and heats up the water inside the unit. It has a stylish appearance that will work well with the design of many outdoor spaces.

All the components and fittings are of high quality minimise leaks and provide a long lifespan.

There is no plumbing required with this model - simply mount it in an area with good drainage and connect to a standard garden hose fitting.

This model has the advantage that it comes in two pieces, which makes it more versatile and portable. You can easily transport it for taking camping or to vacation homes.

A handy foot wash outlet is included to rinse those dirty feet.

How long does it take for a solar shower to heat up?

As a general rule, a solar shower will take around 3-4 hours to heat up in direct summer sunlight. This may vary depending on the temperature, exposure to wind and the base temperature of the water.

Do outdoor showers need a drain?

Outdoor showers don’t necessarily require a drain unless they are permanently plumbed in.

You will need to position your shower in an area where the water can run off safely and not sit and pool. Some people build a small timber deck area and just let the water run off underneath. Another idea is to position the shower in a spot where water can naturally flow down into a garden area where it will be naturally soaked up over time.

How hot do solar showers get?

The water in a solar shower can reach temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) if it is placed in full sunlight with the air temperature above 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).

You should test the water temperature before showering to ensure it is not too hot. Make sure you get a shower with an in-built mixer and cold water inlet so you can blend cold water to get your water to a comfortable temperature. The ideal shower temperature is up for debate amongst experts, one recommendation is between 37 degrees and 40 degrees Celcius (98-104 Fahrenheit).

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How long does a 35L solar shower last?

35L of water capacity equals about 14 minutes of shower time. If you only have a quick 2min shower, there is plenty of water for the whole family to rinse!

How much does it cost to put in an outdoor shower?

An outdoor shower can start at as little as $299 and range up in price to over $2,000.

The $299 option has a PVC body, footwash and chrome-plated hardware.

If the shower you select gets its water from a standard garden hose, you can install it yourself, there is no need for a registered plumber.

If you get a shower that is plumbed into the mains waterline, then you will need a registered plumber to install it. Plumbers tend to cost $100-$120 per hour.

What are the disadvantages of an outdoor solar shower?

While an outdoor solar shower offers lots of benefits, there are some disadvantages also.

  • Solar showers take a few hours to heat up. Unlike gas hot water systems, or electric hot water cylinders which can provide hot water right away, solar showers require 4-6 hours of direct sunlight in order to reach a comfortable temperature.
  • You need to be careful of water temperatures. In the middle of summer or in particularly warm climates, the temperature of the water in a solar shower can get higher than is comfortable. You should always test the temperature before showering and ensure you choose a model that enables you to blend in cold water so you can get a comfortable temperature for showering.
  • Solar showers require the sun to be shining. This may seem obvious, but on a cloudy day or in cooler times of the year, the sun’s energy is less intense and the water may not reach your desired temperature.

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Tips for getting the most out of your outdoor solar shower

There's nothing quite like a shower outdoors, in nature. Solar showers are an easy and eco-friendly way to enjoy this experience. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your solar shower:

  • Choose a sunny place for your shower. Make sure you locate your shower in a spot where it will enjoy full sunlight for 4-5 hours of the day so it has time to heat the water
  • Ensure good drainage. Install your shower in an area where there is the drainage for water to run away after you shower. Building a small decking area with a drainage system underneath that runs into the garden is a great way to handle this.
  • Test the water temperature to make sure it’s not too hot before you shower. Mix in cold water to get your water to just the right temperature.
  • Clean the shower head and components periodically with vinegar to remove calcium buildup. If you have a high calcium content in your water source this can begin to get encrusted on the shower head nozzles, around the mixer and on other components of the shower. If you let this build up, it can begin to clog the nozzles resulting in less water pressure and a less enjoyable shower. Spray a little vinegar and scrub periodically, then rinse with warm water to remove calcium buildup.
  • Cover the shower when not in use to prevent exposure to weather. If you’re not planning on using the shower over the winter, keep it covered up to extend its life and keep the components in great condition.
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Does a solar panel run a shower?

No. Solar showers don’t run off electricity generated by a solar panel, they use the sun’s energy to heat up water in a holding tank inside the shower unit.

Where can I buy outdoor showers?

Hmmm - where could that be? Well what do you know, you can buy outdoor showers directly from Spa Store Australia! Shop the full range of solar showers and outdoor showers.

In Summary

An outdoor shower can be a great addition to your home if you live in a warm climate and enjoy spending time outdoors. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and require no energy to operate.

The biggest downside of solar showers is that they can take a while to heat up, so it’s important to plan ahead if you want to use one.

With a little bit of planning and some patience, an outdoor solar shower can be a great way to relax and unwind in your own backyard. The added benefit for spa owners is that showering helps get rid of dirt, oils and grime that can affect the water quality in your spa or swim spa.

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