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Logan M.
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Tips to avoid frozen pipes in your mobile home park

Logan M.
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  • Investor
  • Provo, UT
Posted Jan 18 2024, 07:04

It is that time of year and this Winter has been extra cold in America. I wanted to share a few quick tips that have saved me from frozen pipes and a lot of headaches.


My first tip is the most important, have your homes completely skirted all the way around. I have never had a fully skirted home freeze while habited by a tenant. 

Second tip, keep your homes occupied. This is for a couple reasons one some water will be running regularly and two there will be heat.


Third
, keep the heat on. Even for vacant units, I keep at 50 degrees at the lowest. The home must not get too cold.


The fourth
is to use heat tape, this is pretty amazing stuff but it on;y works down to a certain temp so I would suggest not just relying on heat tape.


Fifth
, hose bibs are one of the biggest issues because they expose your water line to the outside temps. Even in single-family homes, I have had hose bibs break. Ideally, you have a shut-off for it but if you don't make sure you buy one of those insulated boxes that can cover it up during the Winter months. Those are cheap and easy to use. I would suggest using the ones that are made out of foam and have an elastic tie piece vs an insulated back with velcro.

Six, leaving water dripping. This is a tried and true method. When water has movement it is less likely to freeze.

And seven, insulating the pipes. Especially, the pipes coming into the home. Many times the main pipe will freeze because it is overly exposed to outside temps and wind.

If you incorporate these tips into your Winter prep or Winter scramble trying to avoid frozen pipes and damage I am confident you will sleep better and avoid a lot of stress.

Bonus:

If your pipes do freeze a few tips are propane heaters. I have found that they work a lot faster than electric heaters and I don't feel comfortable using electric heaters outside with all the moisture. Make sure that the pipes are not broken because after they thaw you will have a lot of water coming out if that is the case.

-

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Samuel Coronado
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Samuel Coronado
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Replied Jan 22 2024, 08:29

I'd say the biggest and easiest thing is redo the pipes in PEX. PEX can expand way more than copper or PVC pipes, fittings are much cheaper, and you can make very quick patches without having to wait for glue to bond and cure. Just one crimp or clamp and it's done instantly, ready for 180 psi. Glue takes longer to cure under 40 degrees and existing fittings such as elbows and couplings can be weakened with the cold. 

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Logan M.
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Logan M.
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Replied Jan 22 2024, 09:23
Quote from @Samuel Coronado:

I'd say the biggest and easiest thing is redo the pipes in PEX. PEX can expand way more than copper or PVC pipes, fittings are much cheaper, and you can make very quick patches without having to wait for glue to bond and cure. Just one crimp or clamp and it's done instantly, ready for 180 psi. Glue takes longer to cure under 40 degrees and existing fittings such as elbows and couplings can be weakened with the cold. 


 That is interesting because as I am thinking about it the homes that I have switched out have not frozen. Great tip!

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Samuel Coronado
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Samuel Coronado
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Replied Jan 22 2024, 09:39
Quote from @Logan M.:
Quote from @Samuel Coronado:

I'd say the biggest and easiest thing is redo the pipes in PEX. PEX can expand way more than copper or PVC pipes, fittings are much cheaper, and you can make very quick patches without having to wait for glue to bond and cure. Just one crimp or clamp and it's done instantly, ready for 180 psi. Glue takes longer to cure under 40 degrees and existing fittings such as elbows and couplings can be weakened with the cold. 


 That is interesting because as I am thinking about it the homes that I have switched out have not frozen. Great tip!


 I'm about to bite the cost of upgrading pipes on two of the homes soon, then going two more each month. The pipes are actually very cheap. $15 per 100 foot of 3/4 inch, but the fittings and such can literally double the cost. I'm looking online to buy them by the pound lol

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Mike H.
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Replied Jan 22 2024, 09:51

I agree with Samuel, you can use PEX as its easier to install/quick and cheap in comparison.  We've also used foam in a can in hard to reach areas and contained the foam around the pipes by using larger diameter pvc piping encased around the existing pipe...just need to split the pvc pipe long ways to get it onto the existing pipe and make sure to fill the void area in between.