When trying to figure out how to heat the water for an outdoor shower, you will discover that there are basic three methods. You can opt to connect your shower’s water supply to your home’s hot water pipes, you can use a tankless water heater, or you can purchase a solar powered water heater.
Get the Water Straight from your Home’s Hot Water Pipes
If you do not need a portable shower, this is one of the easiest ways to heat your outdoor shower’s water. By simply connecting your shower’s water pipes to the source of your indoor hot water, you can use this heating method. However, if you plan on using your outdoor shower a lot and you have a small indoor hot water tank, you may not always have access to hot water.
Use a Tankless Water Heater Outside
When you opt to use a tankless water heater, you never have to worry about whether or not your indoor tank has been depleted of hot water. These systems contain a heating element that heats the water as it passes through it on its way to the tap. The amount of water that these systems can heat varies. However, many systems are able to heat water and produce it at a rate of 1 to 3 gallons per minute (for comparison purposes the average house shower uses about 1.3 gallons per minute). These portable systems can easily be attached to a hose or to another water source. A tankless water heater can even be detached from your outdoor home shower and taken on your next camping trip.
Use a Solar Powered Water Heater
A solar powered water heater will probably cost more to install than a tankless water heater, and in some cases, it will even cost more than attaching your outdoor shower to your indoor pipes. However, the long term cost of running one of these systems will be negligible. To save money, you can build your own passive solar heater by simply allowing the water to collect in a tank that is heated by the sun. However, this method can be inconsistent. Alternatively, you can buy an active solar heater. An active heater uses pumps and controls, is more expensive than a passive heater, and may not last as long.
When you decide to build an outdoor shower, you are not sentencing yourself to cold showers. Luckily, there are many different ways to heat your outdoor shower. These methods range in price, and some of them are more efficient and easier to install than others.