Luxury Shower - Under $60

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Introduction: Luxury Shower - Under $60

About: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics graduate studying Mechanical Engineering. I love making things and doing anything outdoors (especially SCUBA diving). I am a Community Manager for Instructables.

Every morning people across the world step into the shower. This time is a time of meditation and peace between the unpleasant annoyance that is the alarm clock, and the hectic work day that awaits. Often times, these few minutes are the only relaxing moments you will have for the next few hours if not all day. Why not spend just a few dollars and turn that relaxing moment into an extraordinary one!

It's not always feasible to spend a few thousand on remodeling the bathroom, but you know that we all want to have the luxury shower of our dreams. This luxury shower has 6 customizable shower heads that will make you the envy of any and all visitors and the best part - it can be done for under $60!

Step 1: Parts and Tools

The shower can be made with limited supplies.

Parts:

  • Shower Heads - I used these as they were inexpensive and had great reviews on Amazon
  • 10 feet of 1/2 inch PVC pipe
  • Various pipe fittings that can be found at your local hardware store
  • 7/8" O.D 5/8" I.D. Flexible Pipe
  • 2 Stainless steal hose clamps
  • 6 feet of single jack chain
  • 3 eyes and s hooks

Tools:

  • PVC pipe cutters or hack saw
  • Paint
  • Pliers

Step 2: Plan

Plan what the shower is going to look like and how many shower heads it will have.

Time for some math!

It's very easy to calculate the Gallons per Minute (GPM) that is able to be supplied by your shower. I wanted to know very accurately how much my shower could deliver. Using a bucket and scale, I measured the weight of the water over 30 seconds.

  • Weight of empty bucket - 2.3 lbs
  • Weight of bucket after collecting water for 30 seconds - 21.0 lbs
  • Weight of water inside bucket - 21.0 (lbs) - 2.3 (lbs) = 18.7 lbs
  • The weight of a gallon of fresh water is about 8.344 lbs per gallon
  • 18.7 (lbs) / 8.344 (lbs per gallon) = 2.24 gallons inside the bucket after 30 seconds
  • 2.24 (gallons per 30 seconds) x 2 ≈ 4.5 GPM

Knowing that my shower could supply 4.5 GPM, I went to select my shower heads. Wanting to have 6 shower heads, I knew that for each head to be operating at its full capacity, my shower heads needed to be rated at .75 GPM. Not finding any shower heads that I liked with that rating, I went with 6 heads with a rating of 1.5 GPM with the possibility of needing to reduce the number of heads later on.

A blessing and a curse for me is that I'm tall. And as many tall people are aware, most showers are not really tall person friendly. A must for me is that it needed to be tall. After measuring the width of the shower at just under 29 inches, I knew what parameters I had to work with.

Step 3: Cut PVC

Using my limited space I decided on 7 pieces of 12 1/2 inch long PVC and 9 pieces of 1 1/2 inch long PVC. This would allow me to stay inside my constraints of my shower being 29 inches wide.

Step 4: Clean Parts

I wanted a cleaner look than just PVC hung above the shower. So I soaked all my PVC parts in hot water to loosen up all the bar codes stuck to them (If you find the kind with printed bar codes on the part you don't need to do this step). Using a sanding attachment for my Dremel, I cleaned off all the knobs and logos from the PVC parts.

Step 5: Assemble

Time to test fit and glue everything together. I used a very small amount of PVC cement to glue it together as to keep it looking as clean as possible.

Glue everything except the threaded part that will fit on the inlet to the shower. This will allow for easy installation in step 10.

Step 6: Paint

This step isn't necessary, but I wanted my inexpensive shower to look as classy as possible.

Cover threads with painters tape and paint.

Once dry, attach shower heads.

Step 7: Anchor

Using a stud finder, look for the floor joists in the ceiling to attach the eyes to (you don't want your recent project to turn into a concussion waiting to happen). Attach s - hook.

Step 8: Attach Chain

Using a pair of pliers, open one of the links in your chain and wrap the chain around the pipe. Close link.

I chose to use 3 - 2 foot long chains to hang my shower. Depending on how large yours ends up being, you may need more or less.

Step 9: Hang Shower Heads

Hang shower heads level above the shower stall.

Step 10: Install Tubing

Heat up the flexible pipe on the stove in a pot full of water. I used an old pot so as to not worry about high temperature plastics somehow getting into my food.

