When it comes to tiny living, one of the key areas you need to put into consideration is the plumbing system. This is a part that is giving tiny home owners sleepless nights as it is quite different from a regular house. For a tiny home on foundation, you will need plumbing that is quite like the ones we have in a standard home. As for a tiny house on wheels, the plumbing system will tend to be comparable to that of an RV’s. In this article, we are going to examine everything you need to know about plumbing in a tiny house.
GETTING WATER INTO YOUR TINY HOUSE
• NO PLUMBING
One of the easiest decisions you can make when getting water in your tiny home is not having a plumbing system. This does not necessarily mean you will never have access to water in your tiny house. Instead, you are destined to make things easier and a lot less automatic. Unfortunately, with this option, you will be basically opting to carry the water you need to use. Furthermore, it will also be mandatory for you to take different amounts of water in each room.
Tiny house owners who have no plumbing system at all must be ready to carry water using jugs, bottles or buckets.
To avoid the stress of carrying water, you should park the tiny house close to a source of water. For instance, you can opt to park the tiny house on wheels in a campsite or someone’s backyard. If you have no place to park, you will need to buy lots of water before storing it in the most preferable location. Remember space is minimal in a tiny house and hence looking for outside storage will do the trick.
By opting to avoid plumbing systems, you are set to evade the stress that comes with plumbing. Besides, you will save on costs when compared to tiny houses with a plumbing system. However, you must be ready to make do with the many trips while fetching water. This action can turn out to be tedious especially when you are living far away from the source of water.
If you are thinking about living on-grid, hookups would be the most preferable option. This option involves installing a plumbing system in your tiny house. After installation you can access water through an RV hose. Tiny house owners who rely on hookups will have a plumbing system which functions as that of any other RV.
• TANK AND PUMP
Among the most relied upon options is installing a tank into your small house. You can then make use of a pump to pressurize and circulate the water. This is a good option to go with since you are sure of getting the functionality of a normal house. Furthermore, you will have the freedom of living off-grid whenever you desire.
Of course, like any other plumbing system options, there are some downsides to using a tank and pump.
For instance, pumps can at times be noisy when in use thus making you uncomfortable. Furthermore, you have to make the decision of choosing a tank size that can serve all your needs. The bigger your tank, the longer you can live without having to fill it. However, a bigger tank will take more space while at the same time making the load heavier.
At times, you may want to have a feel of both worlds when living in a tiny home. To achieve this, you will need to make use of a conventional hookup. Furthermore, you must set up your tiny house in a way you can get water easily in case you want to go off-grid for some time. You can thus install a pump and tank together with a plumbing system to accept city water.
With this option, you are fully prepared for any eventualities that may take place. You will thus have the needed freedom and flexibility. For instance, when staying put, you will need to plug in the system and forget about water problems. On the other hand, the pump and tank will come in handy when on a tour. However, this option requires involves more work if it is to serve you efficiently. You must also be ready to have ample space for setting up the tank and pump. Despite these setbacks, going hybrid is worth considering since it guarantees complete flexibility.
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GETTING WATER OUT OF YOUR TINY HOUSE
GREY WATER CATCHMENT
Before removing waste water, you need to understand the two different types: Greywater and Blackwater. Grey water is one that comes from showers, washing machines, and sinks. This type of wastewater can be easily drained out of your tiny home. All you have to do is drain it into the ground around your home. To do this, you should redirect the grey water to trees or plants around your tiny house.
Blackwater is the waste that comes from the toilet of your tiny house. Keeping this type of wastewater in your home can be quite hard. It would thus be better if you decide to make use of a composting toilet instead of the normal toilet. Once you do this, you will only have to deal with grey water.
Another perfect way of draining water out of your tiny house is hooking it up to an existing system. This will mean a public sewer system or septic system depending on where you live. However, you must be ready to install a drainage system as is the case with stationary houses. You can then hook it up to an external system. Unfortunately, this option will mostly suite tiny homeowners who are living on-grid.
COLLECT AND DUMP
You can also decide to collect both grey and black water before getting rid of it in dump stations. This will mean using a simple bucket placed under the sink or shower to collect grey water. For the black water, you can make use of a holding tank that is placed outside your tiny home. Most tiny owners who decide to go with this route will be using the same systems like those in RVs.
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PLUMBING MAINTENANCE YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
Black and grey water tanks need to be cleaned on a regular basis once they are dumped. This action is important as it helps in getting rid of debris that may be in the tank sensors. Furthermore, cleaning the tanks ensures the waste will not get stuck within the pipes. To clean the tank, you will need a special hose or a toilet wand when cleaning the black water tanks.
MAKE SURE PLUMBING PIPES DO NOT FREEZE
Tiny homes on wheels may at times be vulnerable to the weather when compared to a standard home. This is because, in most instances, the pipes and tanks are sitting at least one foot above the ground. They may, therefore, be easily blown away by the wind. To prevent the pipes from freezing, you can decide to wrap them up so that they remain enclosed.
Alternatively, you can opt to redirect heat into the areas surrounding the pipes. You can do this by using Gas furnaces with heat ducts.
VENTING YOUR PLUMBING LINES
Proper ventilation is an important part of plumbing in a tiny house. Every plumbing fixture, from a sink to a shower (and a flush toilet, if you choose one for your tiny house), needs to be connected to ventilation piping. Ventilation prevents a vacuum from being formed in the drain system, which allows waste or water to flow smoothly through drain pipes. The pipes also allow harmful gases and bad smells to be drawn from a home. Do plenty of research before tackling your plumbing, or hire a professional
WATER DRAINAGE AND DRIVING RAIN
Water can cause wood rot and mold growth if it finds its way into the structure of your home. The adage to follow is “be the raindrop” – picture how water will hit your house, and build so the house will shed it quickly. Don’t forget to angle your window and door trim so water doesn’t gather. Make sure your eaves are deep enough so that the roof sheds rain, rather than it directly flowing down your walls.
Seal your siding on all sides with stain or paint before installing. Layer your siding so that it will shed, rather than catch, driving rain as you tow the house down the highway. If you live in a coastal region or an area with a lot of precipitation, give serious consideration to a rain screen system for your siding.
P-TRAPS IN YOUR DRAINS
Installing drains for your sink and shower isn’t as simple as a pipe jutting straight through the floor. Putting P-traps in your drains collects just enough water in the bend of the pipe to block fumes, odors, insects, and other nasty things from coming back into your house. Do plenty of research before installing plumbing lines, or hire a professional to help
Plumbing in your tiny home should be thought out in advance if you are to get the most out of your tiny house. You can thus choose between off-the-grid solutions or grid-connected solutions. However, you must make sure that you go with a plumbing system that serves all your needs completely.
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