The ergonomics of outdoor reno

Image: Pexels

The ergonomics of outdoor renovations: How to get the plumbing right

From an outdoor shower, toilet, or sink: Here’s how to make the best use of your space when renovating your outdoor entertainment area.

The ergonomics of outdoor reno

Image: Pexels

If you are dreaming about renovating your outdoor entertainment area, you are in the right place. Richard Bailie from the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) says that in South Africa, outdoor entertainment spaces are usually about swimming or having a braai. And so, there are many ways in which you can use your space efficiently in order for you to get the ergonomics just right…plumbing wise.

Plumbing Ergonomics | Outdoor entertainment

Egonomics are simply about making the best use of space through the “optimum placement of equipment, integrating the human factor into design, and effectively aligning it all into the surrounding environment are important aspects of ergonomics,” says Work Design Magazine.

Therefore, before your renovation kicks off, it is advised that you call a PIRB registered plumber to help you with the finer details of your surrounding environment.

Richard advises that homeowners consider the following when looking at ergonomics to efficiently use the space you have. This might include the following:

1. An outdoor shower

“Summer means swimming. Whether it is straight from the beach or into your own pool…if you are lucky enough to have one. With this in mind, wouldn’t an outside shower be nice?” says Richard.

But with an outdoor shower, there are certain plumbing requirements to be met.

“Again, make sure to adhere to requirements by using a PIRB registered plumber,” he adds. “It may seem okay to just let the water fall on the ground, like a hosepipe right? But think of the long-term effects. The build-up of deposits, erosion and undermining of the foundation should all be considered.”

It is also advised that you consider soap and shampoo. Together with your PIRB registered plumber, you should contemplate where this will run off to. While you do get environmentally friendly soaps and shampoos, it is likely that non-friendly soap could be used at some point. It is a good idea to let this run down the drain. Extra water down the drainpipe is always good to keep it clean.

2. An outdoor sink

It is always helpful to have a sink outside to clean your freshly caught line fish or rinse vegetables. That’s why you must consider hot and cold water and remember that waste must go to the sewer and that the hot water source is close by.

3. An outdoor guest toilet

Richard says that you can easily prevent a lot of traffic in and out of the main house with an outside guest toilet. If that isn’t possible, consider a simple, screened urinal. Of course, make sure all waste/sewer requirements are met by using a PIRB registered plumber.

4. Drains

Because of the nature of cooking in general, an outside hard surface could get dirty and greasy over time. That’s why you have to cater for the washing of this area by installing a suitable floor drain. Note that depending on the nature of what you are washing down the drain, there may be a requirement of a grease interceptor, although this is unlikely.

5. Water features

Water features are always a fantastic added luxury in any outside area – but there are other things to keep in mind in this instance.

Find a PIRB Registered Plumber

A PIRB registered plumber can help you in all of these areas. If you need to find a PIRB registered plumber in your area, the PIRB has a Search Button that can be accessed via On the PIRB’s homepage, look for the green block that states: “Is your plumber from a PIRB Plumbing Company? Find one today!”

To get in touch with the PIRB, please call 0861 747 275 or 012 654 8245, or simply send an email to

If you are a plumber who has not registered with the PIRB yet, please click here to register.