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Topic: Pipes have frozen in my mobile home. What do I do?
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Anything

11/23/2013 9:18:35 AM
Member since:
Feb 2007
Total posts:70
Pipes have frozen in my mobile home. What do I do?

I came home to frozen pipes and no water on Friday. I was able to have the burst pipe replaced and the heat tape. I was hoping that the heat tape would be able to thaw out the pipes. As of this morning it has not I am sure due in part to the temperature this morning. I really don't know what to do next. I am looking for any suggestions? It is quite stressful when I have no clue what to do? Is there a plumbing company that would go under my trailer? or a type of heater I could rent?

 
 
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ICYMI

11/23/2013 9:20:39 AM
Member since:
Jan 2009
Total posts:2716
....

Get as close to your water pipe as possible and get a hair dryer on it for awhile.

Jojojo

11/23/2013 9:31:39 AM
Member since:
Jul 2005
Total posts:357
open

Your bathroom cupboards too

Doug

11/23/2013 9:36:36 AM
Member since:
Mar 2005
Total posts:6373
do not

Do not use a torch etc. Big time fire hazard. Go through the phone book. If the first one says know ask them who does in town.  
 
FYI. Roughly 40 litres of water is needed for each cycle of the washing machine. The toilet -- well I was stupid and filled the tank for the first time it happened.  
 
Ignore the tank. Roughly 4 gallons straight into the bowl will get it going. The tank works but it uses far more water. Been there done that with frozen pipes. I feel for you. Make sure that any current system to keep the pipes warm is working. Heat tape insulation etc. Check your circuit breakers are on. Did someone unplug by accident the heat tape?? Pm if you need. I hope all works out!  
 

Anything

11/23/2013 10:06:28 AM
Member since:
Feb 2007
Total posts:70
thanks

I have called all around to plumbers nothing is open on a Saturday. I have left many messages so hoping that somebody calls and can give me some suggestions.

whoknows

11/23/2013 10:18:42 AM
Member since:
Apr 2010
Total posts:485
Pipes

Had this happen almost every winter. Hair dryer will take forever but likely the safest and most handy way to get it done. When you get them thawed wrap some pink insulation around the pipes and let the water run for a few minutes every once in a while to help stop ice from building up.

Anything

11/23/2013 10:27:12 AM
Member since:
Feb 2007
Total posts:70
whoknows

how do you thaw them every year? Im really struggling to figure out how to thaw them. I have the insulation up and new heat tape. I was hoping that the heat tape would thaw them but that was unsuccessful. Any suggestions?

mom to 5

11/23/2013 10:40:34 AM
Member since:
Nov 2006
Total posts:159
under trailer

It is likely right where it meets the under insulation or the hole where it comes out of the ground ... If you can try a blow dryer or like a heating pad maybe .... If it was me I would call Robert Haresnape .... He will know what to tell you or could come do it for you although I am not sure if he works weekends his number is 204-724-6822

Trevor

11/23/2013 10:54:11 AM
Member since:
Mar 2008
Total posts:1665
...

The only trailer I ever lived in had a basement so I can't offer any "here's what I did" experience.  
 
Hair dryer will likely be your cheapest, but most time consuming method of thawing them. You could rent a big frost fighter from C&C or somewhere similar but that would cost pretty big $$$.  
 
Also keep in mind that you won't need to 100% thaw the pipe, just get it flowing a bit. Flowing water will remove the ice faster than your hair dryer if you tried to completely clear the line with it.

maru.

11/23/2013 11:15:38 AM
Member since:
Jul 2013
Total posts:42
.

as much as this sucks. when my pipes in my mobile home froze up. I had to crawl underneath and take a blow dryer to them. I would do it again to avoid paying someone else to fix it lol.

sweetsopi

11/23/2013 11:25:51 AM
Member since:
Feb 2006
Total posts:471
propane heater

Rent a propane heater from home depot or buy one from princess auto and place it under the mobile, it will thaw it out within a 1/2 hour. Make sure you check on it often. With this method you do not need to know where it is frozen.

