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How to live without running water

How to live without running water.

Running water, you know like your shower, toilet, sink, dishwasher, washer machine. Can you imagine life without it?

I don’t know about you but I grew up with the luxury of running water. There were times when my family lost water and toilets so I had a hint of the off grid life. It was frustrating to me at first.

I started my off grid life slowly on the weekends and then dove headfirst into it.

I’m going to tell you how I learned to live without running water. This may help you if you want to conserve water, camp or live off grid.

These are the five topics I will be covering in this post:

Collecting water
Bathroom
Sink
Shower
Laundry

First thing, 5 gallon buckets are our best friend in off grid water land. We have 6 of them.

We collect our water. We are lucky to have a fresh water spring nearby. There are many fresh water springs across the country. We used this site to find ours: http://www.findaspring.com

We gather our water in these 5 gallon buckets. We drive 25 minutes to the spring with my jeep wrangler or his audi. We treat the time together like a date. We try to have fun with it. It takes about 20 minuets to fill up. Sometimes we meet strange people, like one time the whole state lost power for a while due to a storm.

It was so interesting to see what everyone had to say about living without water or power for a few days.

A lady was so worried about our 6 buckets that she reminded us of the shovel in her backseat to hit us and steal our water for when the water dries up from the spring. We didn’t know to laugh or cry.

The bathroom. There really is no bathroom you’ll be use to. The green room. My boyfriend and I still call it the bathroom even though we go outside.

Yes, we would pick a corner in the woods and pee where ever we pleased. Yes, I have the perfect squat. That’s just for number one.

Number two, we use a composting toilet. I do number one in this too since this toilet has a liquids and solids separator It has no stink at all and it is luxurious is the off grid world. Click here to read all the specs about it.

Next, washing your hands and doing the dishes. We have no septic, no city water. We have a sink with a 5 gallon bucket underneath to catch the grey water.

I’ll tell you now, if you don’t put a pcv trap pipe under the sink your water is going to smell horrid.

We went with the S shape. We also have a rubber gasket where the S trap meets the 5 gallon bucket to reduce smell. You can find these at your local hardware store.

We empty the gray water bucket every couple weeks. We empty ours at a relatives house into their on grid septic tank. Always make sure you dump your gray water in a safe, legal spot.

We use ecofriendly cleaning products.  My favorite to use is Dr. Bronners.

We wash our dishes immediately after we eat our food.

When we wash our dishes we will rinse them real quick like in 3 seconds. Turn the water off. Put the tiniest drop of soap on the dish and scrub it.

Once its all soaped up then we turn the water on again and rinse all the suds off.

We will dry them with a paper towel and put them away. Doing the dishes like this also makes your space more pleasant, clean and organized in the end which brings peace of mind when it’s time to relax.

When we wash our hands we basically do the same thing as the dishes. We use the tiniest bit of soap, tiny bit of water, scrub hard and rinse with a little water. Always think about using as least amount of water as possible.

We do have a shower! We didn’t have one for a long time and that was interesting but we do now.

I’m going to post a “how to build the shower” because it’s a bit complex.
But I’ll tell you the basics in this post.

Inside we have a 30 gallon holding tank. That’s it.

Living off grid you really need to watch your water usage because you collect it.

It is a lot of work, but it is so rewarding and freeing.

Showering off grid feels like an achievement.

Our tiny house has a real bath tub and we bought a shower head that has a shut off button we can use if we want.
We have an on demand propane hot water heater that is connected to an electric water pump that is connected to our 12 volt battery.

We try to conserve water as much as we can. We will heat the house up with our wood stove, strip, turn the water on in the shower and as soon as it gets hot we hop in, soak our body, then turn the water off.

We’ll suds up, scrub a dub dub and then turn the water back on to soak.

After you soak you put on your favorite lotion and throw your clothes back on and you feel nice and clean.

It’s important to me to still be clean while living off grid. Not too clean though.

For our laundry we just use our parents or the local laundry mat. The laundry mat is so expensive but since we don’t have an electric bill and our rent is low it kind of evens out and gives us an excuse to use the laundry mat.

If you can use a friend or family’s laundry machines then by all means do it!

The change can be a little weird at first.

Just remind yourself that you will be making a difference for our environment by watching your water usage and you’ll be putting a smaller foot print on our Earth by chosing to live with an off grid water system.

Hope you enjoy the advise in this post and can maybe use them for your own off grid life of living in the woods.

Please message or comment with any questions or personal stories of your own!

This post contains some affiliate links that lead you to the products we use everyday. If you buy from the sites we list, you give us a small commission with no extra cost to you. Thank you so much!

1 thought on “How to live without running water

  1. […] This is a big one to think about. Where are you planning to get your water? Will you have a shower? Will you have a toilet? Is your water choice drinkable? Will you be […]

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