Instructables

Add a Shower to your Toilet

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Have I got your attention? It's not what you're thinking - and if you have kids in diapers you may wonder why you didn't do this sooner!

Disposable diapers are very hard on the environment. That's why my wife and I use cloth diapers. Instead of sending pounds and pounds of soiled diapers to the dump every week, we simply wash the diapers in the washing machine. However, you can't just dump the dirty diaper directly into the machine! That would be... truly nasty. You have to clean off the majority of the solid waste before it goes into the laundry. Sure, you could use paper towels or wipes or something to get the chunks off, but that's a waste of resources and it takes too long and it's smelly and gross.

So why not spray it off -- directly into the toilet? Commercial units that do the same thing cost $40-$60, but you can make one for $30 or less if you have the parts lying around.

EDIT: Instructables member Catflavor has alterted me to the fact that some sort of backflow prevention would be a Really Good Idea for this installation. In fact, it may be a legal requirement where you live. In Canada, either a vacuum breaker or an RPZ (Reverse Pressure Zone) valve may be used, and the sprayer will then be completely up to code. Unfortunately, these are somewhat expensive and complicated to install. I'm looking into my options and will report back. In the meantime, if you use this sprayer, I suggest shutting off the water at the valve before releasing the sprayer trigger *just in case.*

AND A PLEA: Please vote for me in the Epilog Contest! Why? Because if I win, I will be donating the laser cutter to the fledgling Maker group starting up in my city. It would go a long way towards our goal of a Maker/Hacker space in Waterloo!
 
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Vladan3 years ago
What is the point of adding a COLD shower to the toilet? Most toilets are close enough to the shower/bathtub, so why not just replace the shower head with the hose (for some reason this is a default setup almost anywhere except North America)?
jeff-o (author)  Vladan3 years ago
It's for washing poop off a cloth diaper, not from your bum. It's more sanitary to wash it into the toilet than into the shower drain (eww!)
Rich99 jeff-o2 years ago
well, i use it for my bum, too, when my roids flare up... feels kinda good and gives me the cleanest a**hole in the state. (no more skid marks.)
Vladan jeff-o3 years ago
Ahaaa (slap face)! It's a good idea then.
jeff-o (author)  Vladan3 years ago
Heh, thanks. :)
Lumpybat3 years ago
I did essentially the same set up as you've shown and it works great. I did have a problem with the compression fittings and the tubing. After about a nine months of using it to wash off poops and moving the sprayer all about, one of the compression fittings failed and water came shooting out. Luckily I was right there and could turn off the toilet valve. However, it got me spooked about putting on a fresh length of tubing and new compression fittings. So, instead I made this double female nipple (if I remember right the thread is 3/8-24) which gives me much more piece of mind.
Picture 001.jpgPicture 002.jpg
Hi, Would you please give me some more details about the parts which you used, specifically where did you get the double female nipple, and what are the parts between the nipple and hose.

Thanks
I was able to find everything except for the double female nipple in the plumbing aisle at home depot. Unfortunately the double female nipple was a custom piece I made in our engineering shop. That was 2 years ago, so you might have better luck nowadays. If HD doesn't have it check McMaster or Grainger.
jeff-o (author)  Lumpybat3 years ago
Very nice! Your result is much cleaner-looking than mine. If/when I have to redo mine, I'll see if I can find that piece you used.
Lumpybat jeff-o3 years ago
Thanks, I looked all over the Home Depot plumbing aisle and couldn't find it. Perhaps it could be found online at McMaster, or the like. I ended up making it out of some 3/4 hex stock I found in our engineering lab at work... drilled a through hole and tapped both ends.
jeff-o (author)  Lumpybat3 years ago
That might explain why I couldn't find it as I searched the bins for an hour!
shazni2 years ago
I live in Asia...and over here every toilet has a hand shower...well 80% has...the rest who can't afford it have a tap and a bucket in the toilet. We consider using only tissues unclean. Also over here only the left hand is used for such purpose. it's taboo to use the right hand...which is used for eating.

