When you wake up on a freezing cold morning and find that no water is coming out of your mobile home's faucets, the last thing you're going to want to do is head outdoors to crawl around on the frozen ground to look for frozen pipes, and it's not inexpensive to have a plumber come out to fix your frozen pipes, especially if they've already burst. Take a few preventive measures at the beginning of winter and throughout the cold months to make sure your mobile home's water pipes stay warm no matter the weather.
Inspect Your Skirting
If your mobile home has skirting (as opposed to being built on a foundation), inspect it carefully for any gaps or cracks. Even small holes in the skirting can allow blasts of freezing air into the space under the home where pipes are exposed. Ideally, any broken sections of the skirting will be replaced before winter. If you find any small gaps, use clear weather-resistant tape designed for outdoor use to seal them.
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Make sure the mobile home skirting vents are closed in freezing temperatures. If the home has automatic vents, they'll close themselves when the weather gets cold enough. If you have manual vents, close them when the forecast indicates freezing weather is coming. Don't forget to reopen them when things warm up.
Check and Test Heat Tape
Checking your heat tape is one of the most important winterizing steps for mobile homeowners in cold climates. If you're not familiar with how heat tape works, it's a fairly simple product. Heat tape is really a kind of cable that is wound around exposed pipes and plugged into an electricity source. A small thermostat on the tape presses against the pipe. When the pipe gets cold enough, electricity runs through the heating element inside the cable, warming the pipe to keep it from freezing.
Check that heat tape is attached to any exposed pipes outside your mobile home. It doesn't last forever, so you'll want to test the heat tape at the beginning of each winter. Make sure the heat tape is plugged in and then press the thermometer again a bag of ice. If the thermostat and cable are working, the heat tape should start to feel warm to the touch. Replace heat tape if it still feels cold after 30 minutes.
Add Pipe Insulation
In frigid weather, you can't go wrong with adding more layers to both your body and your pipes. Slipping foam pipe insulation sleeves on exposed pipes outside and underneath your mobile home will help keep water moving in all weather. Pipe insulation can be layered on top of heat tape. If the water pipes outside and underneath your mobile home don't already have foam pipe insulation on them, measure the width of the pipe (including the heat tape) so you can choose the right-size insulation to get a snug fit.
Let Faucets Trickle
Running faucets all day and night isn't great for your water bill or the environment, but you may feel it's worth the cost if it helps prevent frozen pipes. Leave one faucet open to a trickle when temperatures dip below freezing. Running just a little bit of water through your pipes may keep them from freezing.