Introduction: Add a Shower to Your Toilet

Picture of Add a Shower to Your Toilet

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!

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools

Wow! If you've made it to the first step you must be a parent, or plan to be.

For those who have never had to change a baby poop, it ranges in texture from a thin paste to a solid lump. Green guacamole poops are the worst. They're all nasty to clean up. What we're going to do is splice a hand-held kitchen sprayer into the water line that feeds the toilet.

The sprayer can be used to wash the larger chunks of poop into the toilet, where they can be flushed away. The diaper can then be put into the wash.

Here are the parts and tools you'll need:

1 T-junction with one male 3/8" compression joint and two female 3/8" compression joints
1 valve with 3/8" compression joints (optional)
1 3/8" compression to 1/4" threaded pipe joint adapter
1 kitchen sprayer wand with a 1/4" connector
1 2" long piece of 3/8" OD plastic tubing
1 stick-on hook (optional)
*** 1 vacuum breaker or RPZ valve
plumber's tape
an adjustable wrench

*** this item was suggested by another Instructables member as a recommended heath & safety device. I am currently attempting to source something that is compatible with this setup.

Step 2: Assembly - Part 1

Picture of Assembly - Part 1

I had a heck of a time trying to find an adapter than converted a compression fitting to a regular threaded pipe. In the end I had to settle with using a short piece of tubing. If you can rig up the splice using less parts, then do so!

The first few pieces can be put together "on the bench." Take the T junction and remove the nut from both the long and short ends. Set them aside for later. Compression fittings don't need plumber's tape, so screw the valve directly on to the short end of the T junction. Tighten it with a wrench. Make sure that the valve lever is pointing up, as shown.

Take one of the nuts and slide it onto the end of the short piece of tubing. Tighten the nut onto the output of the valve using a wrench.

Remove the nut from the compression fitting to 1/4" adapter, and slide it onto the free end of the tube. Then tighten the nut onto the adapter. You may need to use two wrenches, turned in opposite directions, to properly tighten the nut.

Now it's time to use the plumber's tape. Wrap a few layers onto the free end of the adapter, and screw on the kitchen sprayer hose. My hose actually had another adapter - seal this junction with plumber's tape as well, if there is one.

Finally, screw the sprayer head onto the other end of the sprayer hose.

Step 3: Assembly - Part 2

Picture of Assembly - Part 2

It's time to move things to the bathroom.

Locate the short piece of flexible hose that carries water from the valve to the toilet. Turn off the valve (turn it fully clockwise), then flush the toilet. This will drain the water in the tank.

With a rag under the valve, unscrew the hose from the valve and allow any remaining water in the hose to drain out.

Grab the splice you created in the previous step, and screw it onto the output of the valve. Make sure it's good and tight. Since this is a compression fitting, you won't need to use plumber's tape. Now screw the hose from the toilet onto the top of the T junction.

That's it! You'll probably want to add a hook somewhere for the sprayer. It help make everything a bit neater, and you won't trip over the hose when you stumble half asleep into the bathroom in the morning.

Step 4: Using the Toilet Sprayer

Picture of Using the Toilet Sprayer

With everything hooked up, turn on the main valve that comes out of the wall. Check to make sure there aren't any leaks. Now, turn on the valve for the sprayer and again check for leaks. Obviously, if there are any leaks you should track them down and fix them - usually by tightening things up a bit more.

Using the sprayer is pretty straight-forward. Simply hold the poopy diaper inside the toilet bowl and spray it off. Always aim downward, and work from the top to the bottom. You may want to wear gloves, but I don't. I just wash my hands after I'm finished.

When the diaper is rinsed off, plop it in a bucket with all the other rinsed diapers. Flush the poops down the toilet, and rinse off the sprayer head in the sink. Close the valve* for the sprayer each time you're finished using it.

And there you have it! No wiping, no scrubbing and no garbage bins filled with guacamole poop. Once the diapers are washed in the laundry machine, hang them outside to dry on a clothes line. The UV light from the sun helps disinfect them further, and the fresh air makes them smell fresher.

When your kids have outgrown diapers, simply remove the sprayer and donate it to a friend!