Also to avoid the stains in nappy we fill a bucket of water with detergent add a drop of viniger and let the nappy soak over night (after removing the poop of course). In the morning everything goes to the washing machine....the nappy stays nice and clean.
rabb729942 years ago
In response to fecal contamination, simply instal a one way valve to eliminate back flow.
Not sure if this has already been mentioned, but I would typically just hold the poopy diaper insert in the toilet water and flush, keeping my hands out of the water, obviously. Zero modification, and it works great!
jeff-o (author)  dave.egerton3 years ago
Yep, that could work, though our toilet doesn't really have enough "oomph" to get the really sticky poops off a diaper.
I did this ible and thought I'd post my pics. The setup is a little different, but the concept is the same. I bought all my parts from home depot for $26.00. I have to say this little animal is crucial if you have kiddos in cloth diapers.
Sprayer Setup.JPGSprayer.JPG
jeff-o (author)  Spaceman Spiff3 years ago
Nice work! It looks like you found a more efficient way of connecting the hoses together.
AJTheSecond3 years ago
Worked Great! Took a few hours to get the parts (everything was available at Home Depot). A few things we had to modify... The 3/8" hose @ Home Depot only came in 25ft chunks. Substituted for a 3/8" toilet tank hose (thicker PVC (?) hose) Needed an extra ferrule, had to buy nut/ferrule. You should add a link to a "how-to" on compression fittings - it wasnt difficult to figure out, but I had no idea what I was doing. For anyone reading this, the ferrule is the small bit that fits in the hose, when you tighten down the nut, it clamps down on the hose and ferrule, providing a strong seal. Im interested in backflow prevention, couldnt figure out a good solution for that. No leaks (except that the sprayer will drip a bit after its been used) and set me back $37.
jeff-o (author)  AJTheSecond3 years ago
Ah, too bad about the 3/8" hose. I'll see if I can find a good how-to on compression fittings. The guy at the hardware store just showed me how to do it - it really is quite simple! As for back flow, most houses should have a main backflow prevention device for the whole house. I was unable to find one that fit on a 1/2" or 3/8" pipe of any sort - perhaps someone knows where to get such a thing? As it is, when I'm finished using the sprayer I hold down the sprayer nozzle and shut it off at the valve (like a BBQ, I guess). I then shake out the nozzle to remove any water lingering inside. This also prevents drips.
AJTheSecond3 years ago
Im going to attempt this today - going to see if there is a stainless steel veggie sprayer or one that is otherwise magnetically inclined so that I can put a magnet on the inside and outside of the tank and have the sprayer just stick to the tank.
In other words, I'm taking a neodymium magnet to home depot and testing their veggie sprayers for magnetic compatability!
An Villain4 years ago
My reaction to seeing this: OH SHIZ!
jeff-o (author)  An Villain4 years ago
LOL, is that a good or a bad reaction? In the year+ since I've had it installed it's been great. However, I am very much looking forward to when all the kids are toilet trained...
More of a surprised and confused reaction.
jeff-o (author)  An Villain4 years ago
Heh, ok. That's almost a perpetual state when you're a parent. ;)
Yes.
rrhuynh4 years ago
Is there a location of where i can purchase this items in an entire lot? Your reply is much appreciated.
jeff-o (author)  rrhuynh4 years ago
You can get everything you need at a decently-stocked hardware store. If what you're looking for is a kit, you can get those too -- but you'll need to search the 'net for it. There are commercial products that are meant for cleaning diapers in the toilet, that come with a neat little bucket and everything. There are also products that include just the sprayer and a wall hook, meant to be used as a bidet.
LindaSalas4 years ago
hey do you think this can be done with one of those car washing water guns instead of the dish sprayer???
jeff-o (author)  LindaSalas4 years ago
 Possibly, if you can find all the right adapters to hook it up.  Make sure it isn't a high pressure water gun though - any more pressure than what the kitchen sprayer provides would be far too much!
I commend you! This is a step towards a greener earth that I am not man enough for. Truly an awesome idea. I think Caflavor has a point. Don't get anything on the shower-head, because bacteria can creep back up into your water supply. It's not connected to the toilet. It'd be like rubbing filth right into your faucet. If you use it regularly, it probably won't be a problem.
jeff-o (author)  WallaceTheSane5 years ago
Now that I've used it a few times, there are a few things you can do to minimize (but not eliminate) any risk. The first is to hold the sprayer wand at a safe distance from the diaper. The second is to use the correct water pressure (set by turning the valve) - wet poops get low pressure, more solid stuff can handle slightly higher. I never use it at full blast. The last thing you can do is to wash off the sprayer nozzle with antibacterial soap when you're done using it. It doesn't add much time, since you're already going to be washing your hands!
http://www.lusanbidets.com.au/?page_id=1451 I came across this site and I am curious to know if these points are valid. If so, an RPZ doesn't seem wholly necessary--although still a good precaution.
jeff-o (author)  y0urm0msname4 years ago
That's a great link, one of the most informative I've found so far. During use I'm always careful to make sure there is a safe distance maintained between the sprayer and whatever I'm spraying (diapers, usually). I also turn off the water at the supply first, rather than the nozzle, so that there's little chance of contaminated water remaining inside the nozzle.
Catflavor5 years ago
I feel I ought to warn the author and anyone considering this: In the UK this installation would be ILLEGAL because it is hazardous to human health. I feel confident to say this because I am qualified in exactly this field in the UK. Because water and disease work the same in most places around the world, I imagine it is VERY likely that it is also illegal in virtually any developed country. I shall explain below.

