Plumbing the House

July 29, 2016

Today’s post is going to be a short one, because plumbing in our tiny house is super simple. Once the wiring in the house was installed and ready to go, it was time to tackle plumbing. This was the last step to finish before we could insulate the walls. Because our tiny house is moveable, we won’t be hooking up to the sewer system like traditional houses, so our plumbing only required hot and cold pipes to the kitchen and shower. So, we mapped out where the pipes needed to go, and got to work.

The first thing we did was put in the outside water inlet. This is where we connect up to a hose so we can get water into the house. It has a filter, stops back-flow, and has a regulator to adjust water pressure. Kind of an all-in-one-doo-hickey, which is pretty nice. Eric drilled a large hole through the sheathing and siding, secured the connector with screws, and then put sealer around the edges to keep everything water tight.

I'm annoying Eric by making him wait until I have the camera ready.

I’m annoying Eric by making him wait until I have the camera ready.

The hole is ready!

The hole is ready!

Hello, there!

Hello, there!

The trim is stained after a matching hole is cut out, and the connector is attached.

The trim is stained after a matching hole is cut out, and the inlet regulator is attached.

Once the outside was ready, it was time to get the pipes set up on the inside. Eric worked from the inlet regulator inward in order to keep everything as simple as possible. He mapped out the flow of water from the source of the hose to our water heater, water tank, shower, and sink. We used nifty little pipes called PEX tubing. These are basically plastic pipes that are less rigid, so we could snake them around the house and avoid using elbows and fittings in some places. (The less fittings on a pipe equals the less of a chance for leaks.) We still needed those things in some areas, as the PEX tube only bends so much.

Once everything was mapped out, Eric attached our instant water heater to the wall. We got this water heater because it allows us to have the hottest water possible for a heater this size. I love scalding myself in the shower, so this is something I’m especially happy about. This heater should give us a normal flow of shower water, and it should be piping hot!

Our instant hot water heater!

Our instant hot water heater! Pretty snazzy!

Eric built the bottom of our utility closet so we could have the busiest sections of tubing rest in the correct place. What I mean by “busiest section” is simply the very small area where the water is flowing in the most directions. Eric set up the water so it could go into the water tank, out of the water tank, into the water heater, out of the water heater, and directly to the sink and shower. For such a small space, that’s quite a bit of traffic. We wanted this section of our plumbing exposed inside the utility closet, rather than encased in spray foam inside the walls, so should any problems arise, we can access where most of the valves and fittings are. Once all the pipes were measured, cut, fitted together with the proper brass elbow or t-fittings and valves, we notched out a small section of the studs for the tubes in the walls. This kept them closest to the interior of the walls to avoid hitting them with any screws (we were still putting up exterior trim) and also put the maximum amount of space for insulation between the tubes and the outside of the house.

From the outside hose into the house.

From the outside hose into the house.

Figuring out what pipe take water to where...

Figuring out what tubes take water to where…

The road map of how the water flows into and throughout the house.

The road map of how the water flows into and throughout the house.

We cut notches into the studs to hold the tubing in place.

We cut notches into the studs to hold the tubing in place.

This shows how we held the tubing in the notches, as well as how to bend the flex tubing to avoid additional elbow fittings.

This shows how we held the tubing in the notches, as well as how to bend the PEX tubing to avoid additional elbow fittings.

We attached the sink faucet momentarily to make sure everything was at the correct height and looking right.

We attached the sink faucet momentarily to make sure everything was at the correct height and looking right.

When everything was in place, it was time to see if we had any leaks. We found some old tubing in the garage and squeezed one end over the shower and faucet pipes and left the other end in a bucket to catch the water. Fingers crossed….

Success! Each pipe, fitting, and valve did its job perfectly! No leaks anywhere! After testing the water, we cleaned up inside the house so we could get ready for spray foam. I have two more posts until we are completely caught up. Come back soon!

 

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