It is very important to winterize outdoor showers. They are susceptible to freeze damage just like water faucets and hose bibbs. The unit(s) must be drained in case of freezing conditions. In extremely cold climates it is advisable to remove faucet handles, cartridges, and accessories like hand sprays, foot showers, drinking fountain bubblers, and hose bibbs, etc. and store them inside during winter months.
TYPICAL VALVE ASSEMBLY AND ADVICE FROM A PROFESSIONAL PLUMBER!
- Plumb your outdoor shower with a shut-off valve so that the entire system can be totally drained prior to winter weather.
- Turn off water supply to the shower unit. For a stop and waste valve, shut off the water by turning the valve clockwise until it won’t turn anymore. For a ball valve, turn the handle a quarter turn so it is perpendicular to the pipe. Remove drain caps and let water drain.
- Turn on all valves and accessories to the shower letting them drain completely.
- Use compressed air to blow excess moisture out of the pipes and valves.
- If an air compressor is not available remove the shower heads, valves and cartridges, hand sprays, foot showers, and hose bibbs and store them indoors for the winter. Cover the shower pipes to prevent water and debris from entering the exposed openings.
- If you forget to winterize your unit before freezing temperatures occurs and your pipes do freeze, you can avoid busted valves if you act quickly. If the frozen pipe is a hot-water line, open the hot-water spigot. The moving water might thaw the pipe. If both hot and cold water lines are frozen, or if you are not sure, open both spigots. Keep opening and closing the spigots until the water flows freely. A hair dryer or other source of heat can be used if needed.