One of the crucial things you need to figure out when building your tiny home is how you plan on getting water to the house. And let’s be honest with you right from the get-go, water for tiny homes goes way beyond just installing some pipes and connecting it to a water tank.
Also, considering that you have limited space to work with, you’ll need to come up with creative ideas to make the most of the space available to you. Not just to resolve your tiny house water system needs but also for storage space.
Of course, using bottles and jugs to store water may sound like a brilliant idea, especially for people who live in a tiny house without plumbing, but guess what, it will prove counterproductive for a tiny house enthusiast who intends to cut back on excesses.
That said, there are plenty of options available to you, and in today’s post, we will take you through everything you need to know when it comes to an off-grid water system tiny house.
Many tiny house enthusiasts have relied on what nature already offers to resolve their tiny house water problems. This is a brilliant option if you like water collection and filtration systems. For tiny house owners lucky enough to live in an area with an abundance of rain, you’ll most likely love to use a water collection and filtration system.
This option is designed to collect rainwater, clean it up through a filtration system, and release it for use. With this tiny house water option, you can clean, cook, and even water the vegetables in your garden.
Tiny house water system options
As we mentioned earlier, there are lots of excellent solutions to tiny house water needs. Read on as we take you through some fantastic solutions for tiny house water needs.
No water source
Sure living in a tiny house without plumbing will save you some extra bucks, but guess what? When it comes to resolving your tiny house water problem, this option will most likely make your everyday living condition challenging. Since there is no plumbing in your home, it means that the only way to get clean water to your home is to bring it in. To this end, you have to transport water to your home using jugs, water bottles, and bubblers.
Plus, showering would be pretty challenging too. While bringing water to your home is already an issue, storing water may become equally tricky. Since you have limited space in your home already, it would mean that you have to keep water outside your home. Should that happen, it may give rise to other issues, especially during frigid winters when water stored outside tends to freeze up.
Not having plumbing is a brilliant option, primarily if you use your tiny house as a guest house or backyard studio. However, if you live in a tiny house full time, we do not recommend this option. But like we mentioned earlier, this option is cost-effective and will save you some extra bucks.
Make provision for water tank
One of the ways to bring water to your tiny home is to install a water tank in your home. And if you decide to go with this option, keep in mind that you’ll also need to install a tiny house water pump. With this option, all you need to do is fill up the tank installed in your home manually using a hose or other devices. Once that is done, you can proceed to circulate the water through your home using a tiny house water pump.
With this option, you may spend extra bucks on the electric device needed to circulate water throughout your home. If you have always wanted an off-grid water system tiny house, this option will not disappoint. By leveraging alternative energy options like solar panels, there will be no need to connect to a traditional power source. This makes this tiny house water option a highly sustainable one.
Like the first option we highlighted above, this tiny house water option requires you to bring water to your home and store it. The brilliant thing about this option is that you can strategically install water tanks in such a way that it stays hidden without taking too much space in your home. We have certainly seen some tiny house owners install their tanks underground or in a utility closet.
Unfortunately, if you opt for a smaller tank, it means that you’ll have to refill your tank often. And since you have a limited water supply, you’ll be forced to manage what you have, hence using less water than those who live in traditional homes with seamless access to water supply.
If you plan to live in a permanent location, then directly connecting to a water source wouldn’t be such a bad idea. This is pretty much similar to an RV hookup where you simply attach a garden hose to a potable drinking water source. Compared to other options we have highlighted so far, this one is less of a hassle. On the flip side, if you have a tiny house on wheels and plan to move around often, then you’ll need to make plans for alternative water sources. Also, ensure that the location you plan on visiting has access to potable water.
And if you live in a location that get’s super cold, you can deploy heat tapes in your hose to prevent freezing. Another option is to bury your hose, especially if you live in a location that doesn’t deep freeze.
Tank and hookup
If you want to resolve your tiny house water needs, you won’t go wrong to install a tiny house water tank along with an RV hookup. This option allows you to enjoy the best of both options. That said, you’ll most like have to opt for a smaller tank since you have limited space to play with. The good thing with this option is that you still get to maximize available space in your home.
Like we stated, this option opens you to the best of both worlds, as you can decide to live off-grid or on the grid if you want. The combination of these options makes it a highly recommended option for tiny house enthusiasts.
Tiny house sewage options
How you plan to manage wastewater and sewerage depends on whether you live off-grid or on the grid. That said, here are some tiny house sewage options you can explore.
On-the-grid options: If you live on the grid, you’ll most likely have to install multiple pipes across your home then out it ( mostly under your home, especially if you live in a tiny house on wheels). The waste pipes are installed in such a way that they converge in a place where you can easily connect them to a sewer or septic tank system.
Even though the most common option is a sewer point, you’ll find septic tank systems in most remote locations. To be upfront with you, if you live on the grid, both of these options will most likely be managed by a third party for a fee. So all you need to do is connect to the septic or sewer pipework.
Send greywater back to the ground: Wastewater from your bath/shower, washing machine, and sink is considered greywater. Most times, many tiny homeowners prefer to dump this relatively clean water into the ground. The cool thing about this option is that it is a natural process that ensures water is returned to mother Earth.
One way to go about this is to run greywater pipes in such a way that they are directed towards flowers or grass. Better still, you can simply allow greywater to drain through natural soil. And if you ever notice that it isn’t draining as much as you’d like it, you can go ahead to install a French drain.
If this method is something you want to explore, you have to dig a trench and fill it up with pebbles. This way, greywater is able to drain away more naturally. That said, keep in mind that not all locations let you dump greywater on the ground.
Dump station: If you need to handle blackwater and greywater seamlessly, it’s wise to collect this waste in big containers. Usually, we recommend having one container for greywater and another for blackwater. Once you have collected these wastes, you can simply move them to a dump station once they are full.
While some RV dump stations or waste receiving stations, as they are popularly called, will receive waste for free from non-commercial users, others will charge a fee. Either way, they are there to ensure your household wastewater is handled properly.
If you plan to live in a location where you aren’t allowed to dump wastewater on the ground, you can simply double-check the closest dump station. And we hope it isn’t far from you as this may be your only reasonable option if you stay off-grid. Notwithstanding, if you have to make at least one trip every fortnight, it wouldn’t be a bad option.
The caveat with this option is that the containers may take up too much space in your tiny house, except, of course, you decide to store the containers outside. Even then, doing so will limit your portability. Also, having blackwater stored inside your home for many days doesn’t sound like an excellent idea. If the container were ever to leak, you’d have a serious problem to deal with.
Composting toilet: With this brilliant option, you’ll have little to no blackwater to deal with, and that’s because this option turns blackwater into compost you can easily dispose of every couple of weeks. The idea behind composting toilet is to give people a waterless solution where microorganism converts solid waste into safe compost-style material that can be disposed of easily.
The process of breaking down solid waste involves using urine along with a compost material like sawdust. This is usually added to the toilet after taking a dump. And because composting toilets are designed in such a way that they maintain negative pressure, the toilet doesn’t give off an awful smell. The only time you notice any real smell is when disposing of the broken-down waste every couple of weeks.
If you want to deal with blackwater effectively, especially if you live in a tiny house, you’ll not be disappointed to give this option a try.
Frequently asked questions
How much water does a tiny house use?
Knowing exactly how much water you’ll need in your tiny home daily will save you a lot of headaches and allow you to plan effectively. So for those asking how much water does a tiny house use, it will interest you to know that a tiny house doesn’t use as much water as traditional homes. While stats show that the average American home uses 80 to 100 gallons per individual daily, you’ll end up using between 5 and 15 gallons daily in a tiny home.
How does a tiny house get water?
When it comes to getting water to your tiny home, there are a lot of options available to you. If you live off-grid, you can simply get water from a well, a tower line, or other potable water sources close to you.
And if you live in a more permanent location, you can simply connect to an RV hookup. This option usually includes connecting to underground water sources, which can be channeled to other water faucets or sink in your home.
Do you need plumbing in your small home?
If you plan to use your tiny house as a studio room or guest house, you may not need to make provision for plumbing. And yes, it will save you some extra cash. That said, if you plan to live full time in your tiny home, you must make provision for plumbing. And just so you know, the plumbing design for tiny homes isn’t any different from the one you find in a traditional home.