Are you experiencing clogged pipes? Slow Drains? Backup Issues?
If you own a mobile home or are considering buying one, you should know that mobile home plumbing problems differs considerably from that of traditional homes. The major difference is that pipes for a mobile home are not concealed in the walls of the home but are found underneath the mobile home. They are then “stubbed” up from ground level to various connection points for kitchen, hot water heater, bathrooms, showers, laundry room, etc. Should mobile home plumbing develop a leak, it would be underneath the flooring. The kinds of plumbing issues you may face with a mobile home are similar to those of a traditional home such as:
- Clogged Pipes
- Backup Issues
- Leaking Pipes and Connections
- Slow Drains
There are however issues that you should be aware of that are unique to mobile homes.
Here are some of the most common issues you may encounter with mobile home plumbing.
Belly Wrap Damage- Because a mobile home is placed off the ground, a type of plastic sheathing called a belly wrap is applied to the bottom of a mobile home. In some cases, a net device may also be in place to keep the belly wrap from sagging. This wrap acts as a moisture barrier as well as preventing insects, small animals, and ground moisture from contact with the mobile home flooring. When buying a mobile home, you should always inspect the integrity of the belly wrap. If there have been previous plumbing repairs, the belly wrap may be damaged, torn or hanging from the bottom exposing the flooring, insulation and plumbing lines going in and out of the mobile home. Be on the look out for sagging or bulging of the belly wrap as these may be indications of a leak. Sometimes just touching the bulging area of the belly wrap will indicate the presence of water. By using a needle to poke a small hole in the bulge you can often determine if there is a leak above it.
Mobile Homes Rarely have Clean-Outs – A clean out is a large capped pipe that allows access to the piping to clean any drain line clogs that may occur. Most traditional homes have one or more clean-outs, but it’s rare to find one with a mobile home. This makes dealing with a clogged line much more difficult with a mobile home.
Polybutylene Piping – While polybutylene piping is no longer used in the plumbing of mobile homes, it is still quite prevalent in older mobile homes. It’s much more likely you will experience issues with this type of pipe than with newer, stronger types of pipe. If you’re considering purchasing a mobile home or selling one, you will want to replace this older pipe with CPVC or PEX pipe which is much more durable. You can usually tell polybutylene pipe by it’s gray color and it may be stamped “PP”. It’s not difficult to replace older pipe with the updated CPVC or PEX pipe and in some areas it’s actually against the law to sell a mobile home with polybutylene piping.
Water Heaters & Washer Dryer Set-Ups – Not all water heaters are approved for use with mobile homes. Be sure if you’re buying a mobile home or replacing the water heater in your current mobile home that you select one that’s approved for use in mobile homes and has the necessary safety rating. If you are upgrading or installing a gas water heater it’s important to select a safe location in the mobile home with outside access and appropriate venting. This is important for safety and it’s also the law! Failing to install a gas water heater properly could cost you more than a fine and void any insurance reimbursements and warranties should you ever have a claim.
It’s also important that you have a proper set-up for your washer and dryer. Any exhaust piping, which typically is large flexible tubing, must be properly routed to the outside of the mobile home and connected to a termination fitting. Dryer vent hose should never be placed into the flooring of the mobile home as it is a fire hazard and will allow moisture to build up potentially damaging your flooring. Washing machine drainage should never just lead to the ground but re routed to the septic system to avoid the accumulation of bacteria.
For a plumber in the Tampa, FL, area, contact The Clean Plumbers today.