Tiny homes have a range of benefits, which is the main reason for their growth in popularity in recent years. One worry that individuals commonly have, though, is how to wire their tiny home for electricity properly and effectively. The thought of doing so can be intimidating, but you may be surprised to learn that it's quite simple to wire these little living spaces.
Equipment and Materials
First, understand the supplies and materials needed to wire your tiny home for electricity.
The first important tool to have on hand is a pair of wire strippers. These are necessary for cutting wires, cutting screws, and to act as pliers throughout the wiring process.
This next tool is a pair of larger and heavier duty wire cutters.They are better at gripping the surface and can cut thicker wires. They’re also effective in helping twist multiple wires together.
This simple tool is needed for attaching wires, installing switch plates, and for other simple tasks.
Heavy Duty Outdoor Extension Cord
A 50 to 100 foot heavy duty 10 or 12 gauge outdoor extension cord allows you direct access between the main power source and your tiny home throughout this process and is a necessity.
One of the basic materials needed for this is obviously wiring, that will transport the electrical current throughout your tiny home.
Switch Plates and Switches
During this process, you’ll need to install switch plates and switches, making it easy to control the electricity within your tiny home.
Outlets provide easy access to tiny home electricity once its installed and ready for use.
Light fixtures to be hooked up to the newly wired electricity in a tiny home are the finishing touch.
Common Tiny Home Electrical Setups
There are common configurations that provide your tiny home with power.
30 amp RV Plug
The first wiring setup that is common in tiny homes is a 30 amp RV plug or twist-lock featuring a 120 volt input. The requirement to run this type of wiring and power is grid access with a dedicated 30 amp/120 volt plug. If this isn’t available, a gas generator in the 4000 to 5000 watt range would also suffice.
This setup is hooked up to a small sub-panel box that utilizes split circuits and breakers for a range of inputs. These include lighting, electronics, large scale appliances - like a refrigerator - and other electrical needs.
This system permits the use of appliances or items that require higher electrical power, such as a blender or air conditioner, making it ideal for a tiny home to make it completely functional.
If you’re looking for an alternate wiring option, you can instead get a 30 amp to 20 amp duplex adaptor. This device will downgrade your energy input needs within your tiny home. This is ideal for anyone who is working with any 15 to 20 amp duplex outlet on their power grid or a smaller gas generator. This is also a great option for those working with a solar power system.
Sub-Panel Box with Dual Feeds
Another more flexible and versatile option to provide your tiny house with power is a split sub-panel box with dual feeds. The way this wiring system works is that on one side, a 15 to 20 amp duplex input split between basic household electronics exists. Lighting, smaller electronics, and larger electronics, like refrigerators, are hooked up to this system and can be connected via a duplex extension cord.
The other side of this system features an additional feed with a 20 amp duplex, 30 amp RV, or 30 amp twist lock provides the source for more heavy energy use. This will feed power to items like a washer and dryer or your heating or cooling systems. A heavy duty extension cord that feeds from a different, off-grid power source or separate on-grid circuit is used for this wiring system.
Setting up these tiny home wiring systems is pretty straightforward and simple as long as you follow basic instructions and are careful in your installation.