The tiny house movement is still going strong in 2019. And with their growing popularity, more and more states are changing their building codes to accommodate them. But there is one major question potential tiny home owners always ask: How does the plumbing work?
You might be surprised to learn that there is more than one answer to that question. And it all depends on where you’ll be parking your tiny house.
Pressure pump and tank
Pump and tank plumbing is the most common option for off-the-grid living. This will keep you from being restricted to parking your house in places with water hookups. However, you have several considerations to make when using this type of plumbing. One is that the pressure tanks take up quite a bit of space. And if you’re living away from water sources, you’ll definitely need a decent-sized one so you don’t have to refill it as often. Another thing you’ll have to consider is what you’ll do with your waste. This will depend greatly on where you are and how permanent your location is. Some people store their waste in a holding tank until they can properly dispose of it. Others build a septic system on their property.
Before people start getting serious about tiny house living, they often don’t even know that it is an option to use regular plumbing in them. If you don’t plan on living off the grid, this is probably the best option for you. It’s also much more sanitary than other methods. You’ll just have your tiny house plumbed like a regular one, using the city’s sewage system and water supply. It’s important to check your city and state ordinances before you begin this project. For example, NJ plumbing regulations may be a little different than those in New Mexico.
A hybrid plumbing system is a good option for you if you will be changing locations. This gives you the option of either hooking up to public water or using your own tank. This is certainly the most flexible choice and it doesn’t restrict you to one area. But it also gives you the option of using public water when it’s available. For hybrid plumbing, you’ll install a pressure pump and tank system, as well as a direct hookup line. With it, you’ll have to consider the same factors as pressure pump and tank plumbing, such as the amount of space it will take up and where you’ll dump your waste.
Not to be confused with city water hookups, direct water systems use RV hoses to connect to water supplies. These water supplies are usually found at RV parks. With this system, you won’t need a pressure pump or tank. You simply connect to the available hose for your water. You’ll still need a hot water heater, however, so space is still some concern. But you’ll gain a lot of room not having to find a place to store the other equipment.
Tiny house toiletsEven though you may need one of these options for getting water to your tiny house, other options do exist for toilets. A popular choice for tiny house owners is composting toilets. These toilets decompose the waste so that you can dispose of it naturally. Another option is an incinerating toilet. These burn the waste within the system, making them very sanitary. Or, if you’re still using a septic system or holding tank, you might prefer a low-flow toilet. These will use very little water and reserve your supply a lot longer than regular toilets.