Building Your Own Outdoor Shower

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical in North CarolinaIf you haven’t already, you’re probably planning—or at least dreaming of – your next beach vacation. How about bringing a little taste of the tropics to your home with an outdoor shower? A simple version can cost less than $1,000. Here is what you need to know to get started.

First check that an outdoor showers is allowed in your area or if you need a permit for it. Next, think about location. You’ll want a place that is not under a roof or tree and has direct sunlight for warmth as well as drying the walls and floor. You’ll also want a private area!

If you choose to install the shower right up against your house with one of the walls being your siding, keep in mind that the material may not be designed to withstand that much water. You’d want to add a waterproof membrane underneath, and also use a material such as teak or cedar.

Plan out what type of draining you’ll use.  The shower will need to drain into the household system or a French drain. If you go with a French drain, you’ll likely need to replace the gravel every few years. Obviously, you’ll want to drain away from the home and if you care about your garden, away from those plants as well, as soap can affect them.

You’ll likely want to hire a professional plumber to do the plumbing, unless you go the very simplistic route of using a garden hose as the shower head. If you do want to tackle the plumbing yourself, you’ll have to assemble the pipes, drill an opening into the floor, push the garden hose through and attach it to the threaded pipe, secure it to the wall and attach the shower fixture.

Remember, in the winter you’ll want to shut off the water valve and have the pipes blown out before temperatures drop to freezing.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

 

Outdoor Project Safety

 

When you’re working on your spring outdoors projects, take precautions. Every year people end up in the hospital for simple mistakes that could have easily been avoided. In fact, most injuries happen on your own property. Here are some simple tips to help you be safe.

  1. When using electrical appliances, stay on dry ground. Keep all of your equipment away from pools, sprinklers, hoses, wet ground, or any standing water. You can also use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help protect against electrocution.
  2. As soon as you hear thunder, that means lighting is not far off, even if it is not storming at the moment! It is best to head inside. Don’t risk your life by trying to stay out for a few more minutes to finish your project.
  3. Make sure your extension cords are in good condition, and are rated for outdoor use. Also check that they are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity of the item you’re using.
  4. When using lawn tools, protect yourself from debris by wearing close-fitting clothing, eye protection and sturdy shoes. Also, remove objects such as sticks and stones that would be in your way.
  5. Do not fill tanks with gasoline while machinery is on or still hot. Do not smoke around gasoline.
  6. Before climbing trees, look for power lines overhead. This is especially important when using an aluminum ladder, which is an excellent conductor of electricity.
  7. Before installing a fence or planting trees, call 811. This free service will tell you where buried utility lines are located. This is crucial so you don’t knock out lines to your house or your neighbor’s house.
  8. It is spring allergy season! Wear a dust mask if you suffer from allergies. This will help filter out mold spores, pollen and other potential allergens.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24-hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Avoiding Tree-Planting Disasters

 

Planting pretty trees can spruce up your yard and allow for privacy in certain areas. Before you get started on this project, here are a few things to think about:

  • Take the location that you want to plant the tree(s) into strong consideration. Choosing the wrong spot can lead to issues not only with your land, but your power lines, plumbing/sewer lines and your home’s foundation, driveway and sidewalk. Think about how large your tree will eventually grow.
  • Plant trees away from overhead power lines, other large trees, and the house’s foundation, driveway and sidewalks. Growing trees can make concrete crack. A four-foot distance or more is usually a good rule of thumb. You might be tempted to plant trees near the home for shade, but consider how large it will grow.

 

  • Call 811 to schedule an underground utility inspection. This is free for homeowners. It will prevent you from digging through an underground utility line, which could knock out power to not only your home, but your neighbors’ homes as well! This is also a great service to use if you want to put up a fence.
  • Don’t forget the lateral—the underground sewer line that connects to your home—is filled with water. Tree roots naturally grow towards this line and then thrive on the sewer line’s contents. Furthermore, soil shifts and can crack sewer lines. Damage can ultimately lead to sewage backups in your house.*
  • Stay atleast 10 feet from lateral and 20 feet from under ground pipes and utility lines when planting.
  • You can get your home surveyed (or check the survey documents if it has already been done) to find the sewer lateral on your property. You can help protect your sewer line with a root barrier. Types include: growth inhibitors (chemicals which stop further root growth), deflectors (physical barriers), and traps (screens and sheets.) It is best to consult a plumber before using these.
  • Keep in mind that some types of trees have less aggressive roots than others and water your trees well so roots don’t need to grow out in search of water.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!