This is a really important topic. It is also one thats more complicated than cutting a 2x4 or nailing up some siding. Let me preface this by stating that I'm not an electrician, so use this as a guide only for something that has personally worked for me. That said, I struggled for a long time with this topic since I didn't really know how to approach it.
First off I needed to get power to the house. What I knew was that I wanted a mixed use system where there would be some AC 120V supply but also a separate electrical system on a DC 12V basis (predominantly for any and all lighting plus a vent). That determination led me to this unit:
Before I dive deeper into that part, let's talk about getting 30AMP service to the house itself. I have electric at the road and there are even conveniently two RV 30AMP ports on the pole. I wasn't sure there were two. Turns out that one is hooked up all wrong. All this is likely better viewed in the following video which starts with the successful power inside the house and follows the trail back to the pole.
The Progressive Dynamics "Mighty Mini" RV panel. This panel incorporates an RV appropriate AC section and it also powers a 12V DC section. There is a also a way to loop in solar into the 12V side but that aspect was not relevant for my purposes since I'm not doing and off the grid house (you can't run an Incinolet with a couple solar panels...). The only complaint with the panel is that instructions are sparse and unless you are an actual electrician, the use and implementation of this is not instantly apparent. That led me to stare at the panel for a long time to try to make sense of it. I couldn't really find any installation related videos but after I was able to clarify a few minor aspects, it started to make sense. I won't bore you by writing about it but instead will bore you with a video I made on the topic. Big apologies for it being sideways. Not sure how that happened. I'll see if I can remedy that. Any suggestions?
Hopefully that gives you a pretty good basis in regard to what to do. Any uncertainty should result in you consulting an electrician. I was lucky too that there was already a 30AMP hook up at the pole, since the prior owner of the property kept a traditional camper on the land.
It’s been great to have full electricity in the house since before I was running everything off a glorified extension cord. That didn’t include an induction cook top, a water heater or a fridge. It’s also a real luxury to have proper lighting in the house after so much darkness (especially at night…). I have not had any regrets on any of this work. The only thing that I have not hooked up is the Incinolet. I’m hoping that I don’t trigger any kind of issue with that since tripping breakers has not been an issue thus far and that’s with some pretty high amp type construction tools being used.
One thing that I did not do is put in an exterior outlet. As I’m starting to close up the walls on the inside now, it’s kind of now or never. I haven’t really had a need for power outside and when I have, I have simply run a cord out the door. Sure it would be nicer to have that power outside but that’s ok. I’ll see if I change my mind in any way before the closed up walls make this endeavor that much harder to implement.
I guess that this write up doesn’t help you much if you are looking to install solar panels or want to run a purely low voltage set up. I can only relay what has worked for me based on what I was looking to build. There should be other resources out there that can help you further in your quest. Thanks for reading this.
I’m about to embark on writing on the other BIG topic of plumbing. I’m happy to say that that is completed as well. More to come.