Outdoor Solar Shower: Nothing Between Me and the Sun but a Smile, Part 2

Reader Contribution by Andrew Odom
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As with any project the first step is to literally break ground. No gold coated shovels here. In this part of the country we break ground with a good ol’ pair of post hole diggers, and when you are talking about Georgia red clay, they had better be reinforced diggers or the only that will break will be your handles!

The size had been determined. The shower stall would be roughly 4′ x 4′ while the dressing “room” would be roughly the same. This allowed for few cuts as we already had a couple of our corrugated metal sheets at that width. The framework was to be simple connecting 2′ x 4′ to 2′ x 4′ in a skeletal pattern. Framework 101, I call it. The only difference was the 4 main posts (the corners) were salt-treated lumber in order to withstand weather and constant moisture. I unfortunately had to buy those which was already half of our budget. After working up the frame (including the door way) we decided on a concrete shower floor that would have a center drain with attached PVC leading into the garden so as to use runoff water for deep root irrigation. In order to support such weight though we had to build a separate framing system within the shower stall. Not an issue though as we simply ripped more 2′ x 4′ from wood salvaged at a construction site elsewhere in the county.

The concrete floor was a standard build using 2′ x 4′ scraps for the batter boards and 1/4″ – Grade 40 rebar for reinforcement. The 4′ x 4′ size required 8 bags of 80 lbs. Quikrete which with a little math proved to be right at 640 lbs. We were definitely going to need help moving it in when the time came.

Once I had poured the ‘rete and floated it we had gotten about as far as we wanted for Day 1. This project was going to hold until the cement was ready.

What should have been about 48 hours turned in to about 1 week and Day 2 didn’t come until 10 days later. The framing was in place. The concrete was dry. It was time to start laying some PVC for the water source and figure out how we would get water up to the black polypipe and back down to the shower head.

… More of that tomorrow …but first, some more pictures …

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