Mr Steam MS90EC1 steam geneartor installed in San Miguel de Allende (C) Daniel Friedman Steam bath Generator Outdoor Location
Install a steam generator in a protected area outdoors?

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Installation details protecting an electric steam shower or steambath steam generator when locating it outdoors.

Construction of a weather-tight cover that yet provides air circulation and working space might permit an outdoor location of a steam generator in some climates. However the manufacturer of this equipment does NOT recommend outdoor installations.

This article series describes in more detail the installation of a residential steam generator in the shower of an existing home. We report what went well, how successfully the steam generator operated after installation.

We continue by describing repair of a new but failed steambath steam generator installation: what went wrong, what trouble it caused, and how steam generator problems with small residential steam generators might be diagnosed and repaired.

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Installing an Electric Steam Generator Outdoors: weather protection

Outdoor cover for Mr. Steam steam generator (C) Daniel FriedmanThe manufacturer of this equipment expects you to install it in a clean, dry, location protected from the weather. Outdoor installation is not advised in most cases: for the Mr. Steam steambath generator like the MS90E described in this article series, the company warns:

DO NOT install steambath generator outdoors or wherever environmental conditions may result in a shock hazard or affect performance of the generator.

After considering the usually dry climate of central Mexico the owners and their installer speculated that a steam generator might be installed outdoors successfully if in a dry climate and if it were adequately protected from rain, including blowing wet windy rain. In central Mexico the risk of freezing pipes was not a concern.

Watch out: the manufacturer warns that exposure of an electrical steam generator to the weather, particularly rain or to freezing conditions is likely to damage the electronic controls in the unit and could cause damage to components containing water if water in the system freezes.

It is also possible that any installation that violates the manufacturer's recommendations can void the equipment warranty.

The steam generator was kept indoors in a clean dry area until the outdoor installation and weather protection were ready.

A weather-tight but ventilated steel box was constructed by the prime-contractor's metalworker, as we illustrate here. The bottom of the enclosure was left completely open.

Mr. Steam MS90E outdoor cover installation (C) Daniel Friedman

The top and sides were made of solid steel while louvered access doors were designed to resist wind-blown rain but still to permit ventilation. We included locking handles so that a security padlock can be installed if needed to prevent tampering with the unit.

Watch out: in a damp or humid climate or in a climate exposed to salty sea air or to wind-blown rain, an outdoor installation, even with a weather-protective cover is likely to result in damaged equipment. Before trying such an installation, discuss your plans with the manufacturer of your steam generator.

Outdoor cover for Mr. Steam steam generator (C) Daniel Friedman

The size of the steam generator outdoor enclosure was specified to give ample working space to remove the steam generator cover, to access its control valves, and to permit its complete removal if necessary.

Caulk seals the Mr. Steam outdoor cover to the building walls (C) Daniel Friedman

When the enclosure was installed it was also sealed against the building wall using silicone caulk. Below you can see the completed Mr. Steam steambath generator outdoor installation.

Mr. Steam generator outdoor installation cover completed (C) Daniel Friedman

After six months of monitoring including through a wet rainy season we were able to confirm that the equipment was never wet from rain nor from condensation.

Watch out: however, one of the screws used to mount the outdoor cover pierced a control wire and damaged the steam generator, rendering it inoperative. The process of diagnosing and fixing the unit is described at Mr.STEAM MS90E TROUBLESHOOTING.


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