One of the biggest fears people have when building their tiny house is the proper installation of the plumbing. Regardless of whether they’re afraid of flooding their house or just having a small leak, most people pay an exorbitant amount of money for a plumber to come out and take care of it. But you’d be surprised at how easy and secure the installation can be. Here’s what you need to know to dispel your fears of tiny house installations.
Tiny house installations are not complex
When renovating your small house, there are various material options like pex, copper and CPVC. We recommend staying with CVPC as we have found that it is easiest to work with. When you find out where you want your faucets to be in your tiny house, just mark them on the inside of your wall covering and start cutting. All parts can be put together dry so that you can sound out your entire house before committing to anything. You only have to cement everything when you are done. The good news is that the cement for CVPC is colored, making it very easy for you to tell if you forgot joints after our dry fitting. CPVC cuts through butter like a knife with a pipe cutter and glues them together in a two-stage cementing process. Water comes in, splits into the water heater and your cold water pipe and then flows to all the taps.
Tiny House Plumbing is easy to test and repair
Once you find that you’ve made a mistake and need the sink a little further down, you can simply cut the pipe, insert a coupler, and move it exactly where you want it. For testing, seal all ends where your devices are located and pressurize the system either with air or by connecting to water. No leaks? Go on. If you have any, now is the time to find and fix them.
Tiny house installation is cheap
Even if your whole house were wrong and you had to tear it out and replace it, you could do it cheaply as long as you catch it early. CVPC is super cheap and you can probably reuse some of what you cut out. Simply cut off the ends and get started again!
Let’s talk about waste
So there are many people who don’t even know how sewage leaves their big house, not to mention a tiny one. There are several ways to deal with this gray and black water.
When we sound out our houses, we set them up like a big house with gravity-fed waste. This includes your gray water (this is from your shower and sink) and black water (this is your toilet waste) in a drain. This is carried in a 1.5 inch PVC pipe from your sink, which goes into a 2 inch pipe and a toilet waste pipe coming from your shower into a 3 inch pipe. All of this comes together and 3 gradients at 1/8 “per foot towards the center of the house on the left. This placement puts it in the normal place for connecting RV waste. The toilet and shower channels have flanges that be screwed tight and then connected to the valve and your waste line.
If you’re not planning to access a sewer, you’ll need to use a composting toilet to process the black water and gray water, which you can simply run into a French drain.
Dan’s book goes into more detail on installing waste lines and drilling through the sub-floor and installing P-traps.
Fixtures are easy too
Toilets need two screws, a wax ring and literally two nuts at the end of the water supply connection. The showers are embedded in the wall with threaded connections. And sinks are connected with screw hoses.
It’s really easier than you imagine!
One of my favorite parts of Dan’s hands-on workshops is watching students go from fear of plumbing to literally making CPVC sculptures. Talk about a boost in confidence!
If you want to learn more about tiny house installations, read the Tiny House Design & Construction Guide here. Have you conquered a sanitary project? If so, tell us about it in the comments!
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