Introduction: Bootleg Cellar Shower

So you're getting your only shower replaced. It's going to take weeks, and you need a place to shower in the meantime. Yeah, you could join a gym for a month. But, a better option is to rig up a terrible rinky-dink bootleg shower right in your own cellar.

Step 1: Collect Parts

You will need some of the following, but you can probably improvise.

  • A cellar with a washing machine outlet
  • A collection of old lengths of garden hose and connectors. This is your "plumbing"
    • Pro tip: thin-walled hose will burst when used with hot water
  • A garden hose sprayer. This is your "showerhead"
  • A plastic tub (a nasty old greasy thing that you use to clean bike parts works great). This is your "drain".
  • A submersible water pump.
  • A faucet assembly
  • Various scraps of plywood, MDF, masonite, whatever.
  • Some bricks or cinder blocks
  • Plastic sheeting

Step 2: Build the Shower Pan

  • In the corner of the cellar, lay out some bricks/blocks to provide a support for the floor.
    • Pick a corner that the plumber won't need to access!
  • Lay down a piece of plywood (or whatever) atop the bricks for the floor
  • Slide the plastic basin partway under the floor.
  • For "wall framing" just lean some scraps of plywood against the cellar walls and/or use a file cabinet, old shelves, etc. Anything that will stay mostly vertical.
  • For the front lip, I attached a piece of wood using 3 nails. I consider this a personal failure. I should have used duct tape.
  • To the untrained eye, the final product should look indistinguishable from a random pile of wood in the corner.

Step 3: Floor, Walls and Ceiling

  • Cover the floor with plastic sheeting.
    • Let the sheeting run up the "walls" for at least a few inches.
    • Affix the plastic to the walls with duct tape and/or staples.
    • Let one small section of plastic fold down and into the plastic tub. This is the drain.
  • Staple sheets of plastic to the ceiling joists, and let them dangle. These are your walls.
    • Make sure the wall plastic overlaps the floor plastic.
    • Attach wall plastic to floor plastic with small pieces of duct tape.
  • Finally, staple one more plastic sheet to act as the ceiling.
    • Make sure it overlaps the wall plastic
    • Again, use random pieces of duct tape to stick the two pieces of plastic together, if you feel like it.

Step 4: Run the Plumbing

  • From your washing machine outlet, attach two hoses, one for hot and one for cold
    • Use tee fittings if you want to keep your washing machine connected as well
  • Attach each hose to the inlets on your faucet.
  • Attach another hose to the outlet of the faucet
  • Just kinda leave the faucet laying on the floor unless you've got a better idea.
  • Run another hose from the submersible pump to wherever your washing machine drains to.
  • Plug the pump into a GFCI-protected outlet. That way, when one of your connections inevitably fails and spews water all over the place, it's funny instead of deadly.

Step 5: Final Touches

  • You probably won't be able to stand up in this contraption, so you might consider the luxury of a plastic lawn chair.
  • Make sure that side of the cellar is really messy. Move some file cabinets and shelves in front of your new shower. Pile a bunch of books and old VHS tapes on top. This will hide your awesome shower from any nosy plumbers or city inspectors.

Step 6: Enjoy!

No more trekking all the way to the gym!

Pro tip 1: Go ahead and spring the extra few bucks to get metal hose clamps instead of plastic.

Pro tip 2: Don't forget to turn on the drain pump before you get in the shower. That probably would be bad, not that I would know through personal experience or anything.

Pro tip 3: Maybe keep a bathrobe or something down there. You might not want to be naked and shivering while you're making an emergency repair. Again, not that I would know.