When your mobile home's water pipes freeze in the winter, you will need to know what to do to thaw them. You don't need to call plumbers right away for any repairs, unless your pipes begin to leak later on due to freezing water expansion that caused your pipes to crack. Follow these helpful tips to get your mobile home's water pipes running again.
It may seem like a daunting problem when you turn your faucet on and realize your mobile home's pipes are frozen when no water comes out of them. Your immediate solution may be to call a local plumber to help you out, but this is a job that you can do on your own. Step back, take a deep breath, and realize that thawing out your pipes is something that you can do with things around your house.
You probably already know the basics of preventing frozen pipes: Leave your kitchen cabinets open, remove the hose from your outdoor faucet, and leave a faucet on a slow drip to prevent pipe freezing. These steps give you some extra knowledge that will come in handy for your mobile home's pipe thaw project.
Thaw out Your Frozen Pipes
There are a few different methods to thaw your frozen water pipes. You can use a hair dryer, a heating pad, or hot water.
On a mobile home, the water pipes enter your home from underneath the floor. You may need to remove some of the mobile home's under skirting to get into the crawl space under the home to access the outside pipes. Once you are underneath the mobile you, you can figure out where the pipes have become frozen. You will know which section of pipe is frozen because it will not have any pipe insulation or heating tape covering its exterior. Turn on an inside faucet while you warm up the pipes in the next step. Once the water starts to run from your faucet inside, you will know they are no longer frozen.
After you have found the section of frozen pipe, decide how you want to thaw the pipe. You can plug in a hair dryer or a heating pad onto an extension cord that will reach underneath your mobile home to warm the pipe. Wrap the heating pad around the section of pipe, or blow the hair dryer over the pipe.
If you don't have a hair dryer or heating pad, you can boil water, then slowly pour it over the frozen section of pipe. Because you don't have running water, you can melt some snow from outside, or borrow some water from a neighbor. If you have no nearby neighbors that you can get water from for boiling, scoop up enough snow to fill a pot for boiling. Approximately ten inches of snow will give you one inch of water, but if you don't have access to any other water, this 10 to 1 ratio is better than nothing. Just start melting snow to get enough boiling water.
Insulate Your Pipes
Once you have your pipes thawed out, you will need to protect your pipes from freezing again. You can get foam insulation from a home improvement store that slips around the exterior of your pipe. Or you can use heat tape that you wrap around the pipe and plug it into an outlet. Heat tape will keep the pipe warm in the coldest temperatures.
If you live in any area that may have small animals or rodents living nearby, you will need to cover the foam insulation with plastic sheets, duct tape, or garbage bags. Small animals and rodents love to eat foam insulation, which will leave your pipes exposed once again.
Once you have thawed your pipes and insulated them for the next freeze, you will feel accomplished that you fixed the problem by yourself.