Rereading my last post, I decided the information got a bit lost amongst my own thoughts, so I think going forward I will try to keep these separate. The below will be the first of my Plumbing Plan posts- if you have any feedback as to what works or what doesn’t, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments!
I have also added a glossary section and product examples. I have done this as I think this makes it all a bit easier to understand. Any words covered in the glossary will be underlined, products marked in italics. Please note that the product examples are just that, examples. I have never used these products, nor have researched them of yet. They are simply the first result I found and are just for reference.
Connecting to city water
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]
How is the external hose fitting plumbed to the rest of my house?
I will cover pipes in another post, but in short, the hose fitting is plumbed to the pipes in your walls. So once a water hose is connected, the pipes will fill with water, ready to be used. This could be as complicated as your plumbing gets, but it’s likely that you may want to filter, collect or heat the water before it reaches your fixtures. Therefore let’s have a quick look at a few possible options:
Water Mains –> Water tank: If you have an onboard tank, you can direct the mains pipe to fill or top up your water tank.
Water Mains –> Water Filter: Some people choose to filter all their water as it either enters the house/leaves the tank. Others only select to filter a single fixture. This is typically achieved by adding a water filter under the kitchen sink.
Water Mains –> Water Heater: After the water enters the pipes, it may be directed to a water heater for heating. This water will then direct to any ‘hot’ faucets.
Each of these areas credit more research, and I will delve further into each of these soon, but hopefully, this covers some of the basic foundations of connecting to the water mains.
20m Drinking Water Hose with Fittings: Price: approx. $50.
This hose has been specifically designed for drinking water use with non-Toxic Materials and is free of any taste or odours as can be present in other hoses.
*Note: You can actually connect pressure monitors and valves directly to your hose, in addition to external water filters. [This Tiny House, Giant Journey video is a really fantastic view of how they connect themselves to the mains when they reach a new site.]
Tap: Turns to open or close the flow of liquid or gas.
Faucet: Typically, an indoor tap used to release water and adjust the flow.
Spigot: An outdoor tap used to connect hoses, works using a gate valve rather than washer. A gate valve turns the water off and on, rather than adjusting the flow, and therefore should only be left fully open or fully closed. Check out this link for the inner workings of a spigot.