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Old 05-08-2013, 06:29   #1
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Recirculating Shower System(s)

As I've gotten older (and lived too long on land) I've gotten use to a nice, longesh (by boat standards), hot showers. Now that I think about a live-aboard situation again, I'm wondering about an isolated shower water system that would recirculate a good portion of the shower water for at least a few days prior to being dumped and replenished.

Are there any such systems in existence?
Has such an idea been discussed anywhere on this forum?

Naturally the types of soaps that could be allowed would have to come into question, and of course NO pissing in the shower, etc, etc
I just thought we would have the filtering systems etc, capable of doing this job these days??

I did see this:
2012 Invention Awards: A Recirculating Shower | Popular Science

....and this
Super-Effficient Water-Saving Shower

I guess there are more, just never looked into the subject till just recently. Any body with practical experiences with such ideas?
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:17   #2
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

I would think that even using special soap and not warming the water it would be pretty gross to shower in second hand water, even one's own. I have had shower water stand for a day when the sump pump clogged and it started smelling pretty ripe. Would not have used again if you paid me.

I can do a complete shower, hair and rinse with 2 Liters of water but your objective is not to conserve but to maintain land type long showers so my solutions would be

1. Do the long part of the shower with salt water and switch to fresh for a final, short rinse.

2. If option #1 isn't attractive for you, have a long, fresh-water shower but at very low flow rates. You can get shower heads that increase pressure of the spray while using a lower volume of water.

3. Bigger tanks, but these take room and add weight.

4. Water maker, but this takes room, adds expense and uses power.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:14   #3
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Quench system

Read this link?
Super-Effficient Water-Saving Shower

Quote:
So how does the Quench shower save so much water and energy?

The Quench shower is a complete modular shower enclosure with a built-in water recirculation system. Quench actually operates in two modes. When you first enter the shower, you quickly attend to cleaning needs, using as little water as necessary. In this mode, operation of the Quench shower is no different from any other conventional shower. This is why, for maximum efficiency, the manufacturers recommend washing and rinsing as quickly as possible. Nonetheless, with its low-flow showerhead, a 7 minute shower can use just 25 liters (6.6 gallons); less than 1 gallon per minute.
The efficiency of the Quench shower comes with what its manufacturers call the “hydrotherapy experience.”
“There is more to showering than simply ‘washing’. A lot of time is spent in the shower enjoying the hydrotherapy experience well after the washing process has been completed.
The hot flowing water – with its unique splashing sound – is hard to compare with any other therapeutic experience that is ‘so readily available’ to us all.”
After washing, the occupant switches showering modes from the conventional shower to its internal recirculating tank. Rather than running more water to enjoy a longer shower experience, the water is recirculated. The recirculation tank capacity is just 4 liters. This not only saves water, but, since the recirculated water is already heated, it requires very little additional energy to keep the water at the desired temperature. Furthermore, since it relies on the internal system pumping the water, once it is in recirculation mode, it provides good shower pressure even in areas where the local water pressure is low.

The recirculation tank also includes a sanitizing system which is activated automatically after each shower, to maintain a clean water system
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:18   #4
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Another system

Here is another system:

Digital And Electric Power Showers | Eco Showers And Bathroom | recyclingshower.com.au

By recirculating shower water in real time we can provide far more water at the showerhead than the shower actually consumes. Our shower gives you 9.0 litres per minute at the showerhead but only uses 2.7 litres per minute to do this, giving water savings of 70%. In addition to the water saving, energy savings of 70% are also achieved because the recirculated is already warm and therefore requires much less heating.

The recirculated water is filtered 3 times and heat pasteurised in less than 25 seconds and then immediately reused. No water is stored in the shower and no water is ever shared between users.
This means we give you a shower that is high on performance, high on efficiency but low on cost with no compromises.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:34   #5
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

Seems like either system will use what I consider a lot of water but may be just fine for you, depending on tankage, cruising area and such.

The first addresses the dirty water question by washing and rinsing first, disposing of this dirty water, then just recirculating new, clean water through the shower to extend the time. If your goal is just to stand under the shower for a longer time then this sounds workable.

The second by filtering and pasteurization in 25 seconds? Filtering water fast enough for shower flow rate is not going to get rid of anything but the bigger chunks. To truly pasteurize water in 25 seconds I think would take a very energy intensive and very expensive system. I would be very skeptical of this system but I could be wrong.

I have never heard of any boat using any system like these. May be out there so you might hear from someone with personal experience.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:35   #6
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

Sheesh, 2.7 litres/minute! I use less than a litre to shower with a whale type foot pump http://www.downwindmarine.com/images/P/15735.jpg and http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pro...b48fdd_300.jpg

But then I don't take even warm showers. The water is always close to the ambient air temperature which can be comfy warm to bone chilling cold. Cold air - delayed showers.

Works when I shower though.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:36   #7
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

I am a gadget guy, but even for me this is over the top. If you want house showers... Rent a room.

If you truly need a long shower, like previously suggested use saltwater then rinse with fresh.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:47   #8
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

how about instead of recycling the water,just shower with a friend,this will halve the water usage
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:55   #9
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

Get a big watermaker.....reusing shower water is not appealing.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:58   #10
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
how about instead of recycling the water,just shower with a friend,this will halve the water usage
Not so fast! Variables to consider, foremost whether or not shower number 2 normally takes longer or shorter showers.

Are both satisfied with the same water temperature?

Is there enough space in the shower stall for two people - even close friends or lovers? This is a boat after all.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:04   #11
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
Not so fast! Variables to consider, foremost whether or not shower number 2 normally takes longer or shorter showers.

Are both satisfied with the same water temperature?

Is there enough space in the shower stall for two people - even close friends or lovers? This is a boat after all.
where there is a will ,there is a way

though having enough room to pick up the soap is a bonus
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:55   #12
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

Think about washing your bum and then putting your face into the spray...sorry I don't buy the filter & pasturize idea. Maybe with a household system that can hold the water and apply some secondary processes but this doesn't look viable.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:11   #13
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

Yuck!!

I've used wash rack equipment for heavy equipment that uses the filter and separate routine for the water. It stinks and leaves a film on everything. I could only imagine it would be worse on me.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:37   #14
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Re: Recirculating Shower System(s)

Brian, I plan on building just such as shower, as the Admiral absolutely, positively, no question about it, must be able to take 30 minute hot showers, or life is not worth living.

So indeed, the idea is to have a switch that recirculates the water that can be changed once the washing is over, and the 'soaking' begins. She thought this was an acceptable solution.
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