Chris01

11/23/2013 11:27:21 AM
Member since:
Aug 2010
Total posts:86
question

Sorry this is my first time that my pipes have froze up. I went under my trailer and all my heat tape works, and all my pipes feel warm, but I still can't find the problem. The person who owned the trailer before me used that spray foam type stuff that's hard and crunch around all the pipes so I can't even tell which pipe I'm trying to thaw. Any suggestions?

hambone

11/23/2013 11:38:13 AM
Member since:
Oct 2010
Total posts:390
when I owned

a trailer I had the pipes freeze and way back then a company called Woody's Steam Cleaning came and for 40 bucks thawed them out. The problem is usually at an elbow where the water has a bigger chance of sitting. Your court owner (if you rent a lot) should be able to give you advice. The other thing is if you have a hole in your skirting the wind seems to get in and freeze pipes-I usually went out after the first good snow fall and banked the trailer and the inside temp. actually warmed up-makes a big difference if you can block the wind and if your skirting is in good shape.  
 
Edited by hambone, 2013-11-23 11:40:36

Collie

11/23/2013 11:49:58 AM
Member since:
Sep 2011
Total posts:199
I have succeeded

in the past by making a make shift tent out of a tarp or something to isolate the main water line from the rest of the elements. I then put a ceramic space heater under the tarp. Rig it up with whatever you have to get about 16 inches of clearance in any direction away from the heater, and let it run. Leave one tap in the house open too while you are doing this, cause once it gets a tiny bit of relief, the flowing water will quickly get rid of any other ice. Also, if you have a water meter under the trailer like I do, focus on it. There is a lot of metal to cause freezing inside the meter. I eventually had to redo my heat taping and put a lot more wraps around the meter, and haven't had problems since.

L4593

11/23/2013 11:53:45 AM
Member since:
May 2008
Total posts:371

As mentioned above I would certainly be taking the time now to make sure there are positively no openings anywhere for the wind to get through the skirting. If your heat tape is in fact on and the entire length of it is for sure working then the pipes will thaw eventually but it may take a day or two. To help speed up the process you can get a ceramic heater going underneath as well. Having a heater blowing inside the area where the waterline comes into the mobile can help too. Good luck!

Oh Canada

11/23/2013 12:01:12 PM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:925
suggestion

The first thing I would ask is do you have any water in your kitchen, bathroom , toilet or washer. If you have no water anywhere it is probably the main water line. This would be a heat tape or a area that is exposed to the elements. If you don't have it on one area then I would focus on that area with a space heater in that area were the pipes are or go under the home .  
 
I would also suggest if one area or more are a issue to turn up the furnace and turn on the fan so that air at room temperature flows threw the home into the belly of the home. Mobile homes have holes in the vents that supply heat to the living area of the home that supply the heat to the pipes between the floor and the belly to keep them from freezing.  
 
The big thing to watch is that if you have copper pipes they can if frozen burst or put a hole in the side of the pipe and once unfrozen create a leak . If it is a home that uses pex (a bendable plastic looking pipe the will not burst as they are made to expand if frozen.  
 
Hope this helps  
 
Good luck

empressP

11/23/2013 12:02:27 PM
Member since:
Aug 2011
Total posts:113
oh gawd it sucks

The last 3 years I lived in a trailer and the pipes froze every year. I feel your pain.  
I second the person who mentioned Robert Harsnape. He's awesome. He knows trailers inside and out. And about the only guy in Brandon willing to work on trailers.  

blues_cat

11/23/2013 12:08:50 PM
Member since:
Dec 2010
Total posts:4
Equipment rental

Call an equipment rental business and rent an indirect oil fired heater. They are safe and easy to use and pump out great heat. One should help thaw out your pipes without any safety issues.

Sylv

11/23/2013 12:20:50 PM
Member since:
Dec 2005
Total posts:257
Pipes.

I lived in a trailer for over 15 years, and luckily only had the frozen pipe issue once. The energy conscious people here will frown on this but if you have one leaky tap, leave it a little leaky. That way water is always trickling through the system. I'm sure that one leaky bathroom tap saved me a lot of grief over the years.  

Anything

11/23/2013 12:26:26 PM
Member since:
Feb 2007
Total posts:70
Thank you

Thank you everyone for the replies lots of really great info! I did call Robert great suggestion he no longer does this type of business, but was very kind and had some really great advice. I was fortunate enough to have a friend and his son come over and go under the trailer and was able to get things going. Thank you!!!

