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Yurt Plumbing: A Complete Guide

When you begin to consider the idea of living in a yurt a lot of questions can arise. One of the question that we get the most is: “Can I run plumbing to my yurt?”. The easy answer is absolutely! Here is our quick summary to help you understand yurt plumbing.

It All Starts With The Foundation 

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The most important part of yurt plumbing is perhaps the foundation of the yurt. One of the many reasons that we allow purchasers of our yurts to construct their own foundations is that a lot of things depend on it and can be different from yurt to yurt based on what you want. The foundation is much more than just what your yurt home is built on top of. It’s sort of like the brain of the yurt.

If you want to have running water, toilet, and shower, inside of your yurt then the plumbing will have to be run and installed through the foundation. This means that the foundation will have to be designed with this in mind. Many people who want to have things like plumbing, or electricity in their yurts will construct a raised foundation on top of which to build their yurt.

A raised foundation gives you plenty of space to run all the pipes that your home will need in order to have running water like any regular home. It will also provide you with space for other things you may want like electricity, additional insulation, decking, or even heated floors.

Plumbing Options to Consider

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If you are building you yurt on land that already has plumbing then all you need to do is run the plumbing through the foundation just like you would a normal home. However if you plan to build your yurt in an area where there isn’t plumbing already set up then you will need to set up your own plumbing system.

Run Main Plumbing to Your Home Site

If you are not too far away from a populated area then you can likely request to have plumbing set up to your site. This can sometimes be expensive and quite a headache since you will have to deal with different government bodies to set up the plumbing. This is no different for a yurt than it would be for a normal home so this should be a familiar process for a contractor.

Off Grid Plumbing

If you are looking to build more of an off grid system than you have a few options to pick from as far as water is concerned. The first is to construct a well. A well is simply a deep hole that is dug until it reaches water which runs beneath the ground. Generally speaking the deeper you go the cleaner the water should be. The water from the well is then pumped to the ground level and into your yurt home using a pump. The second option is to use a water collection system.

Yurt Gutter Water Collection

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Water collection system can only be used in places that get plenty of rain. The water that falls on your home in the form of rain is gathered from your gutter system and deposited in either an underground or aboveground cistern. To do this you will need to instal a gutter system on your yurt and there are a few things to consider if this is the route you want to go.

Designing Your Gutter

Most gutter parts are designs to fit a square home (meaning 90 degree angles) so you will need to find a metal worker to create semi-custom gutter connections to create a circle gutter. You can also go plastic which will make the project less expensive and easier but it will not last as long.

Gutter Systems in The Winter 

You will need to take the gutter system down if your area gets snow. This is because the added weight of the snow in the gutter system can cause problems on the general structural integrity of the yurt which will already be dealing with the weight from the snow on the roof. So keep this in mind when designing and installing your gutter system.

Ground Based Gutter System

Another option we have heard about yurt owners using is to instal a gutter system around the ground perimeter of the yurt. When you experience the first rain of the season you will see where the rain naturally drains off the roof and onto the ground. This will be where you can dig a ditch around your yurt, instal some piping and cover with gravel creating an in-ground gutter system

If you build your yurt on a raised foundation then you can also instal a foundation gutter system much like the in-ground one.

Choosing the Right Cistern for your Yurt

The water collected by your gutter system will then be channeled to a cistern. Cisterns are made in many different sizes and will be the same as those used for regular off grid homes. If the cistern is placed in the ground then you will need to instal a pump similar to the one used in wells to create pressure for the water to come up to your yurt sink and shower. The pump can be powered with solar.

If you build your cistern higher than the yurt you can use the pressure of the falling water as the sink and shower pressure.

A Yurt Is Like Every Other Home

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Even though a yurt has a different shape and is constructed of different materials than a regular home you can still live a life like that in a regular home. The most important thing is preparation and research. In general any yurt home no matter how off grid it is can have plumbing with running water, electricity, or central heating and cooling. The important thing is doing your research and understand how to build your yurt.


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