As much as I have been enjoying my Tiny House research of late, last week I hit a wall. I had been trying to shape my electricity learnings into an actual power plan but just couldn’t find the focus to do so. I kept jumping all over the place, unable to map the best approach, growing restless with the constant screen time.
I haven’t spoken greatly about our timeline for the build but originally we had set out to commence in February, it is now almost June and we still aren’t there. Surprisingly this hasn’t caused me the anxiety or frustration I would have anticipated, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t growing weary of the lack of action.
Lighting completes the trio of topics I did not want to think about, but unlike plumbing and electricity, I’ve found it difficult to kindle any particular enthusiasm in the prospect of breaking it right down to basics. After a handful of false starts, I have decided that I need to cut to the chase with this one- skipping over the how and why behind light itself to the only area that has perked my attention thus far: Radial Circuits. This interest was sparked by one very helpful and well-informed John Ward- check out his YouTube channel here for all sorts of electrical explorations.
Okay, to be fair my last couple of posts have been fun to research, testing to write and boring to read, however, they have served their purpose incredibly well. Not only am I now confident enough to preach all my new wisdom to my family and friends, work colleagues and distant acquaintances, but I am excited about the two things that had been causing me the most anxiety, plumbing and electricity for those who are dropping by for the first time.
Further, I have finally discovered the pleasure in properly understanding how things work instead of skipping to the application, by which I mean not simply making decisions based on what others have done before. Whilst this method certainly has the advantage of being quicker, breaking something down vigorously and studying all of its parts is more efficient in the long run.
So the plan was to dedicate this afternoon to expanding my knowledge on electric currents and the seemingly complicated business of volts… but alas somehow along the line I instead became fixated with learning all one could ever want to know about copper! What started with a simple search into this metal’s excellent conductivity, sprouted into a beginning-to-end understanding of how copper, and in turn copper wiring, is produced…
So maybe I somewhat wasted a precious afternoon of research, HOWEVER, at least I’ll have a sliver of very specific knowledge should I ever need to influence someone of my extreme cleverness. (Rest easy, below is the abridged version.)
Whilst my Plumbing Plan is far from over I am feeling pretty comfortable with the topic, and so in order to maintain progress across the board, I have decided that today is the day to start looking into power. I originally mentioned that I was not keen about plumbing, but that is nothing to how I feel about electricity and gas. To my surprise, plumbing proved to be far more enjoyable than I anticipated, so here’s hoping these will pan out the same! Again, I made the mistake of diving straight into Tiny-House-relevant material first but I quickly retreated and sought the broader basic facts.
Do remember I am a complete novice, so whilst I have done my best to comprehend these topics, they occupy uncharted territory. If you notice an errors, please don’t hesitate to chime in.
As I hope to strive towards an off-grid lifestyle, I decided early on that I want to harvest rainwater. Fear not, I am not naïve to fact that it’s unlikely that I will be able to collect enough to meet the demands of the house, but at least a little is better than nothing. I admit I am curious as to how much this ‘some’ will be, however as I don’t know where I will be planting my house, I will leave this for a future date.
So whilst the numbers are all unknowns at the moment, I still needed to gain a better understanding of the ‘how’ behind rainwater harvesting. To do so, I read Michael Mobb’s book ‘Sustainable House: Living for Our Future.’ This book breaks down the process Michael went through to convert his Sydney house into an almost self-sufficient home. Though a fair amount of the information isn’t truly applicable to a Tiny Home, it was an excellent read and the chapter on Water was incredibly helpful. I recommend checking out his site- this particular post talks about his water system. If you can get your hands on a copy of the book, it covers this in more detail.
Whilst I will be collecting rainwater, I’d also like to be able to connect the house to the mains. So, my first question is, how do you connect a Tiny House to the water mains?
Essentially, you simply need a hose connection, exterior to your house.
To this you attach a water hose, which runs between the house and the properties utility spigot, giving you water. At either the utility tap or at the connection point of your house, there should be a shut off valve. This will enable you to turn off the entire water system if something goes wrong.
The water from the mains doesn’t need to be run via a pump, as the water will already be under pressure, however you can install a pressure regulator if your water source pressure fluctuates greatly. [Tiny Nest installed a sprinkler pressure regulator as a solution to this. This video also shows them connecting to their house to the mains to test their plumbing]
I admit that the idea of plumbing has never sent me into a spiral of excitement.
To be fair it probably doesn’t send many people into a ‘spiral of excitement’, but it truly has been one of the aspects of the Tiny House that I’ve least been looking forward to.
Little did I know that plumbing, at least Tiny House plumbing, is actually pretty neat, completely straightforward and, dare I say, really, truly exciting. In fact, I’m now that darn keen on plumbing, that I recommenced this blog just so I could talk about it.
Now, I should probably note, the levels of excitement radiating from this post may suggest I actually have hard and fast knowledge to share, I don’t. So if it’s good solid information you seek, I would propose saving yourself some time and maybe skipping this one. However, if you are a plumbing newbie like myself and just seek a small assurance that plumbing is not all bad, you may find some comfort.
So you could say I haven’t been successful at maintaining a blog as I research my Tiny House. Mainly I haven’t set aside the time to do so, but also I have been reading, watching and researching so many scattered things, that I don’t think I could even pool my learnings into any comprehensible posts. I know I have been consuming information, but it is all over the place and only now am I beginning to apply it to my actual house.
Working full time whilst attempting to develop my tiny home ideas into proper building plans has been far more challenging than I anticipated. Finding time, and then using that time efficiently has been inconsistent, with some weeks passing with less than a few hours dedicated to the project. To say the least, it’s tricky to balance.
Or I should say, was tricky, because as of the Tuesday before last, I commenced part-time work.