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Thread: mobile home shower leak behind wall

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bonnielw22's Avatar
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    Default mobile home shower leak behind wall

    We live in a double wide with pex piping. It has cracked and been repaired in different places over and over. We now have a leak behind the shower. It started with a drip and has gotten worse. My husband thinks we will have to go under and pull the pipes out, try to repair it and then hope we can get it back in place. Can you think of a better way? the leak is up near the handles.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Are you sure it is pex? Pex (with a few exceptions) is generally pretty resilient, and doesn't crack. It could be cpvc or some other rigid plastic pipe.

    Regardless, if the leak is near the handles, have you tried taking the eschution off to try to see where the leak is? Worst case, you could make that hole bigger and use a remodel/rennovation plate to then cover up the larger hole after the fix is in.

    A picture of the actual piping or listing the markings that identify it may help.

    there were a few plastic pipes that had recalls and there were some pex fittings that had problems, but generally, pex has been pretty good. It could be pex, and it could be defective. If that's the case, then it may call for replacing it all, and that can get expensive. But, it is more likely one of the other types of pipe, which still could be defective and needs to be replaced.

    Please try to identify the actual pipe - it should be printed on the outside of the pipe at regular intervals. Also, it would help to indicate how old the unit is.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Mobile home are usually plumbed with a plastic pipe, but not PEX or CPVC. I'm not sure what the official name of the material is, likely some of the pros will chime in with better information. Given the location of the leak, it may be wise to consider a professional plumber on this job. Sometimes the best thing for a DIYer to do is not DIY. Know your limitations and don't be afraid to know when you have reached your limit. Praying and hoping are usually not too successful when it comes to home repairs.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Is it the "Grey PEX?"

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    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    If it it grey it is polybutylene.and is a PIA to fix.

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    DIY Junior Member bonnielw22's Avatar
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    It is grey. We were told it was PEX by a guy at Lowes. My concern is how to get to the leak, I guess we will try disconnecting the lines and pulling them down before we go so far as to cut into the wall. We have the option of cutting into the plastic shower surround or to remove the corrugated aluminum from the outside and cut through the outside wall. Any suggestions as to which would be best. We can't afford a plumber so we are on our own.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonnielw22 View Post
    It is grey. We were told it was PEX by a guy at Lowes.
    Well then It's not PEX but is Polybutylene instead and Smockman at Lowes is again clueless.

    As for access its a choice of going from the inside or the outside. Inside says you are doing another tub surround and going in from the outside by removing the trailer skin is a fun job as well that usually opens a whole can of worms especially is the leak has been ongoing for some time and there is rot. The last time I saw this done it went all the way around the trailer...

    A good plumber highly experienced in repiping Polybutylene in trailers may be able to get the job done with very limited access and fish the new Pex tubing through. Even though a plumber would cost more that DIYing the job ultimately it could save you a ton in collateral damage....

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It is PB tubing, and since there are only a FEW ways to make connections to it, it may be beyond your capabilities to make ANY repair. And do NOT rely on Lowes, Home Depot, Ace, or any other similar stores to give you any information as to the proper ways to fix it.

  9. #9
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Ahh the times they are a changin...

    SharkBite 1/2 in. Polybutylene Conversion Coupling

    Orange Smockman has it covered... LOL

    Name:  Screen shot 2011-06-03 at 3.31.31 PM.png
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    Last edited by Redwood; 06-03-2011 at 12:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    My question is if you pull it out from below how are you going to reconnect above without opening a wall.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Each company has their own version of this, but I think cutting a hole in the surround is likely a better way to start than tearing the exterior siding off... http://www.deltafaucet.com/search/re...novation+plate . The plate fits over the now larger hole, then the existing shower valve and trim fits back on top of it. Pex is a different animal than polybutylene.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member bonnielw22's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    It's done. We pulled off the aluminum siding, took out the insulation and found the lines right there. It was surprisingly easy to put on the push on connections. (Our motto is "It's never easy") Thanks again for your input. P.S. Now our refrigerator is dying.

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