Before I explain the dangers, I do want to say that I am not attacking this design on principle. I love the idea and I come to Instructables especially to see the energy and waste saving ideas that people share here. The concept is great, it just needs to be done safely. Its especially commendable for the potential for reduction in disposable nappy landfill. But please please don't implement it in the format shown here.

The danger comes from a lack of BACKFLOW PREVENTION. This means that in some circumstances it would be possible for human waste including fecal matter (poo) to get drawn back into the spray head (simply because the spray head could become immersed in the toilet pan or someone might use the head to 'massage' water into a stubborn bit of ...dirt). Water with fecal matter in is a "cat 5" risk in the UK. Cat 1 is safe drinkable water. Cat 5 is the highest danger category. It is considered as dangerous as butchery waste and biological pathogens. Its is considered more dangerous than chemical waste, pesticides, bleach and detergents.
Please see:
http://www.wras.co.uk/PDF_Files/WRAS%20Regs%20leaflet.pdf
for some details of this sort of installation. This would be the equivalent of a "bidet with ascending spray or ascending hose". Parts 2 and 3 give the warning about this. I don't have the actual regulations to hand to cite the advice and requirements from there. In any case these may differ in exact detail in any country. Suffice to say, its a presented as a risk so that you, your family and your neighbours don't share illnesses and risk of disease.

These bidets can be installed in the UK with the correct backflow prevention. But they are considered such a potential risk to health that they you are required to inform the local council that you intend to install one and prove that it will be done safely.

Sorry to put a downer on an instruactable like this. But it is better that everyone stays safe and that people don't go installing something in their home which they could be prosecuted for or which could harm the health of their family and neighbours.

Others have commented that this sort of installation is common where they live. I am sure that in these cases backflow prevention measures are built into the water supply to the device by the manufacturer or installer when planning is sought for the building. One plumbing installation can look similar and seem to work just as well as the next one, but a qualified plumber in your country will know how to isolate this sort of spray head from the mains water supply safely and will also know when regulatory planning permission is required for any type of installation.
I didn't actually read the instructions, but assuming that the water comes from the shower or the tank of the toilet, that water is usually clean. Also, I think that if the people using this device don't use it as a bidet and are careful with it, it's also fine. And, this thing is used for diapers, which later will be sanitized in hot water and bleach. ALSO, you're cleaning poop off a diaper, I don't think it matters if there's a little extra. Jest my two cents.
I agree with you Catflavor, I work within the Department of Health (Australia) and fully agree that this kind of installation presents many biological hazards. A similar design was invented in Australia 20 years ago but was forced by the DOH to stop manufacture, due to the potential hazards it presented.

It is also a criminal offence in Australia to install any item with potential backflow problems, especially those that may affect potable (drinkable) water supplies.

For those that don't know Australia is one of the countries in which you can drink the water that comes out of the shower, and the tap/faucet. This may sound silly to bring up, but there are many countries that you cannot do this.

I don't mean to be a party pooper either, but there is a potential for danger, not only to the persons who make this instructable, but their neighbours. And like Catflavor I must stress that public safety is a must, and risk of prosecution is something that needs to be taken into consideration.

So to steal my final quote from Catflavor One plumbing installation can look similar and seem to work just as well as the next one, but a qualified plumber in your country will know how to isolate this sort of spray head from the mains water supply safely and will also know when regulatory planning permission is required for any type of installation
jeff-o (author)  Amdivns5 years ago
Thanks for confirming, and I agree, a backflow prevention device would be a good idea. You can drink the tap water in Canada too, and I'd like to keep it that way! Fortunately every house in Ontario is equipped with a backflow prevention device for the house itself (built into the water meter) so neighbours are protected, but the sprayer should have one, too.
whoa.
What would be the difference between this setup, and washing out diapers in a kitchen sink or a utility sink (surely not inconceivable)? One could imagine using the head to scrub the diaper in the sink too.
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