How Cold Does It Have to Be for Pipes to Freeze in a Mobile Home?

We often asked this question about exactly how cold does it have to be for pipes to freeze in a mobile home? More importantly, what can you do to prevent your pipes from freezing? Well, let’s answer these questions, shall we? 

When the temperature drops, homeowners are at risk of frozen pipes. But if you live in a mobile home, the risk is even greater. This is because mobile homes don’t usually have basements to keep their pipes out of the cold. Furthermore, your walls and overall foundation are made up of thinner and smaller materials to make your mobile home lighter. As a result, your pipes are prone to freeze. Or worse, it can burst and cause you bigger and costlier problems later on. 

Luckily, you can avoid this by keeping an eye on the temperature and by simply doing one or two prevention steps we’ve identified below.

A Guide on How Cold Does it Have to be for Pipes to Freeze in a Mobile Home

According to a study by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois, the temperature at which pipes freeze and homeowners should be alerted (also called the “temperature alert threshold”) is 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. When the temperature drops to the teens or lower, and if your pipes are uninsulated, you are immediately at risk.

Since many mobile homes have pipes that are exposed to cold air or have a lack of insulation, you are more vulnerable. Thus, your pipes may still freeze even above the temperature alert threshold or between 20 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you want to protect your pipes, continue to have water in your home, and prevent a bigger problem later on, make sure to watch weather forecasts. 

Temperature Warning Light
  • Thermostat Adjustable settings 30F to 70F
  • Power Source: (2) D-Cell (not included)
  • Thermostat attached to 5 Ft. Cable
  • Brightness/Visibility: 5-6cd / 360 degree visibility - over 1,000 ft.

As an added layer of protection, you may also use a temperature warning light device like the Lumastrobe from Amazon. It is designed to light up and notify you if the temperature around your pipes has reached at least 30 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also take extra precautions to reduce the risks of frozen pipes.  

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Mobile Homes?

1. Check the Skirting

If your trailer doesn’t have a foundation at the bottom, you will likely have a skirting – which you need to thoroughly inspect before the winter season begins. You have to make sure that everything is in its place. Also, keep an eye out for any openings or holes. If you see one, repair it immediately to prevent the cold air from passing through the skirting and freezing your pipes. 

2. Use Pipe Insulation 

M-D Building Products 50164 1-Inch by 6-Feet Self-Sealing Tube Pipe Insulation, Black
  • Prevent heat loss or gain to save energy
  • Use on hot or cold pipes
  • Stop condensation on cold pipes
  • Easy to install with pre-cut, self-sealing slits

You can buy insulation sleeves or wraps and place them around exposed pipes that are at risk of freezing. They are easy to use, install, and find. You can purchase them at your local hardware store or even online through Amazon. Just make sure to buy the right size for your pipes, and they should fit as snugly as possible. This will prevent any cold air from reaching your pipes and keep them from freezing. 

3. Use Heat Tape 

Heat Cable for Pipe Freeze Protection, 6 feet, with Built-in Thermostat and 16 Feet of High-Temp Installation Tape, Heavy-Duty, Self-Regulating, 120 volt
  • THIS CABLE WILL NOT TURN ON UNLESS IT IS IN A COLD ENVIRONMENT. We’ve received a couple bad reviews from people testing the cables in their living rooms. Please don’t be that guy.
  • TAPE INCLUDED: 16 feet of high-temperature glass cloth tape is included with this cable.
  • HEAVY DUTY: Integrated thermostat turns cable on at 37 degrees, off at 50 degrees, greatly reducing energy waste. Cable is 8mm wide and includes a 24” unheated cord (add to stated cable length)....
  • USES: Use on the inside or outside of all types of water carrying pipe including copper, steel, PVC, ABS, PEX, concrete and more; can be exposed directly to water and is rated for soil contact.

Heat tapes are a popular choice for homeowners to protect their pipes as they are effective yet affordable. You can use them to wrap the pipes you have access to, especially the water lines located between the ground and the bottom of your mobile home. Doing so will provide your pipes with an extra layer of insulation and protect them from the cold. 

Take note, however, that your choice of heat tape should depend on the material of your pipes. If you own an older mobile home, you have to choose more carefully. This is because some homes still have rigid plastic piping, which is not able to withstand even the lowest temperatures of heat tapes. 

4. Insulate your Home

US Energy Products Double Sided Reflective Heat Radiant Barrier Aluminum Foil Insulation (1/4 Thick R8 Double Poly-Air) Roll: Walls Attics Air Ducts Windows Radiators HVAC Garages + More (24" x 25')
  • 5mm 1/4 Double Poly-Air Insulation: Sandwhiched between two layers of highly reflective radiant barrier reflective aluminum. Strong lightweight, yet durable material that is easy to cut and install...
  • EFFECTIVE THERMAL RADIANT BARRIER: Reflects 99.97% of radiant heat transfer with a thermal resistance R Value of 24 (Building Envelope). Prevents heat from escaping during colder seasons and does not...
  • WATER AND MOLD RESISTANT: WILL NOT OXIDIZE LIKE PURE ALUMINUM DOES / Not Effected by humidity and moisture. 100% Waterproof. Can be used in outdoor and indoor applications.
  • SOUND REDUCTION: Great Sound Deadener. Effectively reduces sound travel creating a soundproof environment (closed cell foam core)

Insulation allows you to trap the warm air inside and prevent the cold air from coming in. So not only does it protect you from plumbing issues but it also helps reduce your energy costs. Moreover, it can make you and your family more comfortable during the winter season.

Now, if you have the time and money, you may install the insulations inside your mobile home’s walls. On the other hand, if you are not prepared for such a major project, you may always purchase insulation and attach them to the sides. While this may look less appealing, they function the same way. 

5. Let the Faucet Drip

One of the most common recommendations you’ll hear from people on how to prevent frozen pipes is letting your faucet drip. This will allow water to continuously flow and prevent pressure from forming. Thus, helping your pipes from freezing. If you don’t want to let your water drip the entire day, you can do this during the coldest nights. 

What You Should Never Do

Never use an open flame to warm or thaw your mobile home’s pipes. This includes kerosene and propane heaters, lighters, and a blow torch. Using such devices puts your home at risk of a fire. Moreover, they can easily destroy or damage your pipes. 

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