My Tiny House on Wheels

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Jeremy's Tiny House

Incoming water supply

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Incoming water supply
As you can see, I have a 16 gallon water holding tank to the right, a 2.8 gpm Sureflow 12 volt pump to the left, and kitchen sink drain and incoming water supply in the center. I ran two 3 wire + ground 14 gauge cable down the same hole as the incoming water supply hole to connect a solar charge controller (next photo) and the other to an inverter (not shown). One of the cables is attached to an outside water proof two plug outlet, one for the solar panels and the other to attach the battery to the controller. the other cable is to attach the inverter to the battery which will be located outside. I know it sounds odd to use standard ac plugs to run my 12 volt system, but a plug is a plug is a plug. (I hope :) Also, I plan on adding a switch box to change between on grid and off grid power supply. That will be situated between the incoming supplies and the breaker box. Back to the water. As I see it... The red port on top of the water tank will be for a 3/4" water supply line and maybe a manual supply port. The one directly below it will be outgoing to the little pump. The blue one on top can be for venting and the other bottom one could be used for a manual drain port. I'll give it more thought :). I ran 3/4" pvc schedule 40 underneath the trailer then I reduced to 3/4" PEX to complete the supply. I'll use 1/2" PEX to run the supply to and from the pump to the sink, shower and hot water heater. I didn't elbow up through the floor, I used a T which I adapted to half inch PEX which I will run to the toilet.
Posted by Jeremy on May 27, 2011 Full Size| Slideshow



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11:41 PM on June 7, 2011 
Hey Erik, Geez I wish I would have talked to you last week. I would have made some different choices. Thanks for the information and the time that you took to help me understand a bit better the ways of electricity (12 volts vs. 110 volts).

Let's start with the water tank. Please know that I have never used RV style appliances before so I admit that I am a complete novice and do so appreciate the advice and education. I originally laid the tank on it's side. It fit swimmingly underneath the "under-cabinet" shelf that you can see (as it was) in previous pics. Because the "red" gravity fill ended up on top but on the wrong side of the tank, I opted to turn it upward. Because it is tucked back into that now modified shelf, I figured it would be enough support. But you are right... it may not be enough. I can eliminate that little shelve all together and lay it flat as was originally planned. I'm not sure about the fill port. I didn't want to "mar" the side of my little house with a gaudy fixture even though it's functionality outweighs the visual (lol). I thought about the option of just opening the cabinet door and sticking a hose and funnel in it. My brain hurts sometimes. (sigh)

On the disposition of plumbing :) I hope to never have to live in an area where being concerned with freezing pipes would be an issue. I gave some thought about keeping all the pipes inside and am doing so except for the feed line to the toilet. I couldn't find a logical way of keeping it inside at this point of my building experience. This being my first build, I didn't make way for running the PEX line through the floor at the beginning. Being PEX, you wouldn't have to worry about leaking pipes since there would be no joints that could break or separate. Because of the late time of the fall season when I started building, I was more concerned with getting the structure up and protected from the elements then I was with plumbing, which in all honesty should have been stubbed in from the beginning. My bad :). Anyway, I went with the tongue area as being the starting point for my water supply. It doesn't actually enter through the floor until it reaches the sink area. This will leave about five feet of pipe exposed. I figure if I were in the freezing part of the country, and hooked up to a water hose, the water hose itself would freeze. However, if I were hooked up to a well (lines underground. I would enter under a "skirted" house with insulation and heat tape and such. But then again... what do I know. Hehe.

As for the 12 volt, I must say that you taught me something I didn't know about the efficiency of stranded wire as opposed to solid. Would that be a serious issue or just a minor one? because I did use solid 12 gauge wire in a couple 12 volt applications. The only 12 volt fixtures I will be supplying are the pump and fireplace fan. Oh, I do plan on having an outlet for 12 volt dc under the cabinet in the kitchen. I understand what you are saying about the AC outlets doubling for DC but my inexperience has not helped me in finding anything in the way of DC outlets beyond two screws in a wood block or a cigarette lighter type of plug. If you know any other options, I would be thankful to know :)

I'll have to give the 4 way switch idea some thought. Again, I'm not an electrician and have never dealt with anything beyond a 3 way. If that would work, it would be a great way to go. I have to figure this out soon though because I getting to the stage where I have to "get 'er done".

My real experiences with building have always been with the structure. All these other things are real learning experiences for me. I am never to proud to learn a new thing or be corrected. Thanks for all the advice :)
12:56 AM on June 5, 2011 
Hey Jeremy, It all looks great !
A few issues to consider.
The tank position. Those tanks are very heavy when full of water and they aren't designed to be vertical as you show it in the picture. The weight of the water on the side walls of the tank, as is, may cause you some problems. P.S.- a tiny house flood is in a new experience, for sure.
The red capped opening is for the gravity fill tube and needs to be on top side.
Are you planning an exterior fill port with cap and air vent?

I don't know if you are concerned with freezing pipes in your area. The more pipes and connections you can keep inside the home, where it is warm, the safer you will be from freezing. I designed my home so all the pipes are inside, running under cabinets, the bath tub, and the like, accept for the gray water drop. The fresh water will enter on the side of the house.

As for the 12 volt adaption, good ideas. Apparently 12 volt works better with stranded wire, its more efficient.
I've always found that auto and RV wiring is stranded, as apposed to solid wire, like Romex or BX. I'm doing all the lighting wiring, power for electronic equipment, and vent fans, in 12 volt in my home.
12 volt appliances are more efficient on a solar system, all around, vs. having to go through an inverter where you can lose 10 to 20% in operating loses from the beginning.
Make sure that the standard outlets your planning to use can not accidently have a 120 volt extension cord plugged into it and thus damage your 12 volt appliances. You may know that a certain outlet that looks like 120 volt AC is actually 12 volt DC, but someone else may not.

Having switches to toggle between a solar inverter and standard grid tied electric is a great fail safe idea.
A standard light switch is a Yes/No switch. on or off.
A three-way switch is an either/or switch. Either A load or B.
A Four-way switch would allow you to switch direction of wires.
All are economical options for managing electrical.
Depending on how many 12 volt circuits you will have, don't forget a 12 volt fuse panel.

I wish I were as far along as you are. Yours looks great. So inspiring.


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