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Cold weathers are great if you are snugly tucked away in a corner in a fitting or over-sized sweater. While they may not pose a serious threat to your health when you are in thick clothes, the pangs from the cold air could severely attack your pipe system in your mobile home especially during winters that are in the low teens.
Mobile homes offer great comforts with flexible payments and benefits, but when you take your eyes of the ball during cold weathers you could risk exposing your pipes and your home to dangers.
Often times frozen pipes are hard to spot. While there are a few simple ways that could help you sniff out a faulty pipe that has been attacked by strong cold winds, other times it involves rigorously searching for them, sweating yourself out and eventually being drained out.
When frozen pipes burst out of neglect due to extreme temperatures they pose greater risks to plumbing, and worse; it could affect your entire home structure.
One of the early major signs that rears its end when any of your pipes are frozen is the damning feeling that crawls all over your body when your faucet or tap starts to stutter or sputter. Water supply is almost briefly interrupted even when you know you’ve got tons of litres stored up in your tank.
Pipes cracking and leaking during extreme winters and cold weathers is not uncommon. However, if they are not attended to quickly may not only cause water forcefully crawling into you home space, but can increase the occurrence of mould creeping into your home walls and furniture.
Unfreezing pipes in a mobile home doesn’t require any special expertise. It can be easily done without the help of your local plumber. But before panicking and storming off to your local store, you need to know how to locate the problem.
To locate the frozen pipes in your home you need to: identify which pipes in your plumbing structure have been badly attacked. This part is very tricky. Unless you’ve got eyes that can see through walls, then you may need to roll your sleeves up and get ready to get your hands busy.
So, to check the source of your problems, here are some simple systematic tips to help clip the weight off a little bit.
Inspect Your Faucet or Tap
Before grabbing a mat and crawling beneath your camper home to check your pipe system, make a quick run check of the faucets in your room, including kitchens, bathrooms, and toilets. Doing this can help spot out which side of your home has got a frozen pipe. Just fiddling with the faucet lever or handle won’t do. Open to run all of them at full capacity.
Why are you doing this again? Simple. Doing this helps check if the water flow is normal or has dropped. Compare water flows of each rooms. This will help narrow your search. If you notice any inconsistency it could be a sign that one of your pipe’s frozen. However, if your entire home has been affected it could just be a problem with your water/pipe riser.
Check Your Pipes
Scrutinizing the skirting around your home is the next route to weeding out the problem. If you are lucky and have got the plan for your plumbing system you could easily sniff out the problem in no time. Strategic ways to quickly pick out a frozen pipe are:
- Check the pipes that are most exposed. These ones are more susceptible to freeze under severe cold conditions.
- Check pipes that are enclosed or run through concrete or metal. Concretes and metals are easily affected under cold weather conditions, easily affecting materials around or within them.
- Look out for pipes that have little or no insulation wound around them.
Locate the Frozen Parts in the Pipe
Going as far as picking out which pipe is frozen is a great effort on your part. But that’s not all. Finding the exact spot in the pipe that’s been blocked by ice is elemental for remedying the problem quickly.
There are practical ways this can be done. Here are some ways:
- Run your hands along the pipes with your tap running. This way you can feel areas in the pipes that are empty that is, have no water coursing through.
- You can also run your hands over the pipes without leaving your taps on. This way you can particularly find out which parts of the pipe is cold.
- Another good option is to use an infrared thermometer. With an infrared thermometer in your hands you will be able to detect cold areas inside the pipe.
- Alternatively, you can lightly beat areas of the pipe using a solid object. Light taps on different parts of the pipe may help you detect what parts are frozen. If any part on the pipe has been blocked by ice, they will make less hollow, and dull sound when tapped.
- Sometimes identifying the faulty pipe doesn’t have to be as technical as the options above. A crack in a pipe or maybe a bulge with lines of leakage could be the cause of your water problem. This usually happens when the ice in the pipe causes severe strain in the pipe. Fixing this is easy. All you need to do is get the pipe changed immediately and everything is as good as new.
- One final approach is to check your heat tapes and insulation. See if they are in perfect working conditions. If not you can have them replaced and use them to thaw the frozen pipe which we will explain next.
HOW TO UNFREEZE YOUR PIPES
Unfreezing your pipes will not only thaw the ice completely, but will also restore your water flowing system back to normal.
There are several ways to thaw/unfreeze your pipes. However, you must understand that thawing or unfreezing a pipe requires heat. On your part you could add your own exciting new safe ways of creating heat to this list.
