Got an idea

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Wisconsin Lisa, May 18, 2006.

  1. Wisconsin Lisa

    Wisconsin Lisa Active Member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Many times after working outside in the summer I'm full of grease from the tractors and plain ol animal grime. I was thinking of making an outside shower for my self by mounting a black plastic barrel (food grade) that are available from out local creamery on a platform about 7 feet up and just putting a hose with shower head type attatchment on the end and use it as a gravity flow shower. Most likely try to attatch it somehow to the gutters for rain water. Do you think it would be warm enough by the end of the day or would I freeze off parts of me that I would rather leave attatched?
  2. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

    Oct 14, 2004
    We use a 5 gallon bag type solar shower. Works pretty good. The 2 main factors that seem to affect how well it works (besides the sun actually shining) are air temp and how much the wind is blowing. If there is any way to shield it from the wind, do it. Even a little breeze seems to strip alot of heat away.

    An old relative of mine used to tell me about the 55 gallon metal barrels used for showers at the mines back in the '30 and '40s. Water didn't get real hot in them but was warm enough to stand taking a shower to get the dust off.

  3. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    What you're proposing should work fairly well. Adding a cold water line to regulate the water temp may be necessary on some days.
    I'd say that insulating the tank from the wind would be the single best thing to do, too. If you put it in a box and lined the box on the inside with something reflective (aluminum foil, glue and a roller)and put a glass lid on the box, the improvement would be startling...scalding, maybe, even. Angling the glass lid so it faced the sun and insulating the box and adding an insulated lid would be the next things to do, but they get complicated and probably don't improve the design near as much as the first 3 things.

    The MOST important thing to do, though is TO TRY IT. Don't obsess over details or try to make your first shot at it perfect, just do something. Then you'll know which, if any improvements are really necessary.
    With these alternative energy things (and with many things), it seems like

    "The Best is the Enemy of the Good." (Trying to engineer something to be great on paper often results in it never actually getting done at all.)
  4. Dahc

    Dahc Don't Tase me, bro!?!

    Feb 13, 2006
    Run the water into a black drum, hook up the cold water line like the other poster mentioned and hide it from the wind. You'll have a bang up shower.

    If you have city or well water, just run a water hose for the cold water line.
  5. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2005
  6. Bret F

    Bret F Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2004
    My dad had a pretty simple set up like you are talking.

    It was a steel 55gal drum with a ball valve nozzle coming out- no shower head. Dad, my brother and I all would use it when we came in from the hay fields. Some days we sure wouldn't dilly-dally, but most days after being hot and sweaty it felt very good.

    We would fill it with the garden hose after all three of us were done.