Buying a mobile home is, in many ways, different than your regular real estate purchase. One of the vital aspects to inspect is mobile home plumbing, as understanding this part of the home can help you save a lot of money. Furthermore, you will learn how to recognize the difference between the right mobile home and a bad investment.
The Basics of Mobile Home Plumbing
To be able to dive into little details of mobile home plumbing, it is crucial to understand the basics:
- piping materials
- location of the pipes
- venting procedure
- the most common plumbing issues in mobile homes
Regular plumbing pipes are usually made of copper, but those for mobile homes are made of hard plastic. It is crucial to know that the quality approval for material used in site-built homes is higher than for mobile ones, and the latter may have plastic pipes that were not approved for site-built structures. These pipes will start to break and leak over time.
The good thing is that most of the new mobile homes have PEX or CPVC tubing. These pipes are sturdy, and they even may last longer than copper pipes.
If you are buying a mobile home with this type of pipes, or the one that was re-piped, you will be just fine.
Location of the pipes
The main difference when talking about the pipes’ location in mobile homes is that they don’t come out of the walls like in apartments or houses. Instead, they are placed below the floor, which is a more practical layout in this case. A couple of words of caution when replacing or fixing the pipes:
- Straight stop valves are more convenient to use
- Think about how much space you need when placing a sink; pipes have to go up to connect to it
The venting procedure
Venting the pipes in a mobile home is usually done with the help of an under-the-sink air valve. While it may not look as appealing, it is a practical solution that takes the home’s design into account.
The most common plumbing issues in mobile homes
It is crucial to understand the problems you may encounter with plumbing in mobile homes. That is the only way to learn how to deal with them quickly and without any unexpected situations.
If an aerator in your sink is clogged, this may be the reason why the water pressure is low. Either cleaning or replacing the part should solve the issue quickly.
In case there is a clog in one of the pressures reducing valves, it may also cause low water pressure. Learn where all the valves are and how to unclog them.
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Slow drainage in the bathroom is another issue caused by a clogged pipe, usually because of hair buildup. The best way to deal with this issue is to use a hand snake, a handy tool that goes directly inside the drain and pushes the clog through.
Water backflows into the bathtub once flushed
This is another issue that happens because of a clog, this time in the drain line. The best way to solve this issue is to use a closet auger. It works just like the snake tool, but it is much more convenient for this problem.
Foul odors issue
In case of foul odors, it can be because of:
- bad ventilation system
- pipe separation
Locating the issue is the first step towards fixing it. Keep in mind that the easiest way to track pipe separation is to look for leaks.
Leaks are not only an issue in mobile homes; they happen in every household. However, in our case, this usually occurs with the showerheads or the faucets. The best way to deal with both of these issues is to hire professional assistance.
The lack of clean-outs
If there is a sewer drain line stoppage, in 9 out of 10 cases, it is because there are no clean-outs installed. This is the case with mobile homes. The primary function of these types of valves is to fix this issue without too much hassle. With that in mind, if this happens to you, do not flush or use water anywhere. Close all the valves and call the plumber immediately.
How much does it cost to fix plumbing issues in a mobile home?
Replumbing an entire mobile home is somewhere between $1500 and $4000. Here is where you can see an additional benefit of using quality plastic pipes. For example, the price for PEX per linear foot ranges from $0.40 to $0.50. This is a fantastic price if we consider that new copper pipes cost around $3 to $8.
Is moving to a mobile home different than any other relocation?
Since mobile homes are usually much smaller and sometimes may be found in secluded locations, it is imperative to hire experienced movers. Check if they have any experience with this type of relocation. If your chosen professionals specialize in this type of moving, they will be able to help with handling different types of needs.
This short but useful guide should provide you with enough information to understand how mobile home plumbing works. As you can see, many issues may happen, but there are also effective ways to fix them. Mobile homes hold great value on the market, and whether you want to buy or sell, or even rent one, professional mobile home dealers will gladly assist you!
Article contributed by Sophia Perry