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ToddPod: Cleaner Homes, Cleaner Water

Outdoor showers add to your customers’ enjoyment of their hot tub

Many of the homes Todd Leatherman was building along the Jersey Shore had an outdoor shower. Eventually he partnered with a company that made prefabricated showers, making installation easier and saving time not starting from scratch. However, over time there were issues with the quality — so he decided to start making them himself.

Leatherman spent tons of time and a lot of research developing the outdoor shower enclosures and two years ago opened a U.S. manufacturing facility, says ToddPod co-owner Dawn Samuels.

The shower enclosures come in three sizes: single units, double units and cabanas. In addition to the shower, customers can also include a toilet in the enclosure.

“They’re very flexible in their uses,” says Steven Metz, owner of Central Jersey Pools in Freehold, New Jersey. “They can also be used as a changing room. We have a double-sized version on display that shows the changing room and the shower. We’ve had some interest but no sales yet.”

ToddPods have a limited lifetime warranty, which Samuels says is thanks to Leatherman’s tireless research. “Our powder-coating technology is guaranteed never to chip, fade or rust,” she says. “We do slip-resistant decking. The doors will not buckle like a regular PVC door would buckle.”

Its powder-coating process exceeds the AAMA 2605, a specification for the performance of powder coat. It uses the thickest PVC available and has UV and mold inhibitors.

Pat VanNess, sales manager at The Brite Acre in Wall, New Jersey, says her company chose ToddPod becuase of its quality “far surpasses the competition,” VanNess says. “The other manufacturers are imports and they’re nowhere near the quality of a ToddPod. You can clearly see it if you were to compare one system to the other.”

As an example VanNess points out the hinge the company uses. “The hinge on the door is a piano hinge versus a strap hinge,” she says. Strap hinges are typically used on outdoor gates and eventually sag, but not with the piano hinge.

VanNess has customers who use them simply as changing areas or even for extra storage.

Samuels says installation is fairly simple. “Once you do it a couple of times, you can install one in three or four hours, tops,” she says.

They can be installed on concrete/masonry or a deck. With grass, gravel or sand, the company recommends using 6-by-6 pressure-treated wood. “Have it knocked together to the size of the unit you’re installing, and dig it into the ground,” Samuels says.

Typically, homeowners place the enclosure next to an indoor bathroom to tap into the existing hot water plumbing system. A plumber would be required.

For families tired of having grass and dirt tracked in the house, or who have poor water quality from heavy bather load, an outdoor shower may be the solution.

“A lot of cabanas are $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000,” Samuels says. “You can do ours — with the toilet, with the sink — for a little less than $10,000.”

ToddPod sells online where it doesn’t yet have dealers, Samuels says. Eventually, its goal is to have dealers throughout the United States.

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