UPDATE: My wife has informed me that the sprayer is also great for cleaning out the catch bowl from our daughter's training potty, and for rinsing out the sink after it's been washed.

UPDATE 2: The sprayer came in handy today for rinsing all the little hairs out of the sink after shaving my face. Sweet!

*The valve is technically optional, though I do recommend it. If you have a toddler, they will almost definitely find the hose and try to use it. The valve will hopefully prevent them from filling the bathroom with a foot of water.


kittywitty (author)2017-03-17

you can buy bidet sprayer diaper sprayer with shut off valve on amazon and other retailers, I am actually buying a bidet sprayer to use as a kitchen sprayer. Better quality sprayer (kitchen are all plastic including the hose).

Spaceman Spiff (author)2010-09-11

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.

winwin62 (author)Spaceman Spiff2016-04-13

Would you please send us the detail of the parts you used? I couldn't find out from the pictures. Thank you.

jeff-o (author)Spaceman Spiff2010-09-11

Nice work! It looks like you found a more efficient way of connecting the hoses together.

Vladan (author)2010-11-08

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)Vladan2010-11-08

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 (author)jeff-o2012-02-24

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 (author)jeff-o2010-11-08

Ahaaa (slap face)! It's a good idea then.

jeff-o (author)Vladan2010-11-08

Heh, thanks. :)

Lumpybat (author)2010-11-10

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.

amiroo0oo (author)Lumpybat2012-02-23

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.


Lumpybat (author)amiroo0oo2012-02-23

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)Lumpybat2010-11-11

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 (author)jeff-o2010-11-11

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)Lumpybat2010-11-11

That might explain why I couldn't find it as I searched the bins for an hour!

shazni (author)2012-01-29

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.

rabb72994 (author)2011-07-28

In response to fecal contamination, simply instal a one way valve to eliminate back flow.

dave.egerton (author)2010-10-08

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.egerton2010-10-08

Yep, that could work, though our toilet doesn't really have enough "oomph" to get the really sticky poops off a diaper.

AJTheSecond (author)2010-08-02

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)AJTheSecond2010-08-02

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.

AJTheSecond (author)2010-08-01

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.

AJTheSecond (author)AJTheSecond2010-08-01

In other words, I'm taking a neodymium magnet to home depot and testing their veggie sprayers for magnetic compatability!

An Villain (author)2010-07-26

My reaction to seeing this: OH SHIZ!

jeff-o (author)An Villain2010-07-26

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...

An Villain (author)jeff-o2010-07-27

More of a surprised and confused reaction.

jeff-o (author)An Villain2010-07-27

Heh, ok. That's almost a perpetual state when you're a parent. ;)

An Villain (author)jeff-o2010-07-27


rrhuynh (author)2010-07-09

Is there a location of where i can purchase this items in an entire lot? Your reply is much appreciated.

jeff-o (author)rrhuynh2010-07-09

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.

LindaSalas (author)2010-01-06

hey do you think this can be done with one of those car washing water guns instead of the dish sprayer???

jeff-o (author)LindaSalas2010-01-07

 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!

WallaceTheSane (author)2009-04-18

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)WallaceTheSane2009-04-18

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!

y0urm0msname (author)jeff-o2009-09-19 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)y0urm0msname2009-09-20

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.

Catflavor (author)2009-04-09

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:
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.

HuntingWabbits (author)Catflavor2009-09-01

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.

Amdivns (author)Catflavor2009-05-04

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)Amdivns2009-05-05

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.

Nautilus34 (author)Catflavor2009-04-17


doc_howell (author)Catflavor2009-04-10

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.

jeff-o (author)doc_howell2009-04-10

Poop from a diaper tends to come off in chunks. Only a toilet has a wide enough "drain" to accept the bigger chunks. Besides, it would be very unsanitary to wash diapers in the same sink used to prepare food and wash dishes! Best to clean off poop in a fixture designed for it - the toilet.

doc_howell (author)jeff-o2009-04-10

Yes, but I'm not talking about the foolhardiness of using the sink in this way; only the fact the same circumstances that Catflavor warns of can be reproduced this way. And since there's no check valve on your utility sink, what's an amateur plumber to do?

