How to Make a DIY Water Mister for Your Backyard

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Even with fall approaching, there are still many hot summer days yet to come.  As enjoyable as summer can be, sometimes the heat can become uncomfortable.  If you find that your patio is becoming to hot and uncomfortable for you to sit in, you may want to consider adding a water mister to your home.  Although you can buy water misters at places like Walmart, it is going to be cheaper if you make your own.  Today I’ll go over the steps to making your own DIY outdoor water mister, as well as what supplies you need and where to purchase them.  Hopefully you’ll find this article helpful so that you can enjoy comfortably sitting on your patio again.

What Is a Water Mister?

A water mister, also known as a water mist system is used to cool off an outdoor space on hot days.  It is most commonly used to cool off patios and porches.  Water misters work well in warm climates with low humidity.  It should be mounted at higher levels, usually 8 to 10 feet off the ground on the outside edge of the patio cover and away from windows to avoid water spotting. Water misters are very easy to make, and can bring plenty of coolness on hot summer days.  Now let’s take a look at how to build one.

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Supplies Needed For Building Your Own

  • PVC pipes
  • Mist sprayer heads
  • Shut-off valve
  • In-line flow regulator (optional)
  • In-line filter
  • Elbows
  • Couplings
  • T fitting with a ½-inch side fitting (if needed)
  • Pipe straps

Where to Purchase Supplies

You should be able to find all of the supplies needed at a local hardware store.  Home Depot and Lowe’s should carry these supplies.  If you can’t find them at a local hardware store, you can shop online.  Also, you can shop for a DIY water mister kit.  There are many water mister kits sold online.  Water mister kits allow you to build the water mister yourself, but it comes with all the supplies needed.

Image Source: Misting Pros

How to Build a Water Mister

Step 1:

Plan and measure the area to be covered by the DIY mist cooling system.  To find out how much PVC pipe you’ll need, measure the length of the area in feet to be covered by the mist system and divide by 10 to calculate the number of pieces of pipe required.  Add an extra piece to cover any waste or errors in cutting.  Next, calculate the number of mist sprayer heads needed.  Plan on using four heads for each piece of 10-foot pipe used.  You may not need this many, but it is always good to have extra.

Step 2:

Locate the water supply source to be used for the system.  Usually the water source is a hose bib (outside spigot) close to the area where the mist system will be installed.  Turn off the water supply.

Step 3:

Remove the hose bib.  If it is threaded on the water pipe, unscrew it and add a T fitting with a ½-inch side fitting.  If the hose bib is soldered on, cut the pipe and solder in a T fitting with a ½-inch side fitting.  Replace the hose bib if this is the case.

Step 4:

Attach a shutoff valve to the side outlet of the T fitting.  Turn off this valve and turn the water supply back on.  An in-line flow regulator can be installed if necessary to limit flow.  Attach the in-line filter.

Step 5:

Attach PVC pipe to the filter and run up the wall or patio post to the outside corner edge of the patio cover using elbows and couplings where needed.

Step 6:

Attach a T fitting and sprayer head at the corner.  Make sure the sprayer is aiming downward.  Begin attaching pipe, adding a T fitting with a sprayer head every 3 feet for the entire length planned.

Step 7:

Attach the pipe to the patio cover using pipe straps where needed.  Attach a pipe at the end of the mist area and run down the wall or patio post to a foot or so off the ground.

Step 8:

Your DIY misting system is getting close to being completed.  Now it is time to add a shutoff valve on the end of the pipe. This is used to drain the system when not used during winter or colder periods. Shut the valve at the start of the system and open this valve to drain the system.

Step 9:

Open the valve at the end of the system and open the valve at the start of the system to let out any air.  Close the end valve and check for leaks.  Repair if necessary.  If everything looks good, turn on the water and enjoy the mist.

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Where to Place Your Water Mister

The most common place to install your water mister is on your patio.  This is because people spend a lot of time on their patio during the summer, and that is where they want to be cooled off.  Of course, you can install a water mister almost anywhere, including on a covered porch or deck.  The main reason that you want your porch to have a roof over it is because that way you can install the water mister at the edge of the roof.  If you installed the water mister right above your head, you would become uncomfortably wet.  But if it is a few yards ahead of you on the edge of the patio roof, you will feel a nice mist breeze.

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Other Tips for Keeping Your Patio Cool

Besides installing a water mister, there are some other tips for keeping yourself cool and protected from the summer heat.  Here are a few things to consider adding to your patio so that you stay cool:

  • Add a ceiling fan – An outdoor ceiling fan may be exactly what your patio needs.  Outdoor ceiling fans are rated for the damp/wet air, so you won’t have to worry about your fan becoming damaged.  When winter comes, you can switch the blades around so that it blows warm air instead of cool air.  To check out the top ten best outdoor ceiling fans, click here.
  • Have as much shade as possible – Pergolas, gazebos, and umbrellas all help bring you shade.  Of course, your patio should have a roof over it (most patios do), but if it doesn’t have enough shade consider adding one of these three.  You can even hook up your misting system to them so that you get even cooler air.
  • Have rugs on the ground – If you have a concrete patio, or even a brick one, then it may be good to place some rugs on the ground.  Rugs will protect your feet from becoming hot from the concrete/bricks.
  • Get better furniture cushions – If you find that your patio furniture is becoming very hot, consider adding new cushions.  If you don’t want to waste money buying cushions, consider making your own.
  • Misting fans – Are you not sure if you should install a water mister in your backyard just yet?  Consider getting a misting fan.  A misting fan is portable, and will blow a cool mist onto your patio.  If you feel like you are becoming to damp from it, you can always switch the fan so it blows air only, and when you are ready you can add the mist again.

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Final Thoughts

As you can see, a DIY patio misting system is not that hard to make.  It only requires 9 steps, and after that you have your own outdoor water mister.  All of the supplies you should be able to find at a local hardware store.  If you can’t find them there, you can always search online for supplies.  Before you begin building your outdoor water mister, consider if you want to buy a water mister kit.  It comes with all the supplies you need, but you still get to build it yourself.  Whether you buy a water mister kit or make one from scratch, you will find that the best place to install it is the patio.  A covered porch will work well too, but you won’t want to install it on a deck without any roof.  This is because if you install it on your house roof, the mist will be right above your head.  When it is right above your head, you and your furniture will soon become damp.  It is best to install it on a patio or covered porch.

Besides installing a water mister on your patio, there are many other tips for keeping cool. Outdoor ceiling fans, misting fans, and shade are all helpful ways to keep your patio cooler in the summer.  If your furniture is becoming too hot to touch, new cushions with different fabric may work better.  Rugs on the ground can also be helpful, since they prevent you from burning your feet.  I hope these tips have helped you stay cooler this summer.  Remember, even if it seems too difficult to install a water mister, it actually isn’t.  After only 9 steps, your patio will have a cool mist.  Have fun building, and stay cool.

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