Does an outdoor shower add value?

The idea of using an outdoor shower is not new. People have been doing so for centuries. However, the technology required to do so has improved greatly over time. In fact, there are many different types of outdoor showers available today, ranging from simple hand-held units to full-blown systems that require electricity or even solar power (see our list here). All these options vary widely in price and features.

However, there are some things that all outdoor showers share: They’re expensive and they’re noisy. That’s why most people opt for a simpler option like a hand-held unit rather than going for one of the more elaborate ones.

In addition to being loud, an outdoor shower system can also be quite costly due to installation costs and other associated expenses. Outdoor showers are also often used in areas where plumbing isn’t readily available such as in RV parks or even on boats!

If you want to save money and still enjoy the benefits of an outdoor shower, then consider installing one yourself. You’ll find that DIY projects tend to be less complicated than those done professionally, which means you can get started right away instead of having to wait months for your contractor to finish up his job. Plus, if something goes wrong during the project, you won’t have any problems since you’ve already invested in the materials needed for the project.

So what’s the deal? Is there any benefit to using an outdoor shower system? Does it really make sense to spend money on one when you could just install a basic indoor unit instead? Well, if you want to save money, then yes…if you don’t mind spending a little extra time and effort installing your own system. If you’re looking for something fun and easy, then no. You’re better off having a professional come over and installing an outdoor shower for you in one day.

In either case, you’ll have a quality shower system that will last you for many years to come. Just keep in mind that if you do decide to go with the hand-held option, you’ll need to be within close proximity of a water source since these types of showers require a constant supply of water pressure in order to function properly.

Outdoor Shower Plumbing

Let’s take a look at the plumbing aspect of an outdoor shower system so you can see what’s involved:

The first thing that you’ll need is a water source. This can be anything from a garden hose to a special unit that contains a water tank. The point is you’ll need to have access to a constant supply of water that can be sent through the showerhead and out towards the user.

Of course, you’ll also need a way to get rid of all that used water. Most people solve this problem by sending it through a drain or simply letting it fall onto the ground, but you can also invest in a pump system to send the water back to where it came from (you might want to ask your local building inspector for specific advice on this subject before going too far into your project).

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In general, an outdoor shower system is pretty easy to put in yourself as long as you take the time to plan everything out before you begin. Don’t forget to purchase all the necessary parts such as a handheld showerhead, flexible supply lines, a water pump and everything else you’ll need.

Installing Your New Shower System

Take a look at your shower installation site and make a list of everything that you’ll need to complete this job properly. Make sure you have easy access to both water and an electrical outlet since you’ll need to power any pumps or heaters that come with your shower system. If you need to extend any water lines make a note of that as well as you may need to contact a plumber or get a professional to do this part of the job for you.

Once you’ve finished your list, take it to your local home improvement center or plumbing supply store and see if everything is in stock. Most of the time, the workers in these stores can give you great advice and can probably suggest a few ways to improve upon your original plan.

If you’re installing an outdoor shower for the first time, it’s always a good idea to invite some friends over to enjoy it since a new shower is sure to impress!

Installing an outdoor shower system is really easy to do as long as you set everything up properly from the start. The most important aspect of installing an outdoor shower is making sure that the water flow is consistent. You don’t want the water to be spraying everywhere and you definitely don’t want it to be weak and ineffective. Once you have a steady stream of water, you can have fun with different types of showerheads or even steam generators to make your outdoor shower experience more enjoyable.

Connecting Multiple Outlets

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INSTALLING AN OUTDOOR SHOWER SYSTEM

Connecting Multiple Outlets

Last of all, the most common type of electrical outlet you will find is the duplex outlet, so named because it has two outlets. These are also referred to as a two port receptacle. While the term “receptacle” may sound less technical than the word “outlet”, do not be fooled, they are the exact same thing. The only reason some people prefer to use the term “receptacle” is to lessen the amount of syllables they must utter when referring to such a device.

The most common type of duplex outlet you are likely to see in your home has two horizontal rows of holes, one above the other. These are known as “pigs snouts”. This is so named because, if you look at the outlet from the side, it kinda looks like a pigs snout.

The holes in each row are electronically wired together, but for the purposes of this discussion, we will assign a top row and a bottom row. Holes are also referred to as terminals. On the back of the outlet, you will find two screws, one on either side of the outlet. If you remove these two screws and pull the front plate off, you will see the wiring inside.

The bottom row is attached to the bottom terminals of each of the two screws and these are called the “line” terminals. The top row is attached to the top terminals of each screw and these are called the “load” terminals.

Now that we have some basic knowledge of outlets, we can discuss how to wire a duplex outlet in a way that will allow us to connect multiple devices.

When you wired your outlets, you did so by connecting one side of the hot wire to the black screw and the other side of the hot wire to the red screw and you did the same with the neutral wires. This is called “series wiring” and it is fine for most applications. However, if you were to connect two series wired duplex outlets together, the load on the circuit would be doubled. In most cases, this would be just fine, but if you had a heavy draw device wired to that circuit like an electric stove or a space heater, you could have a situation where the current flowing through that series string of outlets exceeds the ratings of the wire and/or the devices wired to that circuit.

