Project Zomboid's plumbing system allows you to connect plumbable tiles (e.g., "water fixtures" like a sink or washing machine) to water reservoirs (like a Rain Collector Barrel) to create convenient, sustainable sources of purified water for consumption and cleaning. Once plumbed, water fixtures operate just like ordinary sinks, faucets, etc., prior to water shutoff, for as long as their attached reservoirs contain water.
How plumbing works
The plumbing system is somewhat obscure, and likely incomplete. There is no visual indication when a water fixture like a sink is successfully connected to a water reservoir like a Rain Barrel, beyond the ability to draw water from the fixture. Plumbing has no skill level requirement and does not use pipes or other resources besides the water fixture and water source to be connected.
- To plumb a water fixture, a player needs to have a Pipe Wrench in their inventory.
- Once the water fixture and water reservoir are in position, right click on the water fixture (not the reservoir) while a Pipe Wrench is in your inventory and select the option to plumb it. Once water is placed in the fixture's reservoir, purified water will be immediately available in the fixture, usable until the reservoir's reserves are exhausted. Fixtures that need electricity to function (e.g., a washing machine) will also need local power (such as from a Generator) to be usable. Plumbed sinks work without electricity.
- Note that once a fixture is successfully plumbed, you can freely add or remove reservoirs from the 3x3 plumbing zone above the fixture without breaking the connection to that area, and your water fixture will automatically draw from any new reservoirs placed there. Only moving the fixture itself will break the plumbing connection.
- Only fixtures "inside" a building - i.e. enclosed within four wall frames (or walls and doors) and a roof - can be plumbed
Quirks of note
- The water reservoir (e.g., a Rain Collector Barrel) for the water fixture must be one floor above, and within a 3x3 range, of the water fixture's tile (directly above should work as of the latest build). For example, a valid location for the reservoir would be one floor above, and one tile behind, the water fixture you want to plumb. A water fixture can draw from multiple reservoirs with valid placement.
- While rain collectors make great reservoirs, any map tile that acts as a water source also appears to work. For instance, a Water Dispenser placed in an appropriate location can act as a water reservoir for another water fixture.
- In multi-story buildings, long distance plumbing connections is possible using a Bathtub, as the feet of the tub counts as a revivor -- provided both the head and feet are plumbed.
- What counts as "inside" for plumbing is less than intuitive:
- To count as Inside, it only requires wall frames or door frames.
- Inside can be as small as a 1*1 tile with a water fixture inside.
- The walls/roof tile around the fixture do not have to remain in place after plumbing. You can plumb a fixture on a rooftop, for instance, by building temporary wall frames immediately around the fixture, and then disassembling them after plumbing is completed. In complex structures, the game can become confused about whether a fixture is inside a building; you may need to construct temporary wall frames immediately around the fixture to coax the game into allowing you to plumb it.
While the mechanics of plumbing are finicky, plumbed water fixtures can be a very worthwhile investment in a safehouse: They always produce potable water, eliminating the need to boil water and offering significant convenience in the long run. A list of plumbable water fixtures and reservoirs is provided below.
Pickup: 25% chance to break when picked up regardless of skill level.
Baths and showers
Pickup: Will never break when picking up at any skill level
Drinking: Can ONLY drink out of the combination Washing machine.