If we had to choose one thing that annoyed us most during our mobile home makeover projects, plumbing has got to be it. While we’re not sure what they are like in newer homes, water lines in older (pre-2000) mobile homes tend to be oddly configured, plastic tubing, with no shut off valves at the source. No shut off valves at the source? Why does this make sense? Especially when so many mobile home bathrooms have carpet in them! (Oh wait, maybe THIS is our #1 annoyance now that I think about it!) We’re still scratching our heads over why you would put carpet in a room where there are water sources when you are going to use wafer board for sub-flooring. If you have carpeting in your mobile home bathroom, we have two things to say: “Good luck!” and “Get it out, NOW!” Maybe you have an opinion about this, which you are welcome to share in the comments section of this post.
But we digress…Now back to plumbing!
Our recent home plumbing projects include installing a standard home tub and surround (it’s beautiful!), new sink/vanity and toilet, plus, a larger, self-cleaning water heater and new pressure tank (we have a well). In all of these projects, our biggest fear was not getting the fittings right. The plastic tubing is easily cut, but this can be good and bad. It’s mostly bad when you are wielding a carpet knife and inadvertently slash a closed tube and spring a leak. Right Honey? But it’s also good because you can use a carpet knife rather than a hack saw. (Just a note* We have been known to use RADA kitchen knives to cut sewer line before in a pinch. These are such quality knives that they cut tomatoes just as well after slicing through 3 inch PVC pipe!)
The difficulty with the plastic tubing comes when you try to add metal fittings to it. It’s tough to get the fittings into the tubing tightly enough, but then you must also clamp it. These fittings and clamps have caused all sorts of frustration during past repairs of existing fittings. Water messes galore have sprung from the backs of tubs, under sinks, and behind toilets. This is no way to do plumbing.
We were convinced by wonderful family members that we could have real home fixtures in our mobile home and with the help of these fittings, we have accomplished that. While we didn’t replace all of the water lines (I wish!), we did replace all of the fittings so far in the projects we’ve done. We would hate to speculate on the status of our marriage right now if it hadn’t been for quick-connect compression fittings!
Yes, the fittings we have found to be the best fit for our needs are quick-connect compression fittings. These fittings come in brass and plastic. We’ve used plastic in all of our projects so far and had great success. We can’t begin to express how easy these fittings make each job. Not only are they a breeze to connect and install on pipe/tubing, but they also come in so many configurations that we always found a piece that suited the needs of our particular space and specifications. While I am not a sales person for the company in the video below, nor do I remember the brand of the fittings we used, the ones shown in this video are the same type. We purchased them at Lowe’s and they were all under $8.00.
Compression fittings allowed us to take the existing plumbing and make it even better by adding no-leak fittings with shut-off valves. There was no soldering and practically no tools involved. Each fitting slides onto the end of existing tubing or water line and with an easy tug they are snug and leak-proof.
It’s pretty obvious that we had a great experience with this product and will use them in our upcoming kitchen remodel as well. However, we understand that there may be disadvantages to using this type of fitting that we just haven’t seen or thought of. If you have had experience with using these in your mobile home, please share your thoughts (good or bad) in the comment area.
I need someone in middle the to take a tube shower combo out of Mobil home bathroom and replace it with a walk in shower it is off the master bathroom and not that big of a bathroom please can you help
I'm sorry I don't know anyone in your area who can help with that project. We did the same in our home and had great success. We did most of this job ourselves.
If you can find a local manufactured or mobile home store, they may be able to help you find someone who does that kind of work specifically. Good luck with your project.
I'm new to MH…in fact….contemplating a MH purchase. Are more recent MH manufactured with shut off valves at water outlets?
Thanks for commenting Cynthia.
We also owned a 2003 double wide for a year in FL and that home did have shut off valves. I think it may have been a standard upgrade requirement after the HUD updates in 1995. The double wide we've lived in since 1995 unfortunately was not built before these standards were changed for homes built the following year, so we did not have shut offs. We had to install them for every fixture. It's really not difficult, especially if you use compression fittings. You simply turn the water off at the main source, cut the line where you want the shut off, install a compression fitting with shut off on it and you're good to go. This makes any repairs or upgrades so much easier since you can shut the water off at the point of service rather than at the source. We've had repairs that have gone wrong where we've had no way to shut the water off at the fixture and needed to wait a day to get the parts. This means we've needed to shut the water off at the main source and live without water until the repair is made. No fun. Good luck with your search for a mobile home. Our home doesn't look much like a mobile home anymore, since we've done so many upgrades, but we sure love that it's paid off and we're likely going to live here for the rest of our lives. Best to you…Beth
Retired C-36 Calif contractor unbelievable what the inspectors pass as pro plumbing. Law of physics tells me 1/2in vent pipe for entire b-room is a joke. To make right would be very costly. Plungers ahoy! I added a pressure regulator,plastic plumbing could not handle 100P,S.I. No house shutoff accessable for my wife for emergencies,installed ball valve,W.H. a joke Is thhere no plumbing union or small lobby to make the code for homeowner. Its all about builders building on the cheap. I am retired and still doing plumbing work,Or. regulations are a necessity Not nazi Germany!
Thanks for your comment, Paul, and for visiting our site.
Yes, we have been really surprised at how shoddy the plumbing has been in our manufactured home. We've installed all new fixtures and behind the fixture plumbing setups. The only thing we haven't done is to replace the water line. It is my dream to do this! But, alas, we are getting too….how shall I say?…old :-) to do this job on our own. We just spent the weekend on our knees installing our own hard wood floor, I'm not sure how ready either of us are to climb under the house for days to install new lines, and we're too cheap to have someone else do that job. Oh well.
We love the compression fittings (so quick and easy!) and have also installed shut off valves at every water outlet in the house. We can't even believe they built these homes without them!
When it comes to skimping on building materials, the manufactured home industry has been very guilty of that.
I am just about to do some plumbing in my second bathroom. I'm SO grateful I saw this first. Off to Lowe's I go.
Anyone ever replaced a 32 x 74 door with a standard exterior door? I've read on the internet that it's fairly easy to cut down a standard door to fit the smaller opening. Just wondering if anyone has attempted this?
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