Problems With Mobile Home Water Pipes

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Water pipes in a mobile home are more subject to freezing.
Water pipes in a mobile home are more subject to freezing. (Image: Camping – Mobilhome image by albillottet from Fotolia.com)

Thousands of people live in mobile homes primarily because the homes are less expensive than traditional houses. Mobile homes are generally manufactured with lower quality materials, which can lead to problems, particularly with vulnerable components such as plumbing. Many mobile home owners end up replacing the factory supplied plumbing with a higher quality system.

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Freezing

Because many mobile homes are not placed on solid foundations, freezing of water pipes is a frequent problem. Mobile homes are usually set on posts, piers or cinder blocks, allowing cold air to access underneath the floor. Even when the perimeter of the mobile home is blocked off and insulated, this insulation is rarely as effective at blocking cold air as the solid foundation under a traditional house. As a result, the water access pipe that exits the ground under the mobile home and enters through the floor is subject to freezing at the point where it runs from the ground to the floor.

Cracking

Mobile homes are sometimes a little too mobile. In high winds, or even as a result of earthquakes or tremors, mobile homes are notoriously subject to moving around. While this is clearly a problem in a tornado when the mobile home is upended, it is a more subtle problem as well. If the mobile home shifts, rigid pipes are subject to cracking, which can happen at the point where the pipe enters the mobile home or within the mobile home itself as a result of torquing and twisting. Cracks and breaks in the pipes obviously lead to leaks, which can cause further damage to floors and rugs.

Corrosion

Most newer mobile homes have plastic pipes, but older mobile homes with metal pipes may have problems with corrosion caused by improper installation, age or the presence of impurities in the water. Hard water can also damage pipes through the buildup of limestone deposits. If the corrosion of pipes becomes too severe, the pipes will begin to leak. At this point, the easiest solution is probably to replace them altogether with plastic pipes to remove the problem.

Noise

While a noise problem is certainly not as severe as other potential problems, noise is definitely annoying. If the water pipes in a mobile home are not installed properly, the pipes may vibrate and move when in use, causing noises such as humming and banging. If the noise is bothersome, you can fix this problem by locating the part of the pipe that is moving and insulating it using foam tubes or batt insulation between the pipe and the wall or by securing the pipe to the wall using metal or plastic collars.

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