Advice on mobile home plumbing issues

November 12, 2014

Location, materials and configuration are all different in mobile homes. Here’s a guide to what you can repair — and where you might want a pro.

Advice on mobile home plumbing issues

Old models

If you live in a mobile home over 20 years old, you likely know all too much about plumbing problems. Cheap prices meant cheap construction everywhere, including mysterious plumbing systems you’ll never see anywhere else, since they would have never met the building codes for site-built homes.

Not only are they subject to falling apart, many plumbers will simply refuse to service them. Beware too that if you have the grey, plastic piping known as polybutylene, it was found to be seriously defective and banned in many places. It’s generally deemed irreparable by professionals. Sure, you might stagger on making stopgap repairs, but the only long-term solution is replacing all of the pipes with modern ones, which may or may not be worth it.

Plastic everywhere

The good news is that the plastic piping found in contemporary mobile homes is of the rugged, easy-to-assemble PEX or CPVC types that have come to replace copper waterlines in ordinary houses. (Indeed, it was in mobile homes where this technology was originally perfected.)

Not only can you find replacement tubing, couplings and fittings at your local hardware store, you don’t need to take on the difficult and messy job of soldering copper. Replacing a sink or tub is considerably less challenging than it would be in a copper-piped home.

Hard to reach

Unlike site-built homes, mobile homes have no basement. Any work that needs to occur in the crawlspace tends to be cramped and unpleasant. But there are two things a cold-climate dweller ought to do down there that will help limit future problems, notably due to freezing.

If the master shutoff valve is in the crawlspace, it should be relocated up in the warm residence itself. And if you live where it can get really, really cold, you might consider reinsulating the water supply and possibly even surrounding it with electrical warming tape. Likewise any distributive piping under the floor. Unlike site-built homes, mobile home pipes tend to run beneath the floor as opposed to through walls.

Contact a professional

If you happen to live in an area where mobile homes are common, there might well be plumbers who specialize in this field. It may well be that you have to bring in the pros from a general mobile home service and repair company. As in all cases, however, becoming familiar with the basics of your system will help you hire with confidence.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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