Members what do you do to your waterlines in winter

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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steelworkersgal
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:52 pm

I'm sorry I'm a little paranoid when it comes to winter and freezing weather. Once your waterlines shatter because of frozen water lines due to sub zero winter you worry have i done all that i can to prevent it from happening again. They have all been replaced and hopefully the repair person re-insulated the under belly and completely buttoned up the belly material correctly so i will not have a problem. My question is what do you do to make sure your waterline do not freeze what preventive measures do you take to keep your water flowing freely.

So far i have plugged all holes and replaced any damaged skirting. I put insulated 1/2" foil front foam board behind the skirting then i put 6mil plastic sheeting all around the perimeter of the home on the inside of the skirting. I have heat tape on the inlet value coming into the house up to the new pexs lines. I had a 75 watt light on the incoming water line but was told not to use it as the heat tape will not work properly. Anyone have any additional preventive fix's that will help to ease my mind and stop my worrying about my water lines freezing. At the moment we are at 10 degrees with a wind chill of -4 and this Wednesday we will be at -8 degrees with a wind chill of -25. :(
You can do anything if you put your mind to


1987Commodore
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:53 pm
Location: Steuben County, NY

Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:06 pm

Have you sealed the gap around any pipes that penetrate the floor, such as waterlines and drain lines? Air movement is your enemy.

UmpJJ
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:39 am
Location: Brazil, IN

Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:45 pm

It sounds like you've done a lot more than most. Even though I live in central Indiana, I grew up in Minnesota, and I learned that anytime the forecast is single digits or lower it's wise to leave a faucet trickling. Yes, that costs money, but not nearly as much as having to crawl under a single-wide when it's 0 degrees trying to guess where the frozen point is in the pipes. And yes, a trickling faucet COULD freeze up in the waste line, but that's unlikely.
The best faucet to trickle is the one closest to a west or northwest wall. Or multiple faucets in multiple locations.
Good luck to us all this week in the Midwest!

UmpJJ

steelworkersgal
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:56 pm

1987Commandore, There are two drain lines that I can not reach as i have no access to them up top. Last night my daughter opened the closet to the front of the home and i could feel a really cool draft coming out from that closet. You can access the tub drain and faucets lines through that closet and I did seal up those holes in the floor so i'm not sure where the cool air is coming from. The other place is in our master bathroom under our garden tub. Its in the front of the tub and i can only access the back where the water lines come in at and i have already foamed that area. I can not get to the drain and the last drain is the shower drain in the master bathroom. Other then that all lines are closed off with foam.

UmpJJ, Thank you and I have no problem paying a bit higher water bill, to me its best to be safe then sorry and have to replace those water lines again it was a huge headache and it took almost four months to get some one to take care of it .

Because of having such a problem getting someone to come out and replace our waterlines i now worry i've done everything right so i dont have a repeat of last year. I've even contemplating running a string of 40 watt light blubs from the underneath on bitter cold days to give a little added warmth. :idea:
You can do anything if you put your mind to

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Greg
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Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:47 pm

It is NOT a good idea to leave a faucet dripping. The reason is simple if you think about it, you are moving the freeze up problem from the water line to the unprotected drain lines. They are designed to handle a large burst of water, then the pipes are empty. When a faucet is left dripping you have a small amount of water in the pipe that will freeze up and as more water comes down the line it just keeps adding up.

If you feel you need to leave a faucet running use the bath tub and put the plug in, that way you can just pull the plug and empty the tube all at once and replug it.

You could try putting a remote electronic thermometer under your home to keep track of the temperature, it may help if you know just how cold it really is, it may not be as bad as you think.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."


steelworkersgal
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:29 am

Hi Greg I thought of the dripping water creating a problem like that as well and praying that it would not happen to us. I know I probably should not worry as much as i am but its hard not to. Once you go through such a turmoil as we did of not having water for 4 1/2 months in the worse part of winter into the spring and trying to get someone to come out and work on our home you become a little paranoid and want to do everything in your power for it to never happen again. I guess by getting ideas from what other people do to prevent this, it gives me peace of mind knowing I'm doing the right thing.
You can do anything if you put your mind to

UmpJJ
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:39 am
Location: Brazil, IN

Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:24 am

I like the idea of trickling the water into the tub, then dumping it all at once.

UmpJJ

steelworkersgal
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:11 pm

I do as well, I didnt think of doing that but i will be doing that tonight. They've changed the forecast again. Tonight will be a low of 3 with wind chill of -20 and Wednesday morning it will be windy with a low of 6 and wind chill of -20 and in the evening it will be a low of -4 and wind chill of -18, Thursday morning will be 18 wind chill of 0, Thursday night 9 with wind chill of -13 and Friday morning 12 with wind chill of -5 and evening of 2 wind chill of -7. One year from this Thursday on 1/8/14 is when my waterlines shattered.
You can do anything if you put your mind to

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Greg
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Location: Weedsport, NY
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Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:31 pm

