Hot Showers : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I realize this isn't a life or death question, but I was thinking this morning about how much I will *REALLY* (and I mean REALLY!!!)miss hot showers. I have a solar shower and a woodstove to heat water in the winter, but was wondering if anyone had come up with any better solutions than this??? For what it is worth, I also have a hand pump on a well.


-- Nicki (, October 07, 1999


If you want something close to a shower, then you'll have to invest some time anchoring a strong eye-bolt to the ceiling over your tub/shower stall to hang a 2 or 5 gallon collapsable plastic water jug. Heat the water over heat source, pour into jug, mixing with cold water to get a comfortbale temperature, then hang from eye bolt. These jugs have a twist/turn nozzle so you can set it to pour in a slow stream to last. Alternately, what we've gone to doing is heating water up, filling a bucket, and bend over the tub and use a large plastic glass to dip into bucket and pour water slowly over hair to wash. I've washed my hair in northern winter time outside under a hand pump. Twice. No more. My head went numb for some time after each time. I may learn slow, but I learn *good*! No more.

If you won't be satisfied with much less than the pressurized hot water shower we now enjoy, you'll have to expend a lot more money and resources to maintain that standard of living. Get a reliable generator and supply of fuel for a water heater hooked up to your existing plumbing.

Friends of our, missionaries, have used a dark plastic container to heat the water during the day and then dribble/pour out later for a afternoon shower. But that was in warmer parts of the world. Considerably warmer.

That's all I have to offer. Oh, and we've used those collapsable water jugs for camping and for power outages, mostly to set up on edge of table of kitchen sink for a supply of pouring water (washing hands, dishes, etc). Walmart sells a blue plastic, STIFF, water container holding 5 gallons, with a adjustable spigot/twist thingy. This is far superior because the collapsable jugs cave in and fall into the sink or off the table as they empty.

Oh, and one more thing. If you want to prepare to endure trying times, you need to prepare yourself mentally first and foremost (I include spiritually in that as well). If you can not endure life without a hot shower for a long time, then you can't endure. Maybe you can endure more than you think. I bet you can. Try it. :o)

-- Programmer Farmer (, October 07, 1999.

Hi, Nicki,

You don't say what your water supply will be, but if you are going to have running water, you can put either coils, or a water heater insert in your wood stove or wood heater. I've heated my water this way, in the winter, for twenty out of the last twenty-four years. (I actually made my own wood heater, with one whole side of it two layers of steel, an inch apart; this "water jacket" heated more water than we could use, if the weather was very cold) If done right, you'll have so much hot water that you can't believe it. The only drawback is that the water jacket, coils, etc, tend to make your fire cooler, which makes it less efficient. I use solar/electric now in my new house, because the Quadrafire's outstanding efficiency would be destroyed by heating water. Unfortunately. My power bill is about twenty dollars a month higher because of this (except in the warm months, when I use solar)

You might talk to a wood heating store to find out more info.


-- Al K. Lloyd (, October 07, 1999.

You can use the pump sprayer for a shower, the kind you buy at lawn and garden depts to spray plants. We use one to spray our dogs with flea and tic dip. Will work great for a shower.

-- Carol (, October 07, 1999.

If you have a hnd pump, you are half way there. If you have a non- electric ignition, propane-fired hot water heater and can do some plumbing you can have your showers. Remember to keep the water heater shut off until you need to use the shower so that you can save your fuel.

What you'll need to do is to put a water tank, like a fifty gallon drum with a hose connection at its base of water, upstairs so that there will be water flow to the shower. Then pump the container full of water. Have the other end of the hose connected to your house water system with a faucet adapter on the kitchen sink.

Your shower needs to be at least one floor below the water tank. Turn on the water to from the tank and the faucet you're connected to. Then light the water heater and let it heat up. Once you have hot water you can shower, but you'll need to keep someone pumping the tank full while you shower.

This kind of system could work well enough for everyone to get a once- a-week luxury shower, but it's a lot of work for everyday. Now if you've got the luxury of a spring-fed water system (common around here) then your only concern would be conserving fuel.

And trust me, I'm working on developing a spring at our place as soon as I can muster the bucks. 'Cause I like my hot showers, too.


-- Wildweasel (, October 07, 1999.

Thanks for the great ideas. I am going to print out the thread to show my husband. I'm sure he would miss his showers too! Maybe the thought will motivate him to implement one of these ideas.

Thanks for the advice Programmer Farmer. Trust me, I am a survivor - but I am also much more pleasant to be around after my shower & coffee :-)


-- Nicki (, October 07, 1999.

Kmart and Wallmart sell two gallon camping shower bags. Put in hot water and hang in your shower. I have already used it and tested it. It workes great!!!

-- freddie (, October 08, 1999.


Cheaper than Dirt has the Swiss water bags(Black rubberized nylon). They say Nur Fur Trinkwasser(not for drinking water) and they are set up to be filled with about 4 gallons of water and then set in the sun. At the end of the day you hang them in the overhead and take a hot shower. I think you could put them in a breadbox solar collecter and have more than enough hot water for the shower.

-- nine (, October 08, 1999.

IF you have a COMPLIANT sig other, hot showers will be no problem. Large garden watering can, water heated any way you want and the cleaning games begin. the ONLY dreawback is that you may need to repeat the shower procedure a bit later...... nudge nudge wink wink (the cats understood about the baths but they didn't understand about all the water first.....)


-- Chuck, a night driver (, October 11, 1999.

Scrounge a broken water heater from the tip or next street throw-out day. Remove nice outer case and fiberglass insulation. You should be left with a steel or copper water tank. Install on an outdoors stone fireplace. Connect piping so cold water from a header tank (a 55-gal/200l drum is OK, maybe 15 feet high) will supply cold water under pressure to the inlet connection. Connect heater tank's water outlet to your shower hot tap. It takes me about 1 hour to run the fire to heat the water for my showers, usually every 2nd day. (There is enough water for several people so much heat is wasted.) Mine is an old electric heater, so I laid it horizontally. A friend uses an old gas heater; that's better because it has a funnel up the centre. He built his vertically and surrounded it with corregated iron, and it takes about 20 minutes for a hot shower. This is in the boonies of Queensland, Australia, where ingenuity has to replace money. Have fun!

-- Davo (, October 13, 1999.

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