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do amish have running water

Do the Amish Have Running Water?

Life in an Amish community is very different from most modern towns. You’re probably aware that the most conservative Amish communities live without electricity and labor-saving devices. But does that extend to plumbing, too? Do the Amish have running water in their homes? 

For most of society, running water is seen as a must for day-to-day activities like bathing or showering, cooking, and garden maintenance. Yet not all cultures have access to it. What’s the norm for the Amish? Join us as we look into the Amish people’s relationship with modern conveniences like plumbing.

What this article covers:

The Amish and Modern Conveniences

Conveniences that many of you dear readers take for granted are not available to all. This is usually due to a lack of infrastructure, or economic limitations. Political instability or societal unrest can affect the provision of basic services, but in the US, it’s rare for a town to not have electricity and running water.

do the amish have running water

The Amish generally don’t have electricity or labor-saving devices. However, this isn’t because of the types of challenges mentioned above. They aren’t victims of circumstance, rather, they choose to live modest and simple lives, without mechanization and worldly possessions.

How does this relate to basic needs like flushing toilets and fresh, clean water in the home?   

Do the Amish Have Plumbing?

While more progressive and New Order Amish communities may have indoor plumbing, some of the more conservative and Old Order Amish don’t. Because they aren’t and have never been connected to communal water pipes, they’ve never relied on running water.

do amish have plumbing

Water is supplied to these communities using a water well and pump system. Do the Amish take showers? Those that have indoor plumbing often do. Those that don’t, take sponge baths with basins of water. 

A hand-operated pump in the kitchen may be used for kitchen use as well as washing. It’s also not uncommon to see Amish swimming in their local lake to refresh themselves. This is often followed by a tasty lunch on the grass, with home-baked treats packed in a wicker picnic basket.

do amish use plumbing

Cleaning the home relies on these water pumps and a natural Amish cleaning tonic. You’ll find these bottled cleaning solutions in many Amish kitchens, tucked away in their hand-woven shelf basket storage. All Amish cleaning recipes contain natural ingredients, like white vinegar and baking soda. 

Instead of flushing toilets, outhouses are commonly used. This is true of the most conservative Amish, the Swartzentruber Amish. Interestingly, even communities that have indoor plumbing, sometimes still use outhouses. Farming communities use waste as fertilizer for their fields.

As more of the progressive Amish settlements relax certain rules, indoor plumbing has become common in their homes. But for the Old Order Amish, this is still out of their reach. That doesn’t mean that Amish hygiene is in any way inferior to outsiders, just different.

do amish people use plumbing


Do the Amish have running water? Despite the convenience and benefits of indoor plumbing, most Amish don’t have running water in their homes.

Reliance on older more traditional systems puts the Amish ahead in the race to sustainability and eco-friendly living.

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