Recirculating Showers?

d.brophy

New member
Has anyone seen a long-term review of one of these homebrew recirculating showers? It sounds like a great system, but literally all the soap residue and dirt you wash off yourself will be deposited in the filtration system... I wonder how much effort that is to clean / flush / manage?
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
Who has done one?

What do you think of them?

Any pitfalls or advice?

I think if it is done properly, this would be a very nice addition.

For those unfamiliar, here are a few links I found from one channel:

Intro episode 1


Episode 2



Maintenance episode



Episode discussing them



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When that hot water hits,don't pee. I've been using a Reunel 2-gallon garden sprayer for 30 yrs. Extended the hose and shortened the wand. Heat the water with coffee pot boiling until perfect and start spraying, 2 gallons= 4 showers. The atomizer nozzle slows water usage.
 

d.brophy

New member
When that hot water hits,don't pee. I've been using a Reunel 2-gallon garden sprayer for 30 yrs. Extended the hose and shortened the wand. Heat the water with coffee pot boiling until perfect and start spraying, 2 gallons= 4 showers. The atomizer nozzle slows water usage.
Does that recirculate the waste water?
 

joeblack5

Active member
We use a recirculating shower.
Originally we installed filters but the pump I used did not provide enough pressure to push thru the filters. The turbine pump was also sensitive to ingestion of hair and such.
The heating was done with an inexpensive heated shower head.

We are a family of four with a dog.
I made the shower pan so that water collects in a low spot and tig welded a ss cooking pan in the shower pan that collects the water. In the bottom is a normal sink drain with a rubber stopper.
The pump sits in the pan and pushes the water to the shower head. The shower head heats the water. About 2800 watt it needs to keep the temp hot..
We like long warm showers, for me it relaxes my back.

We dump 1/2 gallon water in the pan, start the pump, plug the showerhead in and wait 5 min. Sometimes we start with warm water if we had a campfire.

We shower 10 - 20 min with little soap. Then drain the water and refill with clean water to rinse of.. the next person will start with the rinse water of the last person and so on.
We were on the road for 5 months and link the heated shower to the solar production of the solar panels.
Never got an indication of being sick.
The kids are instructed to not drink the water and attempt to keep it out of their mouth.

That being said. This is not for everybody..
Someone on another site mentioned the phrase " the residential experience"


I really like long showers to reduce my stuff back and this is the only way to do it.

The potential diseases are real but when you live on the road, eat unfamiliar food at unfamiliar places then there are many more things to get sick from.
The idea that one can maintain perfect hygiene while camping with limited resources is not very feasible.

Now I have expanded the system with a heat exchanger to our webasto tsl17, a uv filter and modified the shower pan so that water drains back even under extreme angle of the vehicle.
We added a thermovalve that attempt to stabilize the shower temperature independed on the heat delivered by the heat exchanger.

Johan
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
We use a recirculating shower.
Originally we installed filters but the pump I used did not provide enough pressure to push thru the filters. The turbine pump was also sensitive to ingestion of hair and such.
The heating was done with an inexpensive heated shower head.

We are a family of four with a dog.
I made the shower pan so that water collects in a low spot and tig welded a ss cooking pan in the shower pan that collects the water. In the bottom is a normal sink drain with a rubber stopper.
The pump sits in the pan and pushes the water to the shower head. The shower head heats the water. About 2800 watt it needs to keep the temp hot..
We like long warm showers, for me it relaxes my back.

We dump 1/2 gallon water in the pan, start the pump, plug the showerhead in and wait 5 min. Sometimes we start with warm water if we had a campfire.

We shower 10 - 20 min with little soap. Then drain the water and refill with clean water to rinse of.. the next person will start with the rinse water of the last person and so on.
We were on the road for 5 months and link the heated shower to the solar production of the solar panels.
Never got an indication of being sick.
The kids are instructed to not drink the water and attempt to keep it out of their mouth.

That being said. This is not for everybody..
Someone on another site mentioned the phrase " the residential experience"


I really like long showers to reduce my stuff back and this is the only way to do it.

The potential diseases are real but when you live on the road, eat unfamiliar food at unfamiliar places then there are many more things to get sick from.
The idea that one can maintain perfect hygiene while camping with limited resources is not very feasible.

Now I have expanded the system with a heat exchanger to our webasto tsl17, a uv filter and modified the shower pan so that water drains back even under extreme angle of the vehicle.
We added a thermovalve that attempt to stabilize the shower temperature independed on the heat delivered by the heat exchanger.

Johan
Given how much water some recirculating showers seem to take for cleaning, etc., this is actually quite clever. A more powerful pump and a coarser filter might work as well.

Got a link on the magic showerhead?
 

Ramdough

Adventurer
We use a recirculating shower.
Originally we installed filters but the pump I used did not provide enough pressure to push thru the filters. The turbine pump was also sensitive to ingestion of hair and such.
The heating was done with an inexpensive heated shower head.

We are a family of four with a dog.
I made the shower pan so that water collects in a low spot and tig welded a ss cooking pan in the shower pan that collects the water. In the bottom is a normal sink drain with a rubber stopper.
The pump sits in the pan and pushes the water to the shower head. The shower head heats the water. About 2800 watt it needs to keep the temp hot..
We like long warm showers, for me it relaxes my back.

