Living in a mobile home comes with its perks and its difficulties. One of those difficulties can be frozen pipes during the winter. If you’re not accustomed to mobile home living you may have not realized but frozen pipes can be a common occurrence, more common than in a permanent home. This is because the plumbing is above ground and more exposed to the cold conditions during the winter, as opposed to plumbing in permanent homes that will be run underground.
Even though this can be a nuisance there’s nothing to fret about. Spotting and repairing frozen pipes is not that difficult. You just need to know what to look for and have the right solutions to unthawing your frozen pipes, and we’re here to help with that.
Telling If Your Pipes Are Frozen
The first step of course is telling if your water pipes are frozen. If you are in freezing weather conditions and your water is not running even though the water line is on, then the most likely culprit is frozen pipes.
Because your home has multiple water pipes running to different water sources (bathroom, sink, etc.) then locating where the frozen pipe is is your first step. Start by turning your different water sources on. Turn on the sinks, the bathtub/shower, and any other sources of running water that you would have. If water is running from some sources but not others, then it’s not your main water line. But if none of the sources in your home have running water then you know that it’s your main water line.
Spotting A Frozen Pipe
If you have an idea of which pipe is frozen then you can begin unthawing it. But first, as you approach the pipe you’ll want to find out for sure if it is frozen or not.
Some simple and easy signs of if a pipe is frozen is if it is covered with ice or frost on the outside of the pipe? If so then you will know the conditions of the inside of the pipe are freezing too. Another way to test is to take a hard object like a wrench or screwdriver and tap on the pipe.
If the sound is hollow then the pipe should be normal, but if you hear a harder or denser sound. Also if a pipe is frozen on the inside then it will be very cold to the touch.
Unthawing A Frozen Pipe
So you do have frozen pipes, but not what do you do? First address the pipes that are the problem so that you can get running water again.
If you find that you have multiple pipes in your mobile home that are frozen, or maybe all of them are, then you’ll want to take a more wide-sweeping approach. You will want to turn up the heat in your home. This will begin to help the frozen pipes thaw out. While your home is heating up next you’ll want to inspect a few possible sources of freezing.
Check the heat tape on your main water line. This is what wraps around your main water line. It is plugged into electricity to keep the water line warm. If it is plugged in and is not working then you know that this might be your problem. If you can tell that the heat tape is working because it’s warm to the touch then you might want to check your water heater room. If this room has a draft and is cold then this could be the cause of the frozen pipes as well.
Lastly, you will want to check the skirt or the underside around the exterior of your mobile home. If there is a hole or a gap somewhere this is what could cause the cold air to leak in and freeze your pipes.
If the frozen pipe issue is more isolated with a single pipe then there are some simple solutions that you can do to unthaw the pipe as your home is heating up. One of the simplest and easiest home solutions is to use a hairdryer on the frozen pipe. The benefit of a hairdryer is that it will not be too hot to damage the pipe, but they are hot enough to get the ice to melt.
There are other solutions as well, like using a space heater where the frozen pipes are, or pouring salt down the drain of the sink where the frozen pipe is. That will cause the freezing point of the ice to lower making it easier for the ice to thaw.
If you continue to have issues and you are finding it difficult to unthaw your water pipes then ask a friend or neighbor to help. Again, frozen pipes are common enough in mobile homes that a neighbor or friend who is also in a mobile home may have experience and could be willing to help.