How To Plumb A Shipping Container Home

Plumbing a home built from shipping containers isn’t much different from plumbing any other house style. While you probably won’t have access to all the same fixtures you do in a typical foundation-built home, there are still options. It depends on the size and number of containers you end up with and your needs. Learn how to plumb your shipping container home using these simple steps.

Plumbing options for shipping container homes include:

Plan Your Shipping Container Home

The first step of building a shipping container home is to plan the design. You’ll need to figure out how many shipping containers you’ll need and how the house will be laid out. It will help you determine the foundation, roofing, plumbing, electrical work, etc. It would help if you also considered whether you want access to natural light or not when planning your design.

Prepare the Foundation

Once your design is ready, then it’s time to build the foundation of your home. The ground needs to be as level as possible, and it should also be able to support heavy loads. After preparing the foundation, place gravel on it and ensure it is properly compacted before starting construction on your house.

Install the Plumbing System 

Install the plumbing system before doing any other work inside the house. Because installing the plumbing system in a shipping container house would be difficult after the inside has been finished. The plumbing system and fixtures are installed outside the house and then cut into the shipping container walls.

Install Plumbing Fixtures 

Since shipping containers are made from metal, you mustn’t drill through metal when installing your plumbing fixtures. It means that for sinks and showers, you’ll need to build wooden platforms which cover the space above your tank. Instead of the walls or flooring of your shipping container home, the fixtures should be mounted on these wooden platforms.

The next step is to install drain pipes 

These will carry wastewater away from your home. The pipes should get placed in the ground below the level of the floor of your container home. Each pipe should be attached to a drainage system, which will carry the wastewater away from your home. Remember to also place waterlines along with the drain pipes. 

Connect to Utility Lines 

Next, connect your pipes to utility lines. These lines are necessary for the distribution of fresh water and wastewater removal. In areas where utility lines are buried below ground, it’s easy enough to bury your pipes alongside them. Still, if utility lines are above ground, you may have to reroute them. 


Overall, this step-by-step guide to planning and plumbing a shipping container home gives you a good idea of the general process required to make your shipping container home dream a reality. Plus, we shared some tips and things to avoid that can help you avoid potential problems and pitfalls along the way.

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