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Bathroom sink . . . I say no  RSS feed

 
Brian Jeffrey
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Location: Connecticut
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Hey Permies, it's been a hot minute. I've got a potentially time/money/space saving idea for eliminating the need for a bathroom sink.

I see no reason why it is too difficult to stand up from your "seat" and step maybe twice to get out of the bathroom and into the kitchen. Tiny houses being tiny, the walk will be minimal.

But I don't think it is a good idea to use your dirty hands to touch the sink handle and turn the water on, being the kitchen sink, food hands touch that too. So I propose a dead mans switch for the kitchen sink. A dead mans switch is a automatic "off" switch that must be actively engaged for the duration you want it to be "on". Commonly a table saw has a pedal dead mans switch, which is the same style I am thinking for the sink version.

This way the sink can be left in the "on" and warm position according to the handle, but you will need to step on the switch to make the water flow. Besides eliminating the need to ever touch the surface of anything with your dirty hands before cleaning/rinsing them. You also make it ridiculously easy to go on/off quickly while washing dishes, or brushing teeth, or any number of things where you only need the water on intermittently. If you are filling a pot of water . . . . contemplate the amazing home you are in while you need to hold the switch down for a minute

A little recessed cavity can be cut into the bottom cabinet and floor trim to give a space for the pedal out of the normal walking area. The switch itself can be actuated like a bicycle brake maybe, or a pneumatic doo-hicky. I have yet to hash out the details of the pipe valve exactly, but that is the only hitch I can find in the idea.

So I ask you all in the Permies world, do you think it would work?

And any suggestions to a pluming dead mans switch?

 
William Bronson
Posts: 1540
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Are you going to have a shower?
A hand held shower head could have a mount over a simple basin.


I have considered mounting a sink over the toilet tank and just washing my hands till the waste goes down.
But many tiny houses use composting toilets.

Or maybe this : http://www.instant-off.com/home-series-catalog/LR-CFO


Not hands free but no touching of clean controls with filthy hands.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Brian,

Part of it is a health and hygiene consideration.

We don't wash "potty hands" in "food prep" areas...That is the reasoning...and it really isn't a bad one.

As a designer, eliminating the bath room sink is not the solution. Designing and building a better "multi tasking" bath room/laundry area is. I have been in bathrooms in Japan, et al, that the "room" is the shower, the toilet is a hole in the floor, and/or a toilet that has a sink built into the tank. You need not rid our bathrooms any of its elements...just design them more efficiently.

Regards,

j
 
Brian Jeffrey
Posts: 106
Location: Connecticut
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William, I like that toilet idea if there is going to be a flush toilet. Some prison toilets have a sink built into the toilet tank, and its all stainless steel, so easy to clean or bolt into.

But currently I am aiming for a composting toilet.


Jay-C, I had always thought that you had to make the entire bathroom water resistant for that . . . but you got me looking around and I found this thing. I bet it can be mounted inside a 30x30 shower insert. Thanks for the new direction.


 
Molly Bracker
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Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hi Brian,

Part of it is a health and hygiene consideration.

We don't wash "potty hands" in "food prep" areas...That is the reasoning...and it really isn't a bad one.

As a designer, eliminating the bath room sink is not the solution. Designing and building a better "multi tasking" bath room/laundry area is. I have been in bathrooms in Japan, et al, that the "room" is the shower, the toilet is a hole in the floor, and/or a toilet that has a sink built into the tank. You need not rid our bathrooms any of its elements...just design them more efficiently.

Regards,

j


Although, they say if Aliens with no prior knowledge of us came to our houses and tested our homes for bacteria, they would probably conclude that they should wash their hands in our toilets and crap in our sinks.
 
Sam Boisseau
Posts: 155
Location: PNW, British Columbia
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I have two sinks in my cabin and as pointed above they have very different uses. The dirty sink deals with hand wash, tooth brushing, dirty garden stuff, etc. I tend to have dishes inside the kitchen sink sometimes, and it would be unhealthy if I washed my hands in there.


What I would consider instead of removing the second sink is removing the toilet. I have an outhouse of the least convenient kind (shelter + 5 gallon bucket; 30 steps away in a rainy climate). But even so, I now think that pooing in your house is kinda gross.


Make an outdoor handwashing station next to the out house and then I'll reconsider having the second sink. But then I still need to spit toothpaste out. That could be done in the shower maybe. Then sometimes I have nasty things like compost buckets to clean up. Could be done at the outdoor handwashing station.


An outdoor handwashing station might be an issue when it freezes outside.


hmmm


 
Brian Cady
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[quote=Brian Jeffrey...So I propose a dead mans switch for the kitchen sink. A dead mans switch is a automatic "off" switch that must be actively engaged for the duration you want it to be "on". Commonly a table saw has a pedal dead mans switch, which is the same style I am thinking for the sink version.


I think I saw on of these at the fish counter of a Whole Foods Market. There were two knee-operated lever-valves for the water, hot and cold, right next to each other.

 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I am putting a giant sink salvaged from a restaurant in my 600 sq ft cabin. That's for the kitchen.

The bathroom gets a normal sized sink for a bathroom. Most houses have large open areas that lie between different functional areas. Living rooms, dining rooms, hallways and even bedrooms often have extra floor space, that is seldom used. I've eliminated those wasted areas, in order to fit everything into a small house. This can be done without giving up comfort and function.

It's possible to have a small space, and still enjoy the luxury of a full sized tub, big kitchen sink and a giant TV. The trick is to build around the person's needs and not turn the house into a place to store and display furniture.

I have a single friend who can't seem to fit her life into 1800 square feet. Furniture and collections of magazines and glassware make it a difficult home to use. Five people could live there comfortably if 3/4 of the home's contents were eliminated.
 
Brian Cady
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Another neat arrangement of sinks I saw were two between restroom entrances at a restaurant. The restrooms didn't have sinks inside them, and the entrance was right beside the sinks. It made the sinks more accessible and you could avoid doorknobs on your way to your meal. Also parents could see if their children remembered their hands, etc.
 
Paul Bonneau
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Although, they say if Aliens with no prior knowledge of us came to our houses and tested our homes for bacteria, they would probably conclude that they should wash their hands in our toilets and crap in our sinks.


Yeah, I saw something on the idiot box (Mythbusters?) where they went all over a house looking for bacteria. The worst place was the sponge for the kitchen sink.

I don't see any problem using a kitchen sink for brushing teeth and grooming, but hand wash after poo creeps me out a bit too. Maybe, if you have a shower, just have a little knee-operated faucet that dribbles into the shower drain. Then you will be cleaner and safer than in a standard house, and it works with a compost toilet too.
 
Sam Boisseau
Posts: 155
Location: PNW, British Columbia
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Another use for a dirty sink is cleaning eggs. I don't think I could clean eggs in the kitchen sink.


In my ideal set up, you might not even have a kitchen in your tiny house. You'd have multiple tiny houses on the land and a nice communal kitchen. And the hand cleaning station would be in the outdoor outhouse. Heck, I might even go for no plumbery in the tiny houses. Fill up your water bottle before heading back to bed and have showers be communal.
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