Q. Ed, I love your column and would like a little inside information from a plumbing expert. We recently bought a house with an outdoor shower stall. The problem is the showerhead is an old beat-up fixture and we want to replace it. What do you recommend for an outdoor showerhead, and how should we take care of the plumbing lines and the new showerhead for the winter months?
A. Outdoor shower stalls can be a lot of fun during the summer. However, privacy is the big concern, so they're not practical for every home. If you're lucky enough to have an outdoor shower, I recommend investing in a quality showerhead. I would choose a multifunction, handheld-shower system, complete with a hanging bracket that can attach directly to your shower-arm water pipe. This will give you the option of using it as a standard shower, or removing it from the bracket and using it as a personal shower.
Multifunction, handheld showers also allow you to set spray patterns so you can enjoy several different showering experiences. In the winter, make sure you completely drain all the water lines and the mixing valve for the outdoor shower. I also suggest removing the handheld shower system from the stall and storing it in a warm area for the winter months.
• Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and hosts TV shows on Scripps Networks and HGTVPro.com. Visit eddelgrande.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org.