One of the things that can really add to the cost of mobile home living is not taking good care of your plumbing system.
Without proper mobile home plumbing maintenance, your property is more susceptible to problems that could quite possibly lower down its overall value and rapidly decline how satisfied your day-to-day routine would be living there.
It is highly important to know where your main water line is located long before you even need to find it. This is for in case of emergencies such as a broken pipe, a leaking pipe, a clogged pipe, or other issues that you would want to address while fresh.
How do I find the main water line in a mobile home?
There are 7 common locations wherein you can find the main water line in order to shut off the supply. Where yours is set up depends on your type of home and its specific design. Here are a few places you can try looking:
By The Water Heater
The first place to look by is your water heater. Once you have located it, open the compartment where it is installed. Search for two shutoff valves along the cold water pipes connecting to the heat.
If you can find two of them, the one closest to the floor will be able to shut off the main water supply, while the upper valve will shut off only the cold water supply.
However, if you can only find one shutoff valve on the water line connecting to the water heater, then it will only shut off the cold water supply, not the main supply.
Near Your Washing Machine
Didn’t find it by the water heater? Try the washing machine next!
The main water supply may have been installed on the pipe feeding your washing machine, so double check your laundry room for the two valves.
If you find the two valves, the one closest to the floor should be your main water shutoff valve. You can double-check this by turning on the sink for about 15 to 30 seconds. If you were successful in shutting off the main supply, then the water pressure should immediately drop in a few seconds. However, if it remains constant, then that was not the main supply valve yet.
Inside A Wall Access Panel
A lot of mobile homes have an in-wall utility access panel, which could very likely be where your main water supply shutoff valve is located.
Look for your wall access panel in the closets, hallways, or even the laundry room. It should be outlined with a thin trim and typically held together by capped screws. You would need to remove the caps and unscrew the opening to access the panel itself.
If your access panel has a water line shutoff, this would usually connect to the main supply for your entire mobile home. However, if you cannot seem to find one, then perhaps your mobile home does not have an interior access panel at all.
Under Your Mobile Home
Since you plumbing system is located underneath your mobile home, there is a high chance that your main shutoff valve is located there. Look around the exterior of your home for a sticker to sign that says “Fresh Water Connection”.
If you find this sign, check for the water shutoff valve below it. If it is not there, try checking closer to the edge of the crawl space.
In some instances, you may even have to enter the crawl space and look further under your home. Because of how tedious this could be, we recommend checking here as a last resort!
In Your Yard
Most especially if you live in a cool climate, the main water shutoff valve may be located around your yard. To check for this, locate any water lines running out of your home through the skirting and trace them back to its source.
You may find a stop-and-waste valve on the line outside of the skirting. Turn the valve off and check if it cuts the supply to the home.
Note that if the valve is circular, turn clockwise to tighten it and effectively shut off the supply. However, if it is a straight handle type, maneuver it so that it is perpendicular to the water line in order to shut it off.
At Your Water Meter
If you notice your water line exiting the mobile home skirting and up to a water meter, you can effectively turn off the main supply from there. Look for a valve between the water meter itself and your home, and then use a specialized water key to shut it off.
Remember to only close a valve located on the line between the meter and your home, any other valves should not be touched as this is under the responsibility of the water company.
At Your Well
The last common place you may find the main water supply valve is by your well, if your mobile home is provided with one instead of a water meter.
The water pipes that lead back to the well should have a shutoff valve on them. However, be careful when manipulating these to avoid damaging the PVC pipes as these can easily crack when too much pressure is added.
What Kind Of Water Lines Are In Mobile Homes?
There are many types of materials used for the water lines within a mobile home. Some of the most common ones are:
These types of pipes were far more popular in the 1970’s and 1990’s. This kind of pipe is more susceptible to erosion due to the bleach that is present in most water supplies. The more they erode, the more you can expect leaks and damages within your pipe system.
This just may be the most commonly used type of pipe in all kinds of homes for a while now. Its popularity is due to the fact that it is highly resistant to corrosion and also due to its ability to take hot water. However, because of how costly they can get, plastic alternatives are slowly phasing them out.
These are rather similar to copper pipes, except that they are far more expensive. They offer great performance, but are not widely used due to its price.
These have a special galvanized coating on them, which helps in resisting rust and other natural factors. Because of this, they are usually used to carry water in and out of the mobile home in areas that are exposed to natural elements. They are also slowly being phased out, this time by PEX (more on this later).
Even if you are not into construction or any DIY housework, you must have heard of PVC pipes before. They are perhaps the most commonly used kinds across all industries. However, they tend to warp and bend when exposed to warm or hot water, which makes them the weaker choice when it comes to certain plumbing systems. They are best suited for drainage pipes.
These are basically PVC pipes, except with chlorination properties to them. This allows them to retain all the positive characteristics of a normal PVC pipe while also being able to withstand warm and hot water.
Moreover, they are far more flexible than PVC pipes, have much thinner walls, and are also of the same diameter as copper pipes.
PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene pipe, which could be a mouthful so let’s stick with PEX. These pipes are popular for their impressive heat resistance and low maintenance. They are also very easy to install and rather affordable compared to other plastic plumbing. Lastly, they are bendable and softer than the usual pipe!
This pipe is known to easily freeze when the temperature drops, which is why it is mainly used to only transport water underground into home plumbing systems.
How do water pipes run in a mobile home?
The plumbing system within a mobile home is very different from that of a traditional site-built house.
With mobile homes, you can expect all your plumbing to run under your property and into your crawlspace. With each individual fixture present in your mobile home, there is a pipe that branches out from the main water supply. These pipes come up through the flooring and connect directly where it needs to.
What size is the main water line in a mobile home?
The size of the plumbing pipes plays a big role in how efficient your system flows. The most commonly used size for smaller drainage and venting pipes is 3”.
You’re All Set!
Now that you know the ins and outs of what your plumbing system most likely looks like, you can have a better grasp on how to best maintain it and prolong its lifespan. Furthermore, locating your main supply shutoff valve is definitely an important task to check off once you get your mobile home so you can be prepared for any emergency at any time of day.