How Do Tiny Houses Get Water?

When a person is thinking of moving into or building their own tiny home, one of the biggest appeals is usually that they will be able to cut down on water use, saving them money and also helping the environment.

But just because you cut down on water use does not mean that you get rid of this altogether. 

When living in a tiny home you’ll need to get water from somewhere. But the question is, from where? The answer will depend on whether you’ll live off the grid or connect to your utilities’ main network. 

Here is everything you need to know about tiny home plumbing, how to store your water effectively, and any issues you could face when installing a water system in your home. 

Plumbing In A Tiny Home

Hybrid plumbing systems are extremely popular among tiny house owners.

With these systems, you can store water in a huge 40-gallon tank  This same tank distributes water throughout your home using a simple pipe connection system.

This means you can have clean water pumped to any part of the tiny home, and it will be at a fraction of the cost that it would be in a regular house.

Another common choice among tiny home owners is the traditional pump and tank system. This method distributes water throughout your home using a tiny water tank and a pressurized pump.

This system is similar to ones found in larger homes, but it’s designed specifically for tiny living.

When using a pump system, one common problem is that the tanks don’t hold enough water. This means you’ll have to change your tank regularly, depending on how much water you consume.

Although a larger tank can be purchased for a higher price, finding storage space can be difficult.

This is why some people prefer to use both systems for plumbing in their homes. Water storage and filtration systems work perfectly with tank and pump systems.

This way, you’ll always have clean water on hand and won’t have to worry about finding water from outside sources. It’s crucial to keep in mind, though, that what works for one family might not work for another.

Before focusing on a particular system, be sure you understand how much water you’ll be needing on a day-to-day basis. 

Common Issues With Plumbing

Like plumbing in larger homes, when something goes wrong with the system it can be a big headache to fix. This is only made worse by the fact that smaller homes often face plumbing issues more often than larger homes.

This should not put you off living in a tiny home though, as though the issues may be annoying, they can be fixed with enough time. 

Here are the common plumbing issues found in tiny homes. 

Hot Water Shortage

you’ll never know how much you rely on hot water until you suddenly don’t have access to it.

Having no running hot water in your home can be one of the most annoying issues when it comes to tiny home plumbing, especially if you have a large family staying in the small space. 

This issue is one of the easiest to fix on this list. If this is a common problem in your home, you should try switching from a tank heater to a tankless heater.

If you do this though, it’s important to remember that hot water runs through the system faster, so using a tankless water heater may mean that you’ll have to dip into your water reserves more often to keep up with your demand.  

Leaky Pipes

At some point, every home regardless of size will experience a leaking faucet or pipe. While this is usually not a massive issue in regular homes, in tiny homes it can be a nightmare to fix. 

Instead of trying to fix leaky or burst pipes when the incident happens, it’s best and easier to try and prevent this from happening at all. It’s very important to have your plumbing system checked for leaks regularly to avoid situations like these.

Also, keep in mind that the older your home is, the more settled your pipes are likely to be. To avoid unexpected leaks, it’s vital that you re-tighten connections regularly, at the very least once a year. 

Low Water Pressure

There is almost nothing worse than having a shower and the water pressure feeling more like a drip than an actual shower. While you might think that pumping water through a tiny home would make the water pressure higher, this is not always the case.

The smaller the pump systems used usually means that the pressure will be lower, and tiny homes usually use tiny systems. 

To avoid low water pressure you need to make sure that the system has been calibrated to your specifications, home size, and needs.

It might take a bit of trial and error, but eventually, you’ll have the perfect water pressure for your showering and bathing needs. 

Clogged Drains

From clogged bathroom drains to backed-up kitchen sinks, clogged drains are a pain to deal with. Check drains for hair and other objects regularly to lessen the chance of clogged drains in your tiny home.

Consider flushing your drains at least once a month to avoid clogged drains. Tough clogs can be broken up using a simple and all-natural mix of water, vinegar, and baking soda, which is friendly to your plumbing and pipes.

Water Off The Grid

If you are not going to be hooked up to the main utilities, then you’ll have to find other ways of getting your water. Here are the most common ways. 

Water Collection Systems

If you live in an area with a lot of rain, this might be the perfect method for you. Water collection systems will collect rainwater and then flush it through a filtration system so that it’s ready for use straight away.

Though it can be quite expensive to install, it’s one of the easiest ways to treat rainwater to make sure that it’s safe to drink. 

Water Storage Tanks

Also called “go get” containers, these are just big budgets that you can leave out in the rain to collect water.

While the cheapest method of collecting water, you’ll have to boil the water before use to make sure that it’s safe, and this can cost you both time and money. 


This is quite an expensive option, costing up to $10K. This is where a company will drill through the ground to find the water table, which you can then use for all your water needs. 


Before you move into your tiny home you need to make sure that you have a plan in place about where you’ll get your water from.

Depending on where you live, you may need planning permission to install these systems, so make sure that you understand the rules before you build or add anything to your home. 

Mandy Carlos
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Mandy Carlos

Hi, my name is Mandy Carlos, and I moved into my own tiny home around 5 years ago. My home is situated on my own plot of land in the country, and for the most part, I live off grid. Living in a tiny home has been incredible, and I love being away from the fast pace of city living. While tiny homes are becoming increasingly popular, there are still many people that are unaware of the best accessories, and necessities to purchase. This is why I decided to set up Clothesline Tiny Home, to share my experiences with others.

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