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wiring a house for 12 volt

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by plowboy, Mar 10, 2006.

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  1. plowboy

    plowboy Guest

    I have a cabin in a remote area that is about half finished. i was
    wanting to wire it for 12 volt, so that i dont have to listen to a
    generator running all the time, and its too shady for solar panels.
    what type of batteries should i get and what gauge and type of wire
    should i use? about all i will run is a few 12 volt floresent or
    l.e.d. lights, one or two 12 volt celling fans, and an r.v. water pump.
    any help and tips would be greatly appriciated.
  2. Get batteries designed for long periods of discharge not car batteries. You
    will find them in fork lifts and golf carts.

    As for wire use the heaviest you can get. Not quite starter motor thickness
    but thicker than the normal car headlamp wire.

    How are you going to charge your batteries?

  3. John G

    John G Guest

    Much better to ask in the correct group
  4. I would wire the building as-if for 120VAC - 14gauge or better, 2-conductor
    plus ground (in fact, I did that in my cottage, which later became home -
    with AC). Then, if you decide to upgrade to AC later you don't have to
    redo everything. The biggest problem is to make sure that your wire _is_
    large enough for 12V. If all you're running is lights, that doesn't take
    much, but fans and pumps are larger currents.
  5. Jack Hayes

    Jack Hayes Guest

    You may want to consider that to provide the same wattage as a 120 volt
    circuit, at 12 volts you need 10 times the current. Personally I used number
    12 in my cottage and wish it was larger, but too late now. A bit more work
    but the ultimate solution is to wire for both 120 and 12 volts during
    construction. Once the walls and ceiling are finished it is a major hassle
    to add anything.

  6. kell

    kell Guest

    Your best bet is to go to

    and post there.

    It is the BEST site on the internet for alternate and remote energy
  7. kell

    kell Guest

    Your best bet is to go to

    and post there.

    It is the BEST site on the internet for alternate and remote energy
  8. My solution was to wire 12V lights and outlets with ordinary 12-2-G AC
    cable, but provide a "home run" to the wiring closet for each one, and
    leave enough slack to reach both AC and DC distribution boxes. The 12
    AWG is sufficient for most any _single_ DC light or portable load. For
    the DC pumps and a couple of kitchen outlets I did upgrade to 8 AWG

    As inverters have improved over the 20 years since this choice, I've
    swapped some cable runs to the AC side - same cable, different
    connections at the ends. In fact, one of the 8 AWG cables now feeds an
    AC subpanel on the far side of the house, to run loads I never
    imagined I'd have when the cable was laid.

    Likewise, if you have an attic or basement, leave a couple runs of
    empty conduit from your wiring closet to the open space. Twenty years
    ago I though I had covered all possibilities by running a single RG59
    (RF video) to most rooms. Since then there has been the need for RG6
    (satellite) and RG59 (thin Ethernet bus) and CAT5 (twisted-pair
    ethernet with home runs) and S-Video... Wireless is nice, but it eats
    power 24/7...

  9. "I used number 12 in my cottage and wish it was larger"

    This is not unusual. If you run #10, you will have a better compromise and
    no problem switching a circuit to 120VAC. Its a bit tougher to connect to
    common wall switches and outlets. Using deep duplex boxes can make the
    wiring / re-wiring (as needed) easier to accomplish.

    HOME RUNS are another idea folks wish they'd employed - especially for
    telephone, coax and Ethernet.

    Plan ahead; don't spare the plumbing / wiring during construction!

    Those little pumps that circulate between Water Heater and Tub, Sink, Shower
    are also something to consider up front. Saves running cold down the drain
    'till the hot reaches the outlet.

    And, switches (3-way / four-way, etc) at every entry point to a room make
    conserving and lighting easier.

    I switch all the bottom outlets so I can employ those little plug-in
    transformers that don't need to run 24/7. Turning off the lights (at any one
    of four points in my shop), for instance, shuts down all those little power
    suckers I may have left plugged in and shuts down power to the compressor as
    well (hate when it decides to start at 3AM, don't you?)
  10. Vaughn Simon

    Vaughn Simon Guest

    Actually if you do it right, you don't need the pump because you can use
    convection circulation. The trick is to run the supply pipe high and the return
    pipe down under the floor. That said, those systems may save water, but they
    COST energy because you have much higher heat loss from your constantly-hot
    pipes. Myself, I would rather have my hot water stored in the tank where it is
    nicely insulated, I can wait a few seconds for it to make the trip to my tap.

  11. Guest

    most energy efficient option is to have a circuit that doesnt circulate
    usually, but will when youre about to demand hot water. This can be
    controlled by press switch, pir detector, touch plate, sensing tap
    drip, etc.

  12. Demand driven circuitry - Exactly what they sell here and what I had
    reference to. Thanks
  13. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Or, you could insulate your pipes.

  14. ime, insulation helps, but not that much. For instance, our bathroom is
    only used first thing in the morning and last thing at night - no matter
    how well insulated the pipes, they'll _always_ be cold when the hot water
    is run again.
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