Now just before we get down on ways to unfreeze your pipe, please make sure you keep your tap slightly running. This helps to completely thaw ice into liquid as it courses through when you keep the tap running while heating the pipes.
To unfreeze your pipes, use the following ways.
Use a hair dryer
An hair dryer is an effective option to begin with. However, if you are using the widely accepted PVC then you need to take extreme care when using the hair dryer. Plastics are prone to melt or shape shift under severe heating conditions.
Take care not to bring the hair dryer too close to the frozen area. If you do this you risk bursting the pipe. For a more effective and efficient approach you can start heating a little further away from the frozen area and then gradually towards it in an horizontal manner.
Use A Heat Tape
If you don’t have an hair dryer, you can still unfreeze your pipe by using a heat tape. The heat tape is a good alternative to the hair dryer. You can grab one in your local store if your pipes are not covered with any. Heat tapes are lifesavers. They come in different options. Some are self-regulating. This means they can adjust to change in temperature. And others are non-regulating. Unique heating tapes also include heated water hose and heated cable kits. Before installing a heat tape, measure the length of the pipes you want to thaw. You could do this twice to be sure. When buying a heat tape be sure to read the instructions on how to use them and on which material can they be effectively used on.
Before installation, please ensure your pipe is insulated and study the instruction manual on how to use it effectively.
Apply Hot Towels
If you are looking to save some bucks and not really feeling like trundling down to the local store to either get a heat tape or a hair dryer, a cheaper and less stressful home based approach is using towels soaked in hot water. This approach is very easy. Get a bucket of hot water. Dip the towel in the hot bucket and wring out leaving a small amount of water in the towel to warm the frozen area on the pipe. Then wrap the towel around the frozen area. To get a more effective result, get extra towels.
Completely Heat Underneath Your Home
When one spot is too rigid due to extreme cold temperatures, it is quite easy to get it remedied with any of the methods above. However, if they are multiple areas affected by the cold in the underbelly of your mobile home this could prove really threatening. Before fizzing off to get it completely refurbish and fitting a new one to it, heating the underbelly of your home through heating around the skirting will save you plenty of bucks. This can be done by ensuring the underbelly of your home is airtight. Switch on your heaters, including the ones around your area. Doing this will quicken the melting reaction.
Use Table Salt
This is perhaps the simplest Do-It-Yourself approach. Salt is widely known for thawing ice. Its intrinsic property lowers the melting temperature of ice. For this method you may want to use more than a handful of salt.
Locate an open channel where you can drain the salt. You could use your kitchen sink, bathroom sink or toilet sink as long as the frozen pipe is within that proximity. Add enough salt into the sink and then flush it gradually. To get a faster result you may mix the salt in a bowl/bucket of lukewarm water before emptying the mixture into the sink. Avoid mixing hot water and salt together. This could provoke a bad reaction when the salt meets with the ice.
Frozen pipes in mobile homes can cause a lot of inconvenience and if ignored could snowball into something horrible. Taking these quick steps to resolve the crisis once spotted or noticed could save you from splashing so much on repairs and damages in the long run. However, they are preventive ways to keep your pipes from freezing out even in the harshest of cold conditions or whether you are out of town for a couple of days or maybe on a vacation outside your residing state.
HOW ABOUT WAYS TO PREVENT PIPES FROM FREEZING AT ALL?
- During cold weathers, keep the faucet fed by the exposed pipe slightly running. This reduces the chances of any freezing inside the pipe as water is constantly running.
- The sharp cry at the back of your mind reminding you to regulate your thermostat at different temperatures during the day and at night isn’t bad. It is completely logical because you don’t want your light bill to inflate. However, maintaining the same thermostat temperature at night and during the day could save your pipes from freezing. This way you probably won’t splurge at all when your pipes go bad due to freezing compared to how much you may have to table to repairers with a light bill still left to settle when your pipes eventually go bad from freezing.
- If you are considering vacating your permanent home for an exciting holiday miles away from home you may want to consider leaving your home’s heating system switched on. A temperature a little over 55°F and not less than that figure is okay.
- Pipe insulation is another great way to prevent freezing. However this depends on your location. You can insulate your pipes with materials such as heat tape, fiber glass insulation, or a sponge tube.
- If leaving your heat on while on vacation is a scarier thought then it is best to empty your pipes completely before embarking on that fun trip or business meeting outside of state. Once done, turn off the water supply from the main line.
- As per the Red Cross if you have an extension like a garage and you have pipelines running inside you garage, always leave them tightly shut during cold periods to prevent your pipes from freezing.
It is important to keep a healthy plumbing system during cold seasons. Doing this can spare you plenty of problems and expenses in winter periods.