June 9, 2015
My tiny house continues to behave like a small child, waking me up in the middle of the night crying about some new problem that needs to be solved. This week’s problem came with the sudden realization at 4:30 AM on Sunday morning that I had made a mistake wiring the USB outlet in the loft. At exactly that time and for no particular reason, I suddenly realized that I wired USB outlet in the loft to the same wires that run the exterior strip lighting which is really dumb because the strip lighting is on a dimmer switch and USB outlets don’t work very well on dimmer switches. I knew if I left it the way it was, the USB outlet would only work when the strip lighting was on at full power which would be less than useful. It had to be fixed. I just didn’t know how. Of course, I realized this mistake two days after I finished installing interior siding over every single wall that would allow me access to the wires running to the outlet. So for the past 48 hours, my brain basically dedicated 99% of its available capacity to figuring out what to do with my tiny house child, leaving limited bandwidth for other daily activities like work or sleep.
By this afternoon, my brain had decided that the best option for fixing all of this would be to drill a new hole up through the back wall from the downstairs to the loft and run brand-new wires. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I couldn’t think of any other option. To make this work, I would have to precisely drill through 14 inches of solid wood at exactly the right angle so that my 1/2″ auger bit came out right under the existing outlet.
As impossible as this seemed to me at the time, I did actually manage to pull it off this afternoon. Unable to really focus at work, I left a little bit early, stopped at the hardware store for some wire, came home, got changed and headed over to the tiny house. Once there, I carefully measured how high up the USB outlet was from the loft floor and how far over it was from the right-hand wall. I then figured out exactly what angle I would have to drill at from downstairs in order to come out in the right place. I double checked my measurement a couple of times, pulled out my auger bit, crossed my fingers and started drilling. The drill bit almost got hung up a couple of times on some of the five thousand nails I decided to put into the walls of my tiny house. However, I finally managed to go in as far as my drill bit would go. I had done the measurements and I knew it was going to be close. In addition to my doubts about whether I had gotten the angle right, I wasn’t even entirely sure that my auger bit was long enough to cover the whole distance. So I cautiously crawled up into the loft, peaked into the hole for the USB outlet and breathed a big sigh of relief when I saw the tip of my drill bit just barely poking up from below. It was perfect. The bit came out right below the outlet exactly where it should be with no extra length to spare.
The rest of the project was pretty easy: just running wires and connecting them up to the fuse box below. Once I had everything hooked up, I plugged in my battery to make sure the little LED light on my USB outlet let up, which it did. Sweet!
That’s one more problem solved and one less thing to worry about … at least until my tiny house manufactures another problem for me to solve in the middle of the night.