mobile home shower leak behind wall

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by bonnielw22, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. bonnielw22

    bonnielw22 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Orlando, Fl
    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. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Is it the "Grey PEX?"
  5. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    If it it grey it is polybutylene.and is a PIA to fix.
  6. bonnielw22

    bonnielw22 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Orlando, Fl
    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. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,045
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Ahh the times they are a changin...

    SharkBite 1/2 in. Polybutylene Conversion Coupling

    Orange Smockman has it covered... LOL

    Screen shot 2011-06-03 at 3.31.31 PM.png
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  10. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    My question is if you pull it out from below how are you going to reconnect above without opening a wall.
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    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/results.html?q=renovation 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.
  12. bonnielw22

    bonnielw22 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Orlando, Fl
    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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