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Question DetailsAsked on 2/26/2018

I have 1989 16x80 mobile with Polybutylene pipe w/ 8 different breaks in 6 mo cheapest way to replace all

Pipe seems very brittle and most breaks are at the tees

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1 Answer


Depends on where the pipes run - if they all run right under the frame sometimes it is not hard to put in copper pipe. Otherwise, and certainly cheapest (though not necessarily most leak-free) is cross-linked polyethylene tubing - PEX and other varieties, which in many cases can be taped or kellum gripped to the end of the existing tubing and pulled through as the old tubing is pulled out. Is also generally (as long as the end connections hold) good if it freezes a bit as long as it is not much below freezing at the time - though freezing it up when it is exposed to real cold temps can cause brittle fracture like the polybutylene.

Costs will be all over the place for trailer homes so get several bids - some Plumbers will not work on them at all, other will - as will Remodeling - Mobile and Manufactured Homes contractors (your Search the List categories to find well-rated and reviewed contractors for this). The cost varies a lot depending on how much and what type of insulation needs to be removed to access and install the pipes (especially if foamed-in-place insulation), whether it was run under the trailer or, like some, under and behind the cabinets and bed and such which can sometimes be a real pain to work on. How much junk there is, or any spilled sewage or such under trailer, also will affect your cost.

I have seen extreme cases where the owner had to pay $500-1000 just to pull out all the junk under the trailer and clean up the blown-in and leaked and animal mess under there before the plumber would even touch it - and sometimes additional cost to get a pest control or animal control person in there to kill insect nests or remove rodents or possums or coons or such living under there.

I would be expecting something around a couple of thousand $ for the plumbing work alone for your size unit, likely more only if lot of junk underneath or foam-in-place insulation (which is hard to remove and also needs pricey replacement), and you might be lucky and get it for as much as $500 or remotely possibly even $1000 less.

If readily accessible tubing and fixtures, a Plumber can handle it. If panelling or such is going to have to be removed to get at the piping, or you have damaged flooring/ subflooring or such from leakage, then the remodeling contractor is your better bet because he can do the repairs to those areas as well.

And sorry - the class action lawsuit providing compensation for leaking PB tubing expired for mobile homes in 2006 - so no joy for your there.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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