If we had to choose one thing that annoyed us most during our mobile home makeover projects, plumbing has got to be it. While we’re not sure what they are like in newer homes, water lines in older (pre-2000) mobile homes tend to be oddly configured, plastic tubing, with no shut off valves at the source. No shut off valves at the source? Why does this make sense? Especially when so many mobile home bathrooms have carpet in them! (Oh wait, maybe THIS is our #1 annoyance now that I think about it!) We’re still scratching our heads over why you would put carpet in a room where there are water sources when you are going to use wafer board for sub-flooring. If you have carpeting in your mobile home bathroom, we have two things to say: “Good luck!” and “Get it out, NOW!” Maybe you have an opinion about this, which you are welcome to share in the comments section of this post.
But we digress…Now back to plumbing!
Our recent home plumbing projects include installing a standard home tub and surround (it’s beautiful!), new sink/vanity and toilet, plus, a larger, self-cleaning water heater and new pressure tank (we have a well). In all of these projects, our biggest fear was not getting the fittings right. The plastic tubing is easily cut, but this can be good and bad. It’s mostly bad when you are wielding a carpet knife and inadvertently slash a closed tube and spring a leak. Right Honey? But it’s also good because you can use a carpet knife rather than a hack saw. (Just a note* We have been known to use RADA kitchen knives to cut sewer line before in a pinch. These are such quality knives that they cut tomatoes just as well after slicing through 3 inch PVC pipe!)
The difficulty with the plastic tubing comes when you try to add metal fittings to it. It’s tough to get the fittings into the tubing tightly enough, but then you must also clamp it. These fittings and clamps have caused all sorts of frustration during past repairs of existing fittings. Water messes galore have sprung from the backs of tubs, under sinks, and behind toilets. This is no way to do plumbing.
We were convinced by wonderful family members that we could have real home fixtures in our mobile home and with the help of these fittings, we have accomplished that. While we didn’t replace all of the water lines (I wish!), we did replace all of the fittings so far in the projects we’ve done. We would hate to speculate on the status of our marriage right now if it hadn’t been for quick-connect compression fittings!
Yes, the fittings we have found to be the best fit for our needs are quick-connect compression fittings. These fittings come in brass and plastic. We’ve used plastic in all of our projects so far and had great success. We can’t begin to express how easy these fittings make each job. Not only are they a breeze to connect and install on pipe/tubing, but they also come in so many configurations that we always found a piece that suited the needs of our particular space and specifications. While I am not a sales person for the company in the video below, nor do I remember the brand of the fittings we used, the ones shown in this video are the same type. We purchased them at Lowe’s and they were all under $8.00.
Compression fittings allowed us to take the existing plumbing and make it even better by adding no-leak fittings with shut-off valves. There was no soldering and practically no tools involved. Each fitting slides onto the end of existing tubing or water line and with an easy tug they are snug and leak-proof.
It’s pretty obvious that we had a great experience with this product and will use them in our upcoming kitchen remodel as well. However, we understand that there may be disadvantages to using this type of fitting that we just haven’t seen or thought of. If you have had experience with using these in your mobile home, please share your thoughts (good or bad) in the comment area.