How to Take a Hot Shower If the Water Heater Is Broken

Too often we take hot showers for granted. When a flood hit my house a few years ago and destroyed the water heater, I took an ice-cold shower for the first time in my life and vowed never to have a truly horrific experience again.

However, your water heater is just another appliance that will eventually let you down. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a faulty component , or an unpaid utility bill, you may one day wake up to the chilling truth that you don’t have hot water. When this happens, you have two options: you can harden yourself with daily (or weekly ) Ice Bucket Challenges, or use a backup.

The good news is that installing a backup hot shower is easy and affordable. Here are your options for when your water heater isn’t working and is making you shiver.

Purchase a portable tankless water heater.

One emergency solution to avoid cold showers is a tankless portable water heater, whether electric or gas.

Electric tankless water heaters are much easier to deal with. You need to make sure you buy a model that can be plugged into any wall outlet (as opposed to a model that needs to be connected to the mains) yet can still provide hot water on demand when your water heater is turned off. services. You simply plug them in, connect to a faucet with an adapter , then plug in a portable shower head .

Having these items on hand means you can take a warm shower in minutes. Note the use of the word ” warm ” here; Portable tankless water heaters aren’t very powerful, so you won’t boil yourself alive with it – and you won’t get a massive stream of water. But it will be much better than standing under a stream of liquid ice.

Propane tankless water heaters are usually designed for outdoor use due to exhaust issues – you shouldn’t use them indoors unless you like risking your life. But if the weather is warm enough to install it outside, or if you can position it so that the hose reaches an indoor shower (perhaps through a window), it might work. The advantage of a gas water heater is that it works much better than an electric model, but keep in mind that on top of the ventilation problem, you will also need to have propane on hand to make sure it works when you need it.

Try a sun/camp shower

Another option in warmer weather is a sun or camp shower . These are relatively simple items: you fill them with water (usually about 5 gallons or so) and then leave them in the sun to warm up. When you’re ready to take a shower, you hang them up and let gravity do its thing. The best part about this solution is that the solar shower will work even if you don’t have electricity and it only needs a sunny day to run. On the other hand, while it can be used in colder weather, if you have a very sunny spot in your home, you’ll probably have to endure a pretty cool shower, but it can still be better than an icy one.

Or take a bucket shower

Finally, if you have a way to heat the water (if your stove is still running, for example), you can take a hot shower using any five-gallon bucket. Here you have two options. You can buy such a battery powered shower head. The shower head automatically pumps water out of the bucket, and while you won’t be blown away by the pressure of the water, you’ll have a nice warm jet of water to bathe in.

Plus, you can build a survival shower bucket with a few simple tools and inexpensive components. Once you heat up some water (you can use the sun if the weather is warm), this setup will use gravity to create a decent impromptu shower. When you’re not using it, it creates extra storage space.


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