DIY Outdoor Shower




A great way to cool down in the summer. This is a very easy project that is fun to do and has many benefits on a hot summer day. Many of the materials used for this can be found at dumps so this project is very low cost.

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Step 1: Plastic Barrel

Find or buy a plastic barrel that's 25 gallons or less. Make sure to clean it very well before use.

Step 2: Pump, and Cap

If you have an old lawn sprayer you can take the hand pump off of that and screw it in to the barrel as long as an airtight seal is made. Many barrels have holes in the top that are made for a screw in piece. If there are two holes, seal one with the pump and put a plumbing cap on the other.

Step 3: PVC Pipe for Shower

Buy fittings that are one inch in diameter.
Fittings you will need: one 90 degree pvc pipe, one 45 degree pvc pipe, one six foot long piece of 1 inch pipe. These will run up the side of the barrel so that the end is above your head. Don't forget to buy pvc cleaner and glue as to prevent leaks since this will be under some pressure.

Step 4: Cut Hole in Barrel

For cutting a hole in the barrel you can use a metal hole saw that's one inch or a very large bit. You have to make sure that there's a very snug fit connecting the pvc to the barrel otherwise it will leak. Use enough glue to make a secure leak free seal. You may have to do several layers.

Step 5: Connect Pipes

Connect all the pipes with a good seal and use the right around of pvc glue. I recommend using pvc pipe cleaner before where the pipes will be joined so there is no chance of a leak.

Step 6: Construct Shower Head

A shower head will be needed to direct the water down. For this I used an old vaccum hose and some string. This works fine to direct water. A steady stream should come out when you pump. The one negative about this is you will have to pump while you stand there but that is not hard since the pump is very easy to use and takes very little effort.

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    5 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Have you tried a male pipe fitting as your first fitting at the barrel? The male fitting would be the perfect size for the hole that is cut with your hole saw. If you are able to remove the barrel top and gasket you could use the male fitting and gasket on the outside and the same sized female fitting on the inside of the barrel, then reinstall the gasket and barrel top and ring.


    2 years ago

    I love this Idea and I will also be building this with a couple of minor tweaks.....

    I believe I am going to install a tire valve stem, so I can pressurize my barrel.

    I will be having a ball valve somewhere in the pipe that the shower head will be attached to, so I can regulate the amount of water and pressure I use per minute.

    I would also like to attach, to it, some sort of solar water heater.... Not quite sure how I'm going to make this part though. i'll probably just take a coil of copper tubing, as tightly wound in a circle as I can get it. Build a box slightly larger that the coil, and line the inside of the box with Mirrors...back and sides, to maximize the amount of heat generated back onto my copper coil....... I just thought of something,,,,(using a closed pressure system like this will generate it's own pressure from the water getting hot *(BOILING I hope)* and not having anywhere for the steam to go, except to re-condense back into water............ now that I think about it like that I better install a water heater pressure relief valve into the system, JUST IN CASE!!!!!

    Well, Just some of my thoughts! I will in fact be making this Project, within 2 weeks......... And I will be sure to take lots of pictures, in case I want to write my own tutorial / Instructable and post it later.

    REMEMBER: it's better to be SAFE now, than SORRY later!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep up the good work, and keep them TUT"S coming,,,



    5 years ago

    They would definitely handle the pressure
    as long as you use pvc glue, I was going to use that concept but I bought the wrong size valve.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is such a cool concept. I've been digging around for outdoor shower mechanisms that suit my situation. I live in a maple canopy (no solar) and I don't have a well (no water pressure). These things are limiting as far as the run-of-the-mill outdoor showers I've seen. This 'Keg Shower' is awesome.

    I can't believe this wasn't featured: Come on Ratfink! This is ingenious!

    Do you suppose you could add a valve to be able to trap the pressure and 'pump up' the shower? (that way you could shower hands-free) Do you think the barrel and fittings would handle the pneumatic pressure?

    Keep up the good work.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Using a pump is great too, since that means you can conserve water a bit. Nice idea :D