Once I got a few of the minor leaks and rust spots fixed up, window flashing up, and door sealed it was time to get busy on the electrical.
First, I developed electrical plans and checked them with an electrician to make sure I was doing everything to code. I didn't use any electrical planning tools, but my simple electrical layout is shown below. Each color represents a breaker with a description of what is included on that breaker. The highest amperage draw is from the tank-less electric hot water heater at a max of 60 amps (B9).
Once I had a plan for electrical, I had to decide whether I was to run the electrical before or after installing the insulation. I'll begin to introduce my insulation concept in this post but I'll share details on the product in my next post. For a quick introduction, the insulation panels I used are made by a company called Insofast.
The Insofast UX 2.0 Panels shown in the pictures above feature electrical wiring channels centered between the composite studs that are built into the panels (see right picture). The beauty of these panels is that I can run the electrical behind the panels after installation. I'm glad that I had the foresight to realize that this wouldn't be as easy as expected with the corrugated pattern of the container. To mitigate the hassle, I installed the electrical wiring directly to the wall BEFORE I installed the insulation panels. This was easy because I knew exactly where the wiring channels would be located on the wall.
I laid out all my wiring against the walls at the designated height and lightly secured it with Gorilla Tape. This made running my wiring very simple.
I skipped ahead a little bit and insulated the ceiling before routing the main wires from the breaker to the other side of the container. The pictures below show how I routed these wires through the ceiling. I did hit a few snags routing the heavy wire through the ceiling but overall, it was pretty simple. To install the light and outlet boxes, I simply pressed the box against the insulation to make an indent and then cut it out using a small knife. I offset the light box from the junction of wiring channels so that it could be glued to the ceiling at a low point. See the pictures below for further explanation.
Next, I had to install the breaker box. A friend donated a nice breaker box for me to use - saving me a few hundred dollars! I bought some Unistrut to install the breaker box directly to the outside of the container. I decided to install my box outside for obvious space-saving reasons. Once I chose a location to run the wiring out, Jonathan cut a whole in the container using his torch cutter. I then used a piece of conduit to determine the correct location to mount the breaker box. You can see some of the pictures below. One thing not shown in the pictures is that I used a expanding gap-filler foam to seal around the conduit going into the container.
That's all for electrical for now, I'll add a photo of the breaker box all wired up later. Also, after finishing my walls I installed outlets and light fixtures but I'll also touch on that later!
My name is Ashley. I want to minimize my footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle. I'm an engineer with a love for simplistic industrial design and fabrication.