Picture this, you are having a backyard party at your beach house a day from now. You will have lots of sandy folks wanting to go in your freshly cleaned house. What will prevent this from happening? An outdoor shower of course!
a) don't want to spend a lot of money on a temporary set up
b) want to try and offer a pleasant experience (aka, not a freezing one!)
c) you want it to be a good party conversation starter
Well I have a fun / easy / inexpensive solution... A simple solar heated hose system with an up-cycled can as the shower head.
Step 1: Supply List
(x1) 100 foot long black garden hose
(x1) large shelf bracket
(x1) small shelf bracket
(x6) 5/8" stainless wood screws
(x1) 3/4" Male / Female garden hose fitting
(x1) 3/4" Male / Female garden hose fitting w/ valve
(x1) O ring hose washer
(x6) 14" black zip ties
(x1) aluminum can (I used a Mike's Harder Lemonade can)
(x1) bag of large smooth stones (I got mine at Home Depot)
box cutter with fresh blade
fine tip Sharpie pen
wooden spoon or stick
Step 2: Pull Tab
Remove the tab from the empty can that is to be transformed into the shower head.
Step 3: Mark It
Take the hose fitting without the valve and place the male threaded side down on top of the can, so that it's circumference lines up as best as possible with the drink hole in the can. Use the pen to trace the fitting outline onto the can top.
Step 4: Cut It Out
Using the box cutter, carefully shave away the metal until you end up with the traced circle cut out.
Step 5: Make It Holey
Using the tip of the box cutter, carefully puncture holes into the bottom of the can. Do this by lightly pressing the blade tip into the soft aluminum and then twisting the blade back and forth a little bit. Do an outer ring and an inner ring, like pictured.
Step 6: Press & Pop
If you leave the convex bottom as it is, when you turn the water on, the water streams will spray inwards instead of outwards. To fix this, take a wooden spoon or a stick and place it vertically on a hard surface, handle up. Place the can down onto the handle so that end of the spoon is resting on the inside bottom of the can. Put your hand over the end of the can and press down until the center of the can pops out and forms a little mound in the center of the bottom. If necessary, you can raise the can and slam it down (gently) onto the handle end until you've achieved this.
Step 7: Screw 'em
Put the can to the side and grab the hose fittings and O-ring. Screw the two fittings together, placing the one with the valve on top. The O-ring goes on the male threaded end of the non-valve fitting like pictured.
Step 8: Get Connected
Carefully screw the male threads of the bottom non-valve fitting into the cut out hole of the can. Screw it in until you see the rubber O-ring squish a bit.
Ta da! Your new shower head is ready to be attached once you've installed your solar heating hose and supports.
Step 9: Installing the Brackets
This system is best installed on a fence that gets some sunlight in the earlier part of the day. So once you've picked out your spot, use the screws and drill to attach the large bracket to the fence as high up as you'd like the shower head to be plus 6".
Then attach the small bracket lower down and to the side that is nearest to the water source that you'll connect the hose to.
Step 10: Mount the Hose
Leave the 100 foot hose coiled up and hang it on the lower, small bracket. Uncoil just enough of the female threaded end to reach the faucet. If it's quite a distance away, use another hose to bring the water close to the coil.
The idea is that the sun will get absorbed by the black hose and heat the water stored within. So there should be enough for a couple short, warm showers. (How you decide which two folks get to go first is up to you) :)
Connect the coiled hose to the faucet.
Uncoil enough of the other end to go up the fence, out the bracket, and down about 4".
Step 11: Getting Vertical
Take a zip tie and make a loose loop going through the hole at the end of the large bracket. Make a second loop connected to the first.
Bring the hose up and put the end through the bottom loop. Snug up the zip tie, but don't cinch it tight.
Step 12: Snug It Up
Place zip ties around the hose at the base of the large bracket and at the midpoint.
Step 13: Batten Down the Hatches
Or rather, the hose.
Connect two zip ties together to make one long one. Put the tie through the hole in the back of the bracket arm and loop it around the hose and up through the front hole. Cinch the zip tie tightly, securing the hose in place on the bracket.
Step 14: Get It Together
Screw the can shower head onto the end of the hose.
Step 15: Testing, Testing
Turn the faucet on, just a quarter turn so that there isn't a huge amount of water pressure.
Slowly open the valve on the shower head until it's all the way open.
Notice where the water goes. This is where you'll be placing your stepping stones.
Turn the water off.
Step 16: Get Stoned
Dump out your bag of stones where the shower water landed and spread a nice thin layer of them into a circle. These will help keep your feet from getting muddy.
Step 17: Keep the Outdoors Outside
You are now ready to ensure that fewer pieces of sand and sea salt will end up making their way onto your clean floors!
Happy summer fun times!