We dump 1/2 gallon water in the pan, start the pump, plug the showerhead in and wait 5 min. Sometimes we start with warm water if we had a campfire.

We shower 10 - 20 min with little soap. Then drain the water and refill with clean water to rinse of.. the next person will start with the rinse water of the last person and so on.
We were on the road for 5 months and link the heated shower to the solar production of the solar panels.
Never got an indication of being sick.
The kids are instructed to not drink the water and attempt to keep it out of their mouth.

That being said. This is not for everybody..
Someone on another site mentioned the phrase " the residential experience"


I really like long showers to reduce my stuff back and this is the only way to do it.

The potential diseases are real but when you live on the road, eat unfamiliar food at unfamiliar places then there are many more things to get sick from.
The idea that one can maintain perfect hygiene while camping with limited resources is not very feasible.

Now I have expanded the system with a heat exchanger to our webasto tsl17, a uv filter and modified the shower pan so that water drains back even under extreme angle of the vehicle.
We added a thermovalve that attempt to stabilize the shower temperature independed on the heat delivered by the heat exchanger.

Johan
Thanks for the real life report. Do you ha e any pictures?

Thanks


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joeblack5

Active member
Sorry, no real good documentation pics.

Regarding my shower adventures:
some of my discussion details on another forum.


page 9 post 177 and on
page 15 post 281


Then a very vague pic of the pan that I welded in the floor pan.

page 7 post 12

some more discussion but no pics.

this is the one we use... heated shower head fleabay

Johan


altogether sorry that i have not good pictures or can not find them back
 

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
Sorry, no real good documentation pics.

Regarding my shower adventures:
some of my discussion details on another forum.


page 9 post 177 and on
page 15 post 281


Then a very vague pic of the pan that I welded in the floor pan.

page 7 post 12

some more discussion but no pics.

this is the one we use... heated shower head fleabay

Johan


altogether sorry that i have not good pictures or can not find them back
Thanks for this. Do you just run the shower head through a large inverter?
 

simple

Adventurer
What about a hybrid system? First thing wash your body quickly and drain that water into the grey tank. Next, extend your shower / relaxation time with a simplified recirculating system with a single course filter and eventually drain that water into the grey tank or ground (If drained to a bucket I'm sure there would be some thirsty plants near by). Maybe that would burn 2-3 gallons for a long shower instead of 7 or 10 and you start with fresh water each time.
 
220v shower heads are common in developing countries. The fun starts when you’re standing naked shivering next to the running water in a very dubious poorly lit concrete shower stall and when you flip on the heated head the lights ALWAYS dim from load. High pucker factor going under the water.
FYI in many of those places you would love to have your own recirculating shower water. IMHO everyone is overthinking how clean your water needs to be to shower. 10 years experience of straight sand filtered river water for showers. Rule is simple, keep your mouth closed when you shower. Wash mouth with filtered water. Most of the developed world could you a good boost in immunity anyway.
 

joeblack5

Active member
Thanks for this. Do you just run the shower head through a large inverter?
Sorry busy with other stuff.... Yes thru a 3000 watt pure sine wave.... Indeed the heated shower element adds a bit of stress.
For that reason I do not ground my inverter..so the 120 volt neutral is floating relative to vehicle chassis.. not code compliant by most standards but an isolated return is no return is no current us no shock.

To reduce electrical power consumption I now have made a tube in tube heat exchanger that is connected to the webasto coolant heater.

Johan
 

joeblack5

Active member
I forgot ...with a recirculating shower the heat demand is a lot lower. So a 2500 watt shower head delivers more heat then is comfortable for your body at a 20 Celsius environmental temperature.

Johan
 

CappyJax

Member
I plan on having a recirculating shower in my build. I have a unique idea that I think will work. I'd have to bench test it to be sure, but my idea is to have the grey water drain return to the filter line via a second pump. So, essentially two pumps, one pumping from the drain, and the other from the freshwater tank with each going through one way valves to the filters. Then the output from the filters goes to the shower head, but a pressure valve opens to send excess water back to the tank. This keeps the water in the tank always clean, so you are storing soapy dirty water in the tank. Also, Like Joe said, it will greatly reduce the energy needs for the instant on electric water heater because a large percentage of the warm shower water will be immediately recycled rather than returning to the tank and having to warm the entire tank.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
As a former drinking water county lab tech. My first thought was wow a new golden shower system 😆😆😳.

I worked with water testing lab stuff. The really interesting stuff was always private well water we treated it like bio hazard waste, given more often than not we cultured some super nasty stuff from those water samples.
Soooo
A grey tank at room temp or better yet warmer temps possibly filled with marginal water sources and enroute a dirty body of two or three? Yep I’m seeing it.. Yeah filter system and maybe a chlorine treatment system gets you back to a water like substance that doesn’t contain live bio hazard level organics. Hey who has the box of baby wipes? Yeah I think I’d go wipes or occasional hotel room for a shower lol.
But thats just me and my former (oh geeze thats nasty stuff) water lab experience. No thanks

But yeah really curious if anyone tries this?
 
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