This is called overloading the circuit and you really don’t want to do it.

A much better way to wire outlets is called “parallel wiring”. In this type of wiring, the hot wire from the circuit is connected to the hot terminal on one outlet and the hot wire from the second outlet is connected to the hot terminal on the third outlet and so on. The neutral wires are hooked up in the same manner.

Parallel Wiring

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If you were to connect two parallel wired duplex outlets together, the load on the circuit would stay the same, but if you were to add a third, fourth, fifth or sixth device, the load on the circuit would also stay the same. In other words, adding more devices to the series string does not increase the load on the circuit. If your electric range was wired to the same circuit as the series string of outlets I talked about earlier, you would have a problem, but since it is wired to its own parallel string of outlets, it will not.

Another advantage to wiring outlets in parallel is that if one outlet happens to short out, it will only result in that one outlet being turned off and not the entire circuit. This is a safety feature of parallel circuits that we will take advantage of in the next step when we wire our relay into the outlet.

As far as the wiring of the outlet connections go, you will simply follow the diagram below. The top row is attached to the top screws on the back of the outlet (line) the bottom row is attached to the bottom screws on the back of the outlet (load). Anything else is up to you. You can leave the neutral connections alone, you can connect them all together, or you can hook them up to the back of another outlet.

It’s up to you, just make sure that the line and load connections are hooked up as shown in the diagram to the left.

Now before you get too excited and start cutting wires, first check the back of your outlet to see what type it is. There are two main types of electrical outlets in your home. The most common is called a “NEMA” outlet. These are widely used in the US and Canada.

They will have up to four screws on the top and bottom of the back of the outlet. The other type is called “Europlug” and is used mostly in Europe, Australia and elsewhere. It will have two screw terminals on the top and bottom. If you have this type of outlet, you can still follow the steps below, but you will have to buy a Europlug to Standard Outlet adapter at a local electronics store or online before proceeding. I suggest you do so now as you don’t want to get half-way through this project and then realize you have to go buy an adapter.

If your outlet is a NEMA type, proceed with the instructions, if not I am very sorry but this guide won’t help you. You will have to find another guide for your specific outlet type.

The next step is to open up the extension cord you plan on modifying. Depending on the type of cord you purchased, this may be as simple as squeezing the prongs of the plug together and pulling it apart or it may require a little cutting with a knife. Once you have the wires exposed you will need to strip off about 1/4 inch of the plastic coating to expose the copper wire underneath. You can do this by hand or if you are feeling brave, you can use wire clippers and just snip off the plastic coating.

If you do this, be very careful not to cut into the actual wire. Once you have stripped off the coating, you should have a bunch of exposed copper wire strands. If you look at the picture to the left, you will notice that I have cut open the extension cord and stripped the wires for two of the outlets (the black and white wires in this example). Now that you have exposed copper wires on the black and white outlets of the extension cord, it is time to move onto the next step.

Before moving on, it may be a good idea to test the outlet you just modified to make sure it worked. Plug something in and make sure it works. If it does, GREAT! Move on to the next step, if not, you may have hooked something up backwards or missed a connection somewhere.

Go back and check your connections before proceeding.

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Now that you have your extension cord ready to go, you need to decide how many outlets you want to have on your bar. As you can see in the picture to the left, I have 2 three outlet extension cords hooked together. This gives me a total of 6 outlets on my bar. I highly recommend that you not skimp on this part.

Having a cheap unreliable extension cord just isn’t worth the risk. Having an entire bar out because the extension cord crapped out on you on a busy night is much more costly than buying a good cord to begin with.

The way I have my bar wired, each set of 3 outlets is it’s own “chain”. or “block” if you will. The top chain consists of outlets 1, 4 and 7, the middle chain consists of outlets 2, 5 and 8, and the bottom chain consists of outlets 3, 6 and 9. Each chain is it’s own separate circuit and can be turned on and off seperatley from the others.

The number of outlets you choose to put on your bar will determine the total number of chains you need. In my case I have 9 total outlets and so I needed 3 chains, or sets of outlets.

Once you have decided on how many chains you want on your bar, figure out which outlets on the extension cord you want to connect together. In my case I took the Black Wire (Hot) and connected it to the Brass Screw Terminal on the first outlet. Then I connected the White Wire (Neutral) to the silver screw on the same outlet. This is the first “chain” or “block” of outlets.

I then connected the black wire from the next outlet to the brass screw terminal on that outlet, and the white wire to the silver screw terminal. This process was then repeated for the third outlet, thus creatting my 3 chains with 3 outlets each.

Once you have all of your chains created, you are ready to move onto the next step. That is it for the wiring portion of the project. If you only want one chain, then you are done with the wiring part and can move onto the next step, however if you want more than one chain, you will need to go back and connect each additional chain the same way we just did with the first one.

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