The one trick to tiny houses in the winter is keeping your water connection from freezing. In past years I have been too lazy to actually get my pipes ready for winter, but this year I decided I’d take the time to do it up right.
I should start out by saying that I live in NC, where it doesn’t get crazy cold and we get very little snow. On average I think we’ll have around fifty nights that drop to 32 degrees or below in a given year. In many cases it just hits 32 degrees for a few hours in the early morning, which isn’t long enough for my water lines to freeze at all.
This year I decided to do a little more winter prep than normal and insulate my lines. I haven’t taken the step of putting heat tape along the water line yet because I’m running on solar and a heating element such as that would drain my batteries in a heart beat. IF I was on the grid, I’d be hooking that heat tape up too.
My tiny house is connect to city water which I ran to my house. Since I had to run all the underground lines before the house ever was on the property I opted to use a traditional RV setup. A frost proof hydrant connects to my tiny house via a drinking safe hose (really important to have a potable water hose!). The inlet is a RV water inlet that installed on the side of my house.
I thought about making something more elaborate, requiring wood working, etc. But when I started to price things out I realized that I was looking at spending $100-$200 which was more than I wanted to spend and honestly it would have taken a good bit of time. I’ve not done this in the past because I was being lazy, so I knew I needed something that was quick and dirty.
That lead me to this method. I got a single roll of insulation for $13 and already had the trash bags and duct tape. This way I wouldn’t have to pull out any power tools and the entire job took about 20 minutes.
Price: Check. Lazy factor: Check.
I wrapped the batts like this so that I could get the insulation to snug up against the ground nicely while keeping the backing outward for a bit of durability. Some duct tape to hold it all together and I was done.
Next I wrapped the water hose in rubberized foam which was the highest r-value I could find. I added some duct tape on the outside to make sure it held together nicely and then bagged the whole thing.
So it isn’t a perfect solution, but the black bag is nice way to keep the water out and the outside looking somewhat presentable. We’ll see how it goes this winter!
- What seasonal preparations do you need to consider?