I thought you had your own plumbing crew now!! :P

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

steelworkersgal
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:32 pm

I wish i did and i would not have had all the problems i did. But i did have help putting up the foam board and 6 mil plastic underneath the perimeter of the house.
You can do anything if you put your mind to

ponch37300
Posts: 622
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:12 pm
Location: wisconsin

Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:27 pm

You should go buy a wireless thermometer and stick the sending unit under the trailer to monitor the temps down there. But even if it does drop below freezing you shouldn't be too worried as long as your heat tape is working. I'm looking at my outside temp right now and it's -2 with a high of 0 expected today. As long as your skirting and underbelly are in good shape you shouldn't have any issues. Last year it got REALLY cold here with actually temps way below zero. We had no problems and my skirting is even vented with no insulation. The only time I had an issue was when my heat tape tripped the GFCI outlet for whatever reason which meant the heat tape wasn't working and the water meter froze. Now I check that the orange light on the heat tape is on at the beginning of the year and a couple times during the winter. The only other time was when my skirting wasn't all tight and a cat got under there and tore a hole in the underbelly. But as long as my underbelly and skirting(even though it is vented all year) are intact I don't worry at all.

It sounds like you are covered. I would just check on your heat tape from time to time. Depending on where it's plugged in it's easy to check. Mine I just pull a skirting panel off a little and can see the orange light and know it's working. I know it's hard to do after having your past issues but after a year or two of no issues it will get easier to relax a little and just keep an eye on things to make sure the heat tape, skirting, and underbelly are good.

steelworkersgal
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:13 pm

Thank you ponch37300, that makes me feel a little bit better. I did purchase a thermostat that has a wire that will reach under the home and i also have one that is wireless. The one that is wired i'm going to put under where the main waterline comes in and the wireless one towards the back bathroom as the bathtub waterlines are close to the edge of the home about a foot, foot and a half away. My family thinks i'm silly but they're not the ones that had to deal with all of this. I'm sure as time goes on i will feel more secure as you said.
You can do anything if you put your mind to

steelworkersgal
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:16 pm

Thank you all that responded to my post. I appreciate all that you have suggested and have followed up with all of them making sure i've done everything possible. Again thank you and wish me luck that i come out unscathed with no problems.
You can do anything if you put your mind to

UmpJJ
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:39 am
Location: Brazil, IN

Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:33 pm

Great minds think alike, Ponch! This morning I got a wireless thermometer and put it in my crawlspace. It's hovering near zero outside tonight and says it's 31 in the crawl. I have a big crawl - our singlewide is set 48 inches off the ground (so I can crawl around as needed) so if it stays this warm under there when it's this cold outside I'll be in good shape.
I do have 2" Styrofoam insulated skirting (by Rapid Wall) so I'm sure that helps, too. Now if the pipes don't freeze on an outside wall...leave those cabinet door open tonight!

UmpJJ

ponch37300
Posts: 622
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:12 pm
Location: wisconsin

Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:11 am

As long as your water lines are ran in the underbelly and have some insulation below them and the underbelly sealed up good then you will be fine. Like I said the only time I've run into freezing pipes is when another part of my trailer was compromised. The underbelly, insulation, skirting, etc. I moved in here with my girlfriend almost 10 years ago now. About a year before I moved in the park's sewer froze and backed up and she had water back up and get all over the master bath. Those pipes froze all the time since the insulation had gotten wet and compromised. I gutted the whole thing and redid it all with new insulation and patched any holes in the underbelly and since then there have been zero issues with that plumbing freezing.

One other time I redid our kitchen, all new cabinets and added a dishwasher and garbage disposal. That following winter the kitchen hot water kept freezing when it got really cold out. I went under there and found that when I did the kitchen plumbing under the sink the hot supply line had dropped down and was pushing on the underbelly right at the edge of the trailer. I just pulled it up a little under the sink and zip tied the supply line to the drain to hold it. Never a problem since.

So like I said in my experience it's always been something else that was compromised that caused my frozen pipes. So I keep an eye on those things and don't really worry about the plumbing. You had it all replumbed with PEX right? One of the many good things about PEX is it can expand to something like 3 times it's size without bursting. So when it does freeze it *usually* isn't a problem. I've never had to replace any plumbing after freezing. Although I have read stories about the metal fittings breaking after being froze.

Another thing to remember is how the MH is designed to keep the pipes warm. They run the main lines next to the heat duct the length of the trailer. MH heat ducts aren't sealed the greatest. So heat escapes and you are actually heating the underbelly area. There is a "pocket" in the underbelly where it hangs down a bit. This pocket is designed to stay warm enough from the heat that escapes the ducts to keep the plumbing from freezing, as long as everything is intact. Like the insulation and belly material that make up the bottom of this pocket. So even if your crawl space is 0 degrees your supply line has heat tape and the pipes in the belly should stay above freezing. So when it gets really cold I might turn my heater up a few extra degrees just to make sure to keep that pocket down there warm enough.

Just some morning ramblings while I have my coffee. I'm sure most of you know most of what I said. But if not it's good to familiarize yourself with how the different "systems" work.

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