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Archive for March, 2016

PostHeaderIcon Hot & Cold Running Water In Off Grid Tiny Home

I finally have hot and cold running water on demand in my off grid tiny house on wheels. I have been working on the plumbing for some time now but the winter months slowed me down. Now that all danger of deep freezing is over I decided to finish the plumbing in my tiny house water shed.

The other day I redid all the plumbing in the water shed and mounted the water pump and accumulator higher on the wall to keep the lines from freezing as easily in the cold winter months next year. You can see the video here: Back To Work At The Off Grid Project & Something NEW

That alone was quite a job because I have cats in the house and they love to climb all over under the kitchen sink. They keep pulling down the drain pipe under the sink. This is just a press in fitting with a rubber seal. It falls apart easily and I had water leaking under the sink when I first turned it all back on. Also somehow a hot water line in the bathroom had come apart and the valve was turned on. This is odd and I have no idea how it happened but it made a mess.

Now it was time to check the hot water lines and connect the shower for the first time ever in my off grid tiny house on wheels.

I took off the old damaged water heater that I was going to use. I had tried installing hot water in the tiny house back in the fall but the water heater was defective and leaked. I have a brand new propane on demand hot water heater which I am swapping it out with.

Tiny House Hot Water
Tiny House Hot Water

These are camp water heaters. They come complete with a propane hose and regulator, water hose and a shower head. It even has a mount for the shower head to permanently mount it to a wall.

I put the new water heater on the wall and connected the water lines. Then I turned on the valve, allowing the tank to pressurize and then checked all the fittings inside my tiny house on wheels. There were no leaks to be found. I ran a bit of water through the lines to be sure before turning on the hot water for real. Still no leaks.

Next I put batteries in the new water heater and connected a 20 pound propane tank to the regulator which came with the water heater.

Inside the tiny house I turned on the bathroom water faucet, closest to the water heater and I had instant hot water!! This was so exciting. This is the very first time that I had hot running water in my tiny house on wheels. Actually this is the first time I have had hot running water on demand in nearly four years now!

I went to the kitchen sink and tried the hot water. It took a few minutes, of course, to get hot water through the lines but it worked!

I then connected the shower faucet which I had never finished before. Then I connected the shower head and hose to the faucet and tried it out for leaks. All good. Next I tried the hot and cold water in the shower and they both worked perfectly.

Off Grid Tiny House Plumbing
Off Grid Tiny House Plumbing

I took a piece of 2×6 lumber and used it as a frame for the shower head. The Durastall shower is made of just very thin plastic and I want to make this a solid shower. So I am backing all the fixtures with wood framing. I fastened the shower head holder and gave it a try. Everything works nicely.

Next I had a nice, hot shower in my off grid tiny house on wheels. This was a huge milestone for the tiny house and it felt so good.

You can watch the entire video of my work here: Hot & Cold Running Water In Off Grid Tiny Home

While you are over there please subscribe and follow my daily YouTube videos as I strive to become self sufficient.

PostHeaderIcon Making A Chicken Coop From An Old Rabbit Hutch

Melanie and I built a chicken coop for our Bantam chickens using an old rabbit hutch and some scrap lumber I had laying around. The total cost of the project was about $15. I had purchased the rabbit hutch at a garage sale last fall to use on this project.

First we carried the rabbit hutch over to the place where we wanted to put the chickens. Next I laid out some cement blocks on the ground where the feet of the chicken coop would be. This will keep the wood off the ground and protect it from rot. This should extend the life of the chicken coop indefinitely.

Old Rabbit Hutch

Next we took an old door to try out as a roof for the new chicken coop. The rabbit hutch did not have a roof on it so it was pretty cheap. The door fit perfectly with a small overhang in the front and a longer overhang on the back. It has a large overhang on both sides which will provide protection from the sun and the elements. The birds will have plenty of shade in the summer months.

I cut a piece of OSB that I had laying around to fit as a front wall of the new chicken coop. This OSB I got for free from a small engine shop. It was used one time as shipping crates for yard and garden machines. It works perfectly for projects on the off grid homestead. I used baling wire to secure it to the chicken coop frame.

Next came the end wall of the chicken coop. I cut it to fit the angle of the roof as well to provide a nice fit and give the Bantam chickens good shelter from the elements. I drilled holes in it and used baling wire to secure it to the chicken coop.

Melanie helped me removed the door/roof so that I could get the piece of OSB in place inside the chicken coop.

Next I put in a piece of scrap plywood which will serve as a solid floor for the chickens in the sheltered area. This will hold in the nesting material and keep it from falling out. It also stops the wind from blowing through into their home.

A piece of scrap 2×4 make a perfect roost. I used a knife and shaved off the top edges to round them off. This I screwed onto the side walls of the chicken coop. The chickens will be able to jump up and roost on the board at night.

Building Chicken Coop

Next I took some more scrap lumber and made the final wall of the chicken coop. This was the inside divider wall which completes the chicken shelter side of the chicken coop. I cut a doorway for the chickens to come and go into their new house. I uses some 2×2 lumber as framing to hold the wood in place.

I put in a piece of wood as a divider to make one nesting box for the chickens to lay their eggs in. I was going to make three boxes but decided to leave room for the birds to jump up onto their roost.

Melanie and I captured the Bantam chickens and then put them into their new home. I added some food and water for the birds and left them to explore their new happy home.

Homemade Chicken Coop

You can watch the entire video here: Making A Chicken Coop From An Old Rabbit Hutch

While you are over there please subscribe to my channel and follow us on YouTube as we strive to become self sufficient on the off grid homestead.