Prison Architect Wiki

The Utilities menu provides the player with an overlay of all the wiring, electrical connections and plumbing used to maintain a functioning facility.

The main kinds of utility available provide:

  • Electricity
  • Water

There are smaller utilities available which provide/show:

  • Hot Water
  • Technological Wiring & Connection
  • Utility-Dependent Objects


Power Station.png

It goes without saying that all prison facilities will require a supply of electricity in order to provide fundamentals such as: lighting, water, and objects which depend on an electrical supply. Electricity is generated and supplied to your prison by a Power Station.

A power station alone can only supply limited amounts of electricity. If the number of objects a station powers exceeds its electrical capacity, a protective measure will force the power station to shutdown before it overloads and potentially explodes.


It is therefore necessary to attach capacitors, electrical units which increase a power station's electrical capacity and power output. These devices allow a power station to power more objects.

Electricity is transported across your facility by electrical cables.

Lights around your prison will need to be within a close proximity to a working electric cable in order for it to turn on. This is the same for TVs, CCTV Cameras and other smaller objects which do not draw much electrical power from your station. However, some objects require a direct electrical connection where you must connect an electrical wire directly to an object (so that they are touching).

Electrical Cable.png

An object which usually does not require a direct electrical connection may need one if it is installed outside/outdoors. For example, a TV inside your prison won't need a direct connection to a cable. However, if you place a TV in a yard, it will need a direct electrical connection.

Power Switches are useful utilities that can turn on and off electrical supplies to certain areas of your prison. This is incredibly useful if your facility requires a lot of power, but you cannot yet afford a second power station to fulfill that need. For example, the electrical supply to a workshop could be temporarily switched off by a power switch during the night where it won't be used, and switched back on in the morning.


Water Pump Station.png

Like electricity, water is a fundamental for any facility. Water allows the use of many hygienic practices such as using toilets, using sinks and washing in showers. Water is supplied to a facility by a Water Pump Station.

Unlike a power station, water pump stations don't need capacitors or any other form of utility to help them cope with water pressure.

Water is transported across your facility by two forms of pipe:

  • Large Water Pipes
  • Small Water Pipes

Evidently, water that crosses far distances around your prison is better off being transported via large water pipes which can deal with high water pressures. Water that is being transported across shorter distances to supply a water-dependent object, e.g. a sink/shower-head, is better off going through a small water pipe.

Pipe Large.png

All water-dependent objects need a direct water supply.

Like power switches, water supplication to an area can be controlled with the use of a pipe valve. This acts in exactly the same way as a power switch, but with water.

Hot Water[]

PA Boiler.png

The principal of hot water is almost identical to normal water. Its obvious difference in temperature serves to satiate the warmth needs of your prisoners and staff, if weather & temperature is enabled. Hot Water is generated by a Water Boiler.

Hot Water is transported across your prison via hot water pipes.

Water Boilers require a direct supply of water and electricity.

Technological Utilities & Wiring[]

There are some objects classed as utilities. This is because they depend on the supply of electricity and/or water and/or a wire connection to a server/input station.

An object such as a door servo will require a wired connection to a door control system. Wires are a large part of your utilities which transport inputs/triggers from a source so that an action can be completed. In this example, door servos will require an input from a DCS in order to open or close a door automatically.

You will find that a lot of wires are used in your prison which can distort the utility overlay view. A new feature, 'tidy wires' allows you to clean up wire connections for 'tidiness'.

Tips, Tricks & Trivia[]

  • If running water touches a power station, it will explode/burst into flames.
  • Boilers won't be able to produce much hot water if the water being supplied to it isn't high pressured.
  • The pressure of water can be indicated by how bright the blue colour of the water is.
  • Prisoners digging escape tunnels can travel much easier through a large water pipe. Try to keep them away from cell-blocks and perimeter walls.