Hot Water Solutions for a Tiny House
Whether you’re planning to downsize your dwelling or fulfil a desire of living close to nature, your tiny house bathroom and its access to hot water are topics that need serious consideration. Because the last thing you want to do is build your dream tiny home and later discover that the utilities can’t handle your needs.
When it comes to selecting the right hot water heating system for you and your tiny house you need to factor in things like access to running water and electricity, the number of occupants, and your goals for the home. For example, if your goal is to live a more sustainable lifestyle, installing small solar panels to heat a hot water storage tank is a no brainer.
Choosing a Hot Water Heating System
Will you rely on electricity, gas or solar for your hot water heating system? There’s no right or wrong answer. Many Americans favour an electric boiler or an electric water heater due to its simple nature and convenience.
Others favour natural gas for its affordability and lower environmental impact. Gas is also an ideal option for those living off the grid. The portable nature of small propane tanks makes them a suitable choice for heating water on remote properties. The tanks can be swapped out or refilled when empty.
Those who favor sustainable living above all else will want to take advantage of solar heating. Solar is great for reducing your carbon footprint and becoming self sustainable, although a lack of sunny days may hamper your heating efforts. It’s often wise to have access to electricity or gas as a backup. Otherwise, you and your partner may experience occasional cold showers.
And don’t concern yourself too much with available space. A hot water storage tank generally belongs outside or on the roof and is installed by a local professional through the tool Book Plumber Online.
Storage or Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless or on demand water heaters are highly desirable as they provide an endless supply of hot water. Go tankless and cold showers become a thing of the past. However, the tankless water heaters need access to gas as it heats the water while it travels through the system on the way to your faucets.
The hot water storage tank is a more straightforward option with a plumber responsible for the installation. When selecting the size of a hot water storage tank, the Department of Energy suggests that 20 gallons of water is the minimum daily requirement for each occupant. So two people will want a water heater with a minimum capacity of 40 gallons, and a family of four will want 80 gallons minimum.
This ensures that there’s enough hot water for everyone to shower with enough left over for the kitchen and laundry – assuming you’re planning a laundry for your tiny house.
A portable water heater might sound appealing, but they are more suited to a weekend camping trip. There’s little chance that a portable heater can provide enough hot water for daily use even if living alone.
Fresh Water Access
Living remotely can be both a blessing and a curse. Escaping the hustle and bustle of city life can soothe the soul, and yet, accessing utilities outside of civilization can be a nightmare.
That’s why without access to the water mains, you will want to invest in a rainwater tank. It can be tricky determining what size tank will suit your tiny house, as the water will be used for washing, cooking, bathing, drinking and possibly gardening.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American household uses over 300 gallons of water per day. This data provides a good basis for calculating how much water you expect to use per day.
Collecting rainwater for use in your home is often referred to as rainwater harvesting. A plumber can connect a tank to your faucets so that the harvested water is available in the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry.
Alternatively, you can collect the water from a tank yourself without the aid of a plumber, so long as you don’t mind sacrificing a few luxuries. Rainwater can be consumed but it does require treatment over time. Using the appropriate chemicals for treatment is simple and effective, and boiling water before drinking is an age-old solution that proves just as effective today.
When relying on rainwater, you should always be aware of the annual rainfall in the region and plan accordingly.