Mobile Home Pipes – Winter Maintenance
At Home Safety
Even More Safety Tips
Most mobile home water pipes connect to the water service under the home where air is cold and damp. In order to prevent frozen water pipes it is important to install heat tape to all exterior pipes and shutoff valves, including pipes that run against the wall.
- Check your home manufacturer manual for the recommended length of heat tape required for installation. If not available, measure all pipes under the home including shutoff valves.
- Ensure that all joints are sealed and that there are no water leaks along the pipes. Any leaks will cause further damage and can short out the heat tape. Make any necessary repairs before continuing.
- Use only heat tapes that include an automatic thermostat and are certified by UL or CSA.
- Begin by putting the plug next to the electrical outlet. Run the heat tape along the entire length of the freshwater supply pipe. The heat tape can be placed along the side of the pipe or wrapped around the pipe. Use electrical tape to secure the heat tape to the pipe. It is very important that the heat tape does not overlap itself as the wire could overheat and cause a fire.
- Plug the heat tape into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) receptacle located under the mobile home for this purpose. Since there is a thermostat, the heat tape will turn on as necessary.
- Be sure that the heat tape thermostat is placed according to the manufacturer instructions. Some heat tape thermostats should be placed in contact with the pipe, while others must be left hanging in air.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not add any extra insulation to your pipes as it may cause your heat tape to overheat. Never install heat tape over insulation.
- Check heat tapes once a year to make sure they are working and replace any heat tape that is discolored, cracked, melted or damaged in any way.
- The typical life of properly‐installed heat tape is 3‐5 years. Schedule replacement to ensure reliable protection from freezing.
- Be sure to purchase heat tape that is recommended for the type of pipe that it is being used on.
- Never fold or overlap heat tape and do not plug in while coiled.
- Never plug heat tape into an extension cord.
- Always read and save the manufacturer instructions.