With record-breaking cold weather in the state of Michigan recently, you may have found yourself bundling up and hunkering down. From Detroit to Kalamazoo to Ann Arbor, the deep chill has broken records that are near or over a hundred years old, according to MLive.com. Keeping your mobile home warm and cozy may have been on your mind a lot lately as you handle the cold. And one thing you may also be thinking about is preventing your mobile home plumbing from freezing and checking it after the frigid weather passes.
Brush up on plumbing
Before we get down to the directions, let’s start by introducing you to your plumbing. We’ll run through a couple of different materials that could be forming the conduits for your water. First, there’s PEX. PEX line has a little bit of “give” in it so it won’t burst as quickly as a copper pipe in the event of a freeze.
Next up—CPVC. It’s a little more rigid than PEX but still won’t burst as readily as copper. Finally, there’s copper itself which as you now know is more likely to freeze and burst than the previous two. With this in mind, let’s turn to preventing frozen pipes.
With plumbing, you know the main goal is to keep it doing its job directing water. You don’t want things freezing up and not providing your H20 for sinks, toilets, and showers. Even more, you don’t want those pipes freezing then bursting. At that point, it’s what happens after they thaw out that makes your blood run cold (even though you’re already cold from the recent frigid temperatures). You don’t want them leaking water once things thaw.
In short, nobody wants frozen pipes. Which is why we’re reminding you to tackle this issue beforehand if possible. You’ve heard it before—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, if your plumbing is currently in good working order, strive to keep it that way.
Obviously, if your mobile home is empty and uninhabited, you can consider draining the pipes. Check out our directions for winterizing for more on that. On the other hand, if the house is empty because you’re out of town for a few days but you don’t want to actually winterize, consider turning up the heat. Try to keep the temp at least above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Maybe the penny-pinching side of you balks at leaving the heat on when no one is home. In that case, remember this is an investment to prevent future problems that could require you to spend time and money fixing them (not to mention the inconvenience).
When you are home and you want to prevent that freeze
What about the times that you will be home when the thermometer is dropping? What can you do for your mobile home plumbing then? One option when you expect very cold temperatures and you’re worried about your pipes freezing is to leave your water running at a slow drip.
Yes, this may (over the course of 6 or 8 hours at night) use 50 gallons or so of water. Of course, if you’re on a good well, losing that water may not matter much. And even if you’re on city water, paying based on how much you use, it should only cost you a negligible amount.
What we’ve done here is tap into (pun intended) the concept that moving water is much less likely to freeze. You know how a lake freezes before a stream does? Yep, that’s the same idea we’re talking about here.
After the freeze
Let’s say you’re on the other side of those freezing days. Skies are blue again. And maybe it’s even getting a little (dare we say it?) warm. With the cold behind you, you want to know if any damage was done.
Obviously, if you see any water spillage in the house (under sinks, near toilets, etc) it may prompt you to look for pipes that have sprung leaks. Even if you haven’t noticed water, you should give the pipes a visual inspection and feel around for any wetness.
Getting a little further down
Hopefully, you’ve found nothing concerning inside the house. But you’d like to check your mobile home plumbing that’s under the house. To do this, remove the skirting in one spot. Head to the areas under both the kitchen and bathroom and look for any drips from cracked pipes that have started leaking.
What if you find mobile home plumbing leaks?
If you do find pipes that are leaking, here’s one way to handle it. Shut off the water to the home and replace the affected section of pipe. You may want to head to your local home improvement store and ask for help selecting your replacement pieces. Thankfully, there are user-friendly options (such as a quick connect fitting).
However, as always, if it’s beyond your ability, don’t hesitate to call in the plumbing experts. Find someone to repair in your area. You may even want to look for some who specializes in mobile homes. Plus, ask friends or your mobile home park for suggestions when it comes to choosing a repairman. They may know someone with whom they’ve had a great experience.
Enjoy the coziness
Once you’ve made adequate plans for your mobile home plumbing, move on to the fun stuff. Perhaps it’s time to plan a cozy evening at home complete with soup, warm bread, and a hot cup of your favorite drink if there’s more frigid weather in the forecast. Then, tackle creating some good aromas while settling in comfortably to your warm home.