Of all the systems in the tiny house, electric is the one that I understand the least. I vaguely remember my physics class from high school and talking about amps, watts, and voltage, but I can’t for the life of me tell you what they do or why they’re important.
For the past several months I’ve been researching wiring, solar-powered systems, batteries, and I still have a headache. Some blogs I find say, “Oh, wiring is EASY! Just run wire in the walls and attach it to the box with the blinky lights and switches and the thing and the face.” At least that’s what it ends up sounding like in my head. Those people that say electric stuff is easy must be electronic geniuses.
I actually did consider installing all the wire myself, but then a friend told me I needed a “wiring plan” and I about had an emotional breakdown.
Therefore, I hired an electrician to install all the things. Sorry, beyond wires and light switches I don’t know the names for electronic stuff. My electrician’s name is Tom Weldon and he really is an electronic genius. If you need electric work, here is Tom’s website: http://www.welldoneelectric.com/
I’m so glad there are people like him who see an electric system as “no big deal” as opposed to…other people…who research electric systems until any mention of a breaker panel makes them tear up so they decide to go on the youtube and watch cat videos instead.
Tom told me that yes, I do need a wiring plan, but it can be as simple as telling him where I want switches and outlets. Sweet! I can handle that. To make it all “pretty” I put the plan in Excel. Why? Because I’m in finance, that’s the program I know, and it looks better than drawing on notebook paper. Also, it worked, so who cares.
In my research, I did learn that in order to get insurance you need to have one of two things:
1 – Inspection of the wiring work, or
2 – A licensed electrician do the installation
This is the Portland, OR, insurance company where I found the information: http://www.insuremytinyhome.com/
Insurance was the biggest reason I hired out the electric. Also because I don’t want my cool little house to go down in flames because I didn’t get the “right gauge” and I “accidentally crossed” all the “wire connectors.”
Once I pick up my solar panels and other stuff that I just ordered, we can finish out the electric system!