Tiny House Electrical System

I finished installing the electrical system of the tiny house.

It consists of a weather proof plug to the outside for a 15A extension cord, a GFCI circuit box, a 15A circuit breaker, 6 switches, 5 outlets (receptacles) and places for 6 lights to be installed once I install the ceiling.

I tested it all too. It was like magic the first time I plugged it in, reset the GFCI and heard the fan turn on. The bath fan is operational too.

The reasoning for the circuit breaker was so that if the occupant overloads the circuit, they can restart it there in the closet rather than having to go find the circuit breaker in the main house or other system. Just unplug something, flip the breaker back on and you’re in business.

Here are some pictures of it. This is the exterior plug at the moment. I’ll go back and put in some foam insulation. You can see the ground wire going up that goes to the trailer frame:

Exterior plug

Then this is the GFCI and breaker box. I left the box open here but it will be sealed with a removable cover normally. The entire circuit for the house goes through both of these for safety.

GFCI and breaker box

Here’s the bath fan. The light gets plugged in after I install the ceiling. The fan and the light are on the same switch.

Bath fan and light

Here are one of the two double switches. This one turns on the porch light and the living room and study lights. The other double switch turn on the hall/pantry lights and the closet light.

Double switch

This picture shows the nailing plates covering the wire, a receptacle and the foam insulation I’m using between the wall and the trailer frame:

Nailing plates

And finally… we have light!

Working lights

That’s one of the LED lights I plan to install in to light up the living room. There are two of those and a few box shaped ones for the hall/pantry, study, porch and closet. I was going to install one in the loft two but opted to leave an outlet and switch up there instead so the occupant can put their favorite lamp there.

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6 Responses to Tiny House Electrical System

  1. JeffNo Gravatar says:

    What will the electrical system in your home be able to handle component-wise? In the home I plan on undertaking in a few years, I’d want to power a small fridge, small microwave, video (21-ish inch flat screen TV), and a PC that I’d use to play DVD’s as well and LED lighting. I’m guessing this would exceed the capacity of a 15A system?

  2. LouisNo Gravatar says:

    A 15A circuit could handle all that though maybe not all at the same time. If you got lower energy versions of those appliances, it should work. If you like, you can add it all up using an electric load calculator such as this one: http://www.zenfixit.com/load_calculations.shtml

  3. NicholasNo Gravatar says:

    I’m building a tiny house of my own and I’m very interested about where you got those LED lights. Would you please hip me to the website or store you found those at? I’ve been looking all over but everything is tremendously expensive and/or not right for the application. Please advise. P.S. Your tiny house looks great!

  4. LouisNo Gravatar says:

    Nicholas, I got everything except the trailer and the shower from Lowe’s. You might find something better in LED lights if you shop around though.

  5. EmilyNo Gravatar says:

    How has this system worked for you? It looks like just what I was thinking of. I have a propane range and am going to get a propane water heater, so the only real draw (apart from a few lights and a laptop) on the electrical will be a small fridge and a space heater…seems like I might squeeze in under the 15 amps, though in the dead of winter it might go over sometimes.

  6. LouisNo Gravatar says:

    Emily, I sold the house shortly after it was completed. You will want to check your space heater though because many of them will take up nearly all 15 amps just by themselves. Make sure you follow all the safety precautions for gas. I had several people emailing me telling me about gas safety especially in winter when people tend to want to keep everything inside with them.

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