Once hot, shove it onto the removable PVC piece that will attach to the shower heads.

Tighten down using a stainless steal hose clamp.

Reheat the other end of the pipe, slide on the hose clamp, and press onto the spout of your shower.

Attach PVC piece to the shower head.

Step 11: Done

Put your shower curtain back up and you are good to go!

Go enjoy your new luxury shower!

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Looks pretty cool, but just wanted to see if you used CPVC piping, not PVC. Your pic looks like CPVC, which is correct for potable water, whereas standard PVC is only for waste and drains. Standard white PVC can leach nasty chemicals, especially with hot water flowing through it. Just thought you may want to clarify in your 'ible for those that may want to tackle this themselves.

Great job, keep hacking!

3 replies

Thanks for bringing this up. From my own particular research (please tell me if I'm wrong, I'm no plumber) as far as PVC vs CPVC is concerned that doesn't matter as much for an application like this. The pipe that I used was 1/2" ASTM Certified D1785 NSF Schedule 40 PVC pipe. Now back in the 70's there was a lot of issues with Poly Vinyl Chloride present in drinking water causing nasty things like cancer. Because of these issues, the government started to regulate the specifications of PVC. If you look at section 11.2.1.6 of the Standard Specifications set by the ASTM signifies that D1785 pipe is potable water safe. The only difference that I see between PVC and CPVC for this application is that PVC is only rated up to 140 °F where CPVC is rated up to 200 °F. The only issue I can see, is if you are taking a 150 °F shower, it might start to warp a bit.

I'm working on my upcoming PVC class today, and this comment thread really pleased me. You share some great tips in this i'ble - thanks for all the inspiration :D

Dear Tomatoskins,

Great project you did, looks are different then fuction, Your's fits you desired fuction, a moment of peace!

I love the above, direct and correct answer you gave.

Some wash cars and trucks, to make their wheels look Good.

Others water the lawns, to make the home look good.

You wash with a real comforting spray, and You feel GOOD.

Wise move... Your work mate will enjoy a happier You.

- 224 Jake

Droughts be damned!

This looks quite pleasant, although I'd probably have to install a larger hot water heater if I had this at my house. How long till your water runs cold?

3 replies

My shower used to last around 20 minutes with hot water, but now it sadly only lasts about 12.

You require a larger water or a On Demand heater. But do your homework for the on demand heaters. Location and distance to the faucets may cause heat loss.

I'm no plumber, but based on the hookup, it looks like it won't take much more water than a normal shower.

Another possibility is to use 2 shower curtain rods to hold the weight of the assembly, this way you wont have to put holes in your cealing.

1 reply

Oh, I really like that idea! That way you could still do this if you happen to have an all tile shower.

Cool idea, will definitely give me some ideas for my own bathroom. Also thanks for introducing the stud finder to me, never knew they existed, could of done with one a few months ago instead of me crawling round my attic. Thanks!

I think this is really cool. I'm off-grid and I have a little minion who runs from the shower and I'm tired of holding him. I read all the comments and it's pretty simple on saving water. One thing no one ever mentioned which I remember learning as a kid (born in '86) as most my age learned and forgot. It's the same as brushing your teeth. Turn water on and soak body/hair. Turn water off and soap up and wash body/hair. Turn water on and rinse off. Get out the shower. I'm surprised with all the smart comments no one assumed you could just possibly cut the water off without exposing all your business. Either way great idea! My minion is 3 ft at 2 yrs old already. I'm 5'4" and my spouse is 6'. So I can definitely see where this would come in handy. Thanks for sharing it!

I made one of these last week; if I can do it, chances are a reasonably smart dog can do it. I did find shower heads with 1.25 gpm flow rates. The result is that the shower feels like standing in a summer rain that's just the right temp. I had an old hand held shower, so I used that to make the connection between the water inlet and the shower, eliminating the tubing and hose clamps. It works great!

1 reply

What a great idea using the other hose! Glad this was able to give you some inspiration!

Project was really easy and I modified it a little bit to meet my personal needs, but it works great.

This could look even more fantastic with a Chrome Plasti-Kote finish. Maybe a satin Krylon Fusion paint. Also, this might use more water, but could make for shorter duration because it is more effective at getting you clean. I bet it would be really awesome with atomizing shower nozzles. Google Nebia for an example.

Nice !

Great Job !

You Make the World a Better Place to live !

People that shower with glasses are creepy.

Awsome job.