Sunday, October 9, 2011

20-gallon Solar Heated Hot Water Heater and Shower

Build this solar heated hot water shower for as little as $25 (if you have some spare lumber and items laying around) and save on hot water heat costs! This 20 gallon capacity shower provides enough water for a family of 4-6 to take daily showers and the design is simple. The plastic cover over the top enhances the solar heating, making this a shower that can possibly be used 6 months out of the year in even the colder northern climates. You only need the south side of a garage, house, or shed to mount the frame. The shower fills with an ordinary garden hose.

This shower works great! Tell your friends about this idea - we need to do whatever we can in these times of +4$/gallon oil and gas prices!

Check Out the NEW IMPROVED version of this solar shower!

Also see my Blog Post About
The $5 Solar Garden Hose Shower I Built!

Materials List:
  • Old garden hose
  • Hose mender, male end mender, and on/off as shown in Step 1
  • (2) 32" 2x4's, (2) 35" 2x4's, (2) 33" 2x4's, (1) 39" 2x6, 39" 2x2 for box and frame shown in Steps 2 and-3
    39" by 35" piece of 1/2" plywood or (2) pieces 39" by 17 1/2"
  • (1) 39" 2x6 or 2x4 and 30-39" 2x2 for frame support shown in Step 4 and 5
  • Small scraps of plywood for diagonal stops (Step 2) and to hold down plastic (Step 10)
  • 35" long 3/4" x 1.5" board, 35" 2x2, 35" 2x4 ripped to 2 1/4" for Step 6
  • 4" to5 3/4" by 39" scrap of plywood or siding  for Step 6
  • 5 ft by 5 ft square of relatively clear plastic
  • Ordinary black 55 gallon contractors garbage bag
  • 8x10 tarp for privacy curtain
  • Shower head - hose sprinkler head or watering can spout works well
  • 2", 3", and 3 1/2" hex-head deck screws
See Steps 1-6:

See Steps 7-11:

New Improved 20-gallon Solar Shower! - Free Building Plans: 

solar shower
This new improved solar shower features an exterior of recycled slab wood (scraps from a lumber mill that are normally discarded), a glass top on a weather stripped frame that flips open and seals in heat much better, a door that opens and closes securely, and a light that illuminates the shower after dark. So now I can take a shower in the morning and the water is still luke warm (hot summer weather). Also, now no tools are needed to replace the bags just flip open and secure the top with the rope pulley system. All-in-all these were some nice changes that I think will greatly increase the use-ability. The steps I used to build this shower are given below.


1 comment:

Catherine Todd said...

Linda, I was reminded of a post I made on my eco-architecture blog about a simple solar hot water heater that uses a large plastic bag above the shower head. They used black, which made it too dark, but I imagine here with lots of sun clear plastic could be used very easily. I know you don't mind cold showers, but take a look! A solar heated outdoor shower could be a wonderful addition to the sustainable casitas. There's lots of different plans for solar hot water, but this one really does seem simple. I would just do it with transparent plastic lamina or curtains or something to bring in lots of light, as well as be completely opened to the outdoors. Gorgeous stained glass style?