Collie

11/23/2013 12:37:56 PM
Member since:
Sep 2011
Total posts:199
Sewer

  
Sylv said "I lived in a trailer for over 15 years, and luckily only had the frozen pipe issue once. The energy conscious people here will frown on this but if you have one leaky tap, leave it a little leaky. That way water is always trickling through the system. I'm sure that one leaky bathroom tap saved me a lot of grief over the years.  
"

You are pretty fortunate that if you have a leaky tap that your sewer has never froze up. That has happened to me!

L4593

11/23/2013 1:35:56 PM
Member since:
May 2008
Total posts:371

  
Collie said "
  
Sylv said "I lived in a trailer for over 15 years, and luckily only had the frozen pipe issue once. The energy conscious people here will frown on this but if you have one leaky tap, leave it a little leaky. That way water is always trickling through the system. I'm sure that one leaky bathroom tap saved me a lot of grief over the years.  
"

You are pretty fortunate that if you have a leaky tap that your sewer has never froze up. That has happened to me! "

Yes, having a slow dripping tap is a sure way to freeze up your sewer in a mobile home. I do NOT recommend this to anyone who lives in a mobile home as you're asking for trouble.

don brown

11/23/2013 2:04:41 PM
Member since:
Aug 2010
Total posts:2855
information

Having lived in a mobile for ten years we experience both water freeze up and sewer freeze up, the idea of letting a tap drip does have it's positive and negative side, we did this in times of extreme cold and it worked for us, the thing to remember is that if you do this you must make a point of running hot water through the system to remove the ice, and we always made a point of doing it first thing in the morning and then later in the day. On the supply side of things we finally went with a heat tape that was inside the water line, and have used this as well on water bowls that have problems with supply lines freezing. The cost of an internal heat tape was what I considered to be expensive, but at times you have to pay for convenience.

Truthie

11/23/2013 3:28:16 PM
Member since:
Jun 2009
Total posts:846
You

Had a burst line repaired but they didn't thaw the line??? I'd be worried about how well they did the repair job. Are you SURE they turned the water back on after??? Righty tighty lefty loosy lol. Used to have to lay under the old trailer as a kid with a blow dryer til you heard the water start breaking through the ice.

ratracer

11/23/2013 3:39:54 PM
Member since:
Apr 2011
Total posts:57
What did Robert Say?

You said that Robert gave you some really good advice. Can you pass that on to the rest of us just in case we end up in the same position as you just did?

Ray Y.

11/23/2013 6:11:09 PM
Member since:
Nov 2009
Total posts:504
Propane Construction Heater

I got so tired of crawling under my trailer in the north, so I went and bought a propane construction heater (150,000 BTU). Never had to crawl under it again- put it at the crawl space door, cranked it up, with-in 2 hours running water again...  

Harley rider

11/23/2013 11:39:05 PM
Member since:
Oct 2007
Total posts:28
C&C Rentalst

Rent a big Herman Nelson heater put the hose under your trailer 1 hour everything will be running again. Just rent the thing for a couple of hours. I never even took the thing out of the back of the truck just plug it in start it up.

sprinter

11/24/2013 8:36:06 AM
Member since:
Oct 2011
Total posts:60
frozen pipes

Depending on the age of the trailer i know this happened to us.  
A fairly new one but woke up one morning,frozen water.  
Called the dealer and they said to go under each sink vanity etc and pull the lines up(plastic) and tie them up as in transit these lines shake down onto the belly blanket and will freeze.  
We did that and have had no issues since

Doug

11/24/2013 8:53:42 AM
Member since:
Mar 2005
Total posts:6373
do not

One of idea that people have done is also dangerous. I have heard of brooding lights or normal trouble lights hung from the floor joists in the crawl space area near the trouble area. This is a pro active approach that keeps the area warm and pipes from freezing. The light stays on 24/7  
 
I say this because some people still use it and I have seen what can happen when a bulb explodes or the area is not cleared properly.  
 
The hay bail Idea I heard about but on the outside not the inside.  
 
Our trailer beat us a couple of years until we redid the heat tape. Sometimes we had water in the kitchen but not to the washer/dryer and bathroom. That sucked and made me water boy. Hot water carried to the tub for baths. Water for flushing and of course 36 litres x whatever for the washer.  
 
We never did beat the intermittent water shortage when it was bitterly cold but the heat tape always meant we had some water source in the house. If memory serves a tub holds a lot of water!!  
 
I do not miss those days.

 
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