Water for My Tiny Home


I have so much to say about water overall, but for today I'll talk about my current off-grid, non-running water for my tiny home life and current solutions. My smaller home does have a holding fresh water tank of approximately 185 gallons.  I have not yet filled it.   I would like to eventually drill my own well and hook up to that. In the meantime, I'm learning a lot about myself and day to day water usage/needs.

5 Gallon w/Pump in Kitchen
(the table was made by my dad
in shop class 65 yrs. ago)



Before My Tiny Home

When I lived in my larger home with city water, I used a manual filter system for our drinking water. I brought that filter system with me to Virginia.  (I go into and show that in another blog post here). My two 5-gallon water bottles and a 3-gallon water bottle with me.  The bottles were originally my 'emergency filtered water holdings' back in Utah. Now I use them in my everyday life.

Where I use them

I put one of the 5-gallon bottles in my kitchen area and the other in my bathroom. The 3-gallon bottle usually goes with me in the car, even going into the nearest town is about an hour away. Water is a great survival item to always have with you. After some research, I decided to put a basic hand-pump top on each and I love them. Extremely easy to use.

5 Gallon w/Pump in Bathroom

“Water Use Mindfulness”

When I first arrived in Virginia, I took a shower standing in a smaller removable tub (placed in a regular bathtub) at a family members home. They capture their shower water, pour that water into 2-gallon buckets and reuse the shower water to ‘flush' their indoor toilets. Then they a have regular movable shower wand which has a stop water flow valve at the top.  There is a well and most of the time it does have enough daily use water, but they've had it run dry a few times, and have become very water conscious.  Anyhow, I took a full shower using their conservative method.  Simply get in, get soaked, pause the water while I wash, resume the water to rinse and done. My hair is getting longer so it takes a little bit more water too, but not much. I am still taking the same showers I use to take, getting fully clean – but I use just under 4 gallons of water, including the hair wash! Gotta tell ya, I was amazed. (back in the day not so long ago, I would easily empty a 40+ gallon hot water heater to shower)


I am now aware of it in all uses. I am basically an exclusive water drinker, an important use.  So, I still do all the water uses I normally did, just in a much smaller way, by choice. Using exclusively my two 5 gallon water bottles inside my smaller home, I use the water for drinking, washing hands & face, brushing my teeth after every meal/snack, cooking, cleaning…regular everyday stuff. It is just me and I easily use right around or just less than 10 gallons a week.  ~That's it.

I am recommending two items.  The 5-gallon water bottle by New Wave is BPA free, refillable for reuse and does have a handle for easier use.  This water bottle can stand alone or be used with water coolers/dispensers.

The pump that I recommend is pretty versatile.  Varying water bottle sizes, 2-6 gallons, with a screw or plain top can be used with the pump.  Not for use on glass bottles.  It comes with all parts needed, as well as, a couple extras and cleaning tool.  I am all for the most for the least in cost and value, they are both versatile with more than one size or application, another area of import for me.  Oh, and extremely easy to use.
(it looks slightly different than mine, it's a newer version)

Whether you purchase either product below or find another source to acquire them, I highly recommend these two products for smaller home use, large home use, office, garage, camping, and preparedness.  Enjoy!


8 thoughts on “Water for My Tiny Home”

  1. Love your article…at one point in my adventurous life 🙂 we did not have a well but we did have a strong “pure water” stream running through the farm we were homesteading…we quickly learned how to siphon the stream water with a regular hose into a sterilized 200 gallon horse water tank….”many” were the uses for that style of “living off the grid”. I like your hand pump on the large water jug…going to use that “thought” in a cottage I am remodeling presently. YouTube has some really tried and true methods of digging your own well that look extremely interesting! Blessings over all! 🙂 PS..I grew up in a house that the well went “dry” often…I can relate to your described methods….works!

    • I really love this as well! I recently bought a 2003 Ford E350 shuttle bus with the handicap rear door opening. I had thought to myself I wanted this type of system in the kitchen and bathroom as well! I wanted a gravity-fed shower system and I saw one where they actually used six inch diameter piping and painted it black to make it thermal so they would actually have hot showers! It was pretty neat anyways I’m going to try and do this for a while 🙂 thank you so much I can’t wait to see what other wonderful ideas you have

      • Hello Julie! I’ve been doing water this way 6+ years now. When I married a little over a year ago and then we decided to have us all here Mark, Baylee sr. black lab and I. I find myself needing to bring in more water than before. But so far they’ve adjusted well. Thriving with outdoor showers until winter hits 🙂 we boil up about 2 gallons of water and use basin style showers/baths. That said, I did not give up my gym membership. I usually stop there on my way into town and shower during the winter. Welcome to the life, and I know you’ll enjoy – it isn’t a mind set of lack at all. One must simply think outside the bus. Amazing how wasteful I used to be with water compared to now…

  2. Thanks Janet – I don't care about how long my showers take – what I'm doing is using only the necessary water to get myself clean. I can still sing a concert in the shower, simply not with the water running the entire time. The true point "necessary water". I'm sure just like with chocolate, I will indulge on occasion…:) and now that I see and know my water supply – it is a little more of a reverent experience and lifestyle…I do get that time with running water does indeed help too…Whatever is right for you is indeed right. 🙂

  3. Heard of GI showers all my married life and did that to keep water bills low in my apartment/ and at Mom's home. Those are 5 min showers. I will give it a go with the 3 minute type. Love the information on the water. Super system, Brenda, Thank you!!!

  4. Your description of showering reminds me of a TV show I saw quite awhile ago about a historic train ride in west that took several days and in it they mentioned that the passengers were limited to 3 minute showers, and described a similar method to what you write about.


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