Catflavor (author)doc_howell2009-04-11

The check valve doesn't need to be present in the sink because the 'air gap' between the overflow in your sink and the bottom of outlet of the tap prevents anything getting drawn back into the water supply. A sink will overflow into the drain via the overflow, or onto your floor over the side of the sink before it ends up backing up into the mains supply. If someone were silly enough to wash something covered in faeces in a sink, the stuff gets washed down into the same drain that your toilet flows into. So no problem with where is ends up there... Just a huge problem with the human waste in your sink. Irrespective of the levels of innoculation or immunisation of a child or adult, their faeces will contain dangerous bacteria along the lines of e-coli and streptococci (causing bacterial pneumonia and bacterial meningititis) ...all pretty deadly stuff.

doc_howell (author)Catflavor2009-04-13

Hey--ya learn something new every day. Thanks, Catflavor...

teamcoltra (author)Catflavor2009-04-12

My question to you then is this: What is this going to hurt? Even if the fecal matter IS recycled into and through the "shower head" its still going back into the toilet... Just don't drink it and you should be fine, no?

Catflavor (author)teamcoltra2009-04-13

I don't know the stats for how often backpressure and backflow are a problem. But like jeff-o says below, it might be more of a problem than that. Even once in 10 years would be a problem with this set-up, because it may only take one treatment of one e-coli to kill you. Or some in your eye or ear to give you a nasty infection, or inhaled from steam in your shower to give you pneumonia... A couple of situations where it occurs (there's probably a bunch of others I haven't thought of) are: when theres damage to a water main or when theres a sudden increase in requirement to a location near your home, The volume of water in your pipes is small. Which means that when 500litres suddently gets shifted down the street that you might get all of the pipes in your home emptied back into the mains. Even if it only shifts 10 litres in your home, that could be enough to mean that the water from a soiled spray head comes out of your hand basin or your kitchen sink instead of your WC. Bear in mind also, that you may not have a check valve at the meter in all countries. Some places don't have meters at all (charged simply by whether you have water or not), and some check valves are not sufficient to prevent all backflow or backpressure situations. Without meaning to sound rude. if anyone isn't familiar with the reasons why its bad, its best to leave it to people who know and understand the regulations, or to investigate them thoroughly using the correct literature. I am trying to offer some explanations, but we can't cover all eventualities in all places or know what different people are thinking. All we can really say here is "its complicated, be aware of that before you put people's health at risk". Instructables are good, but they can't cover all bases in a situation like this. I hope that helps!

jeff-o (author)teamcoltra2009-04-12

Well, not necessarily. If there is a significant enough "backflow" then the water could get sucked all the way back to the water meter (but no further since it has its own check valve). When the water pressure returns, it could go anywhere. I've located an inexpensive vacuum breaker designed for shower heads that I will install as soon as it arrives. According to my research, a vacuum breaker is more reliable and better recommended for this sort of application. Unfortunately it adds another $10 to the price, but that's not so bad considering the fact that even commercial sprayers don't have a vacuum breaker!

shaun (author)Catflavor2009-04-10

Sorry, but I have to agree! The ONLY legal and safe way of installing and using this (at least in the UK) is to treat it as an ascending spray bidet. These rules are in place to protect the public water supply from contamination. Depending on the various stages of vaccination of a child, there could be all kinds of pathogens present even in a healthy child. O.K. it wasn't in exactly the same way but I'm sure we have all heard of cholera outbreaks in this country back in the nineteenth century. By all means install and use this idea but please make sure that you comply with the law. In my humble opinion, the only safe way to do this is to take the supply from a cistern in the loft space of the house with appropriate valves installed. The trouble with any sort of 'device' is that they can (and do) fail. With a cistern, the installation is completley isolated from the public supply. Just make sure that it a separate dedicated cistern because some houses have drinking water supplied from a cistern.

About This Instructable




Bio: By day, Jeff is the Jack of All Robots at Clearpath Robotics. By night, a mad scientist / hacker / artist / industrial designer wannabe!
More by jeff-o:GroundFX BedFacet V1 VelomobileSimple Rock-Solid Cantilever Desk
Add instructable to: