Posted on: 7 March 2022Share
Living in a tiny home is an increasingly popular dream for many who have become disenchanted with the costs involved in purchasing and maintaining a large home. While single people and couples may find the size restraints of ultra-small living easiest to adapt to, many families with children are also considering the potential benefits of building this type of small home.
Whether planning to build a tiny home from the ground up or finish the interior of a portable shed, it is important to give careful consideration to the installation of the electrical system to ensure that the tiny home will fulfill basic power needs. Since making changes to the electrical system of a tiny home could be difficult after the build is complete, using the following tips will help ensure that your design includes adequate power to meet your household's electrical usage needs.
What size electrical panel will be needed?
The first decision will be to determine if a standard 100 amp service will be sufficient to meet power needs or whether a larger 220 amp electrical panel will need to be installed. Tiny home builders who plan to use one or more of the following appliances should plan on installing a 220 amp electrical panel to meet their power needs for:
- electric clothes dryers
- submersible and jet well pumps
- electric water heaters, both tankless and tank-style
- kitchen ranges and ovens
- HVAC systems
In addition to amperage, tiny home builders will also want to ensure that the electrical panel they select for their build is equipped with additional spaces for breakers so that the number of circuits can be expanded later if needed.
What special configuration needs to be applied?
Once the electrical panel has been selected, tiny home builders will also need to consider any special configuration needs their project may have. For example, if the home is located in an area where weather conditions cause frequent power outages, it can be a good idea to consider designing the electrical system to include the use of a permanently installed whole house generator.
When designing the electrical system for a tiny house building project, it is also important to include an adequate number of circuits and outlets to ensure that all appliances and electronics can be safely used without overloading the circuits. Additionally, GFCI outlets will need to be included in all areas where moisture is present, such as bathrooms, laundry areas, and kitchens.
Wiring your tiny home is a process that will be easiest with the proper materials. To learn more about the materials you will need, take time to discuss your DIY wiring project and expected electrical usage needs with an electrical contracting company in your area, such as Williams Electric Supply, before you begin work.