How to Run Plumbing to a Pole Barn

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Pole barns can have all the services that you'd expect in other buildings, like houses. Having running water, a sink or even a bathroom in a pole barn can be a tremendous convenience, especially if the pole barn is a long way from a house or other building. You can run plumbing to a pole barn by carefully following a few steps.

  • Read your local plumbing code to determine which regulations apply to your project. If you're simply installing a spigot for running water, you may not need an inspection, but, for more involved plumbing projects, you may need to have your work inspected.

  • Consult with your local plumbing inspector, if necessary, to determine what you need to do to comply with the local code. Different inspectors may have certain things they're looking for, so pay special attention in your work to any details that might cause a particular inspector to reject your project.

  • Decide if you need a drainage system or just a source of running water. If you need to provide drainage, you may have to get a new connection to the local sewer system or install a septic system. In some localities, a gray-water system may be an acceptable option.

  • Determine how you'll access running water. Options include tapping into a spring, drilling a well and getting a connection to the local water supply. If the pole barn is close enough to another building with a water supply, you may be able to connect to that supply. Each of these options has its own associated benefits and drawbacks.

  • Carefully plan where you'll provide running water and drainage (if needed) in the pole barn. You need to decide if you need hot water, in which case you must install a water heater of some type. Decide what type of pipe material you'll use for water supply lines and for drainage.

  • Choose where to put plumbing vents if you're installing a drainage system. Vents are critical to allowing water to drain properly. You may need to run vents through the roof of the pole barn.

  • Install the plumbing fixtures and lines in accordance with your local plumbing code. Get an inspector to examine your work (if necessary).

Tips & Warnings

  • Make the system as simple as possible. If you use many bends in a drainage line, for example, you're asking for clogs.
  • If you're not comfortable with installing plumbing (or with certain aspects of the job), consider hiring a professional to assist you.
  • Don't take shortcuts on your work. If you install leaky plumbing, you could end up with mold or water damage as a result. Do careful, deliberate work and avoid the hassles that can arise with poor plumbing systems.

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