The plumbing inside your manufactured home is not as complex as it may seem. People are very intimidated when it comes to the plumbing inside a manufactured home. With this article I will give you some points which will be able to help you with the water system in you manufactured home.
The water lines for the home will run in the underbelly and will usually run along side of the duct work of your home. The main line which connects to the homes piping is ran below the under belly and is seen when you remove the skirting access panel. This line will usually be wrapped in insulation and heat taped if you live in colder climates.
There are many reasons why people may fear the plumbing system of a manufactured home. One is because it can be very hard to find a licensed plumber to work on your home. The reason for this is a lot of numbers are intimidated and do not have the knowledge or proper fittings to work on home so it's just easier for them not to mess with them.
For starters the water piping may be different from what people are using to now days. In older homes you may see galvanized or copper pipe which may not be so intimidating, though many people have never seen polybutylene piping which is common in homes built in the mid seventies to the mid to late 90s. Polybutylene or Poly piping is a usually a gray or black tube made out of a plastic material called polybutylene. This is a very inferior pipe which has been recalled due to the many leaks which happen because the pipe just simply wears down. Poly pipe also is very hard to deal with because it is very illegally you will be able to find the proper fittings to get the pipe back together again when you have to cut it to fix a leak. We will get into fixing a leak on poly piping but let's get into the various sizes of manufactured home water pipe first.
The size of the piping in these homes may not be what you are accustomed too. In many cases you will have an odd ball size. Such as main lines in half inch pipe and the branch lines in 3/8 size piping. In these cases you will have a very hard time finding the proper fittings. When you run into this type of problem you will have an easier time finding 3/8 and P PEX fittings so my advice is to convert from 3/8 poly to 3/8 PEX using the proper conversion coupling which you can find at a home Store.
In the case you have a leak on poly piping, the most common practice to fix it today is to convert it to PEX piping. To convert a poly pipe to PEX pipe you will need a fitted called a PEX to Poly coupling. These are very easy to find and are at many of the big box home stores. Cut the pipe and splice in the new coupling using standard PEX fastening procedures. If you are unaware on how to do PEX pipe you can find various articles on the internet to help you with this practice.
I have found with all types of manufactured home water pipe it is easier to convert it to PEX pipe. With PEX pipe you can do anything you need to do to get your homes water up and running again. PEX pipe is also the material of choice when re water piping your home. In most cases you can run from one end to the other without having to make many holes in the underbelly. You can also save yourself some frustration by re water pipping you home from the upper side of the house. In many cases we have dropped the carpet back and cut holes in the floor next to the duct and have been able to water pipe a whole house by cutting three holes in the floor. Keep this option in mind especially when you are renovating you home and considering new water pipe.