How to Shut off the Main Water Supply in a Mobile Home

Mobile caravans or trailers in holiday park.

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The plumbing inside a mobile home is pretty much the same as it is for any site-built home. Each fixture has (or should have) individual shut-off valves. Shut-off valves at the toilet, under the sinks, and even at the water heater can be used to turn off the water supply for that particular fixture.

But shutting off the main water supply in a mobile home can be a little more difficult than in a site-built house because mobile homes are raised up off the ground. The shut-off valves often come in from under the house, where they are protected. The location of the main shut-off can vary, so the process for shutting it off is mostly a matter of first locating it.

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Flashlight
  • Water key (if needed)

Instructions

Look for the Main Water Pipe

The main water pipe bringing water into your mobile home very often enters through the floor, so the pipe itself may be located under the mobile home. If the space below your mobile home is enclosed with walls, there should be an access panel you can open to gain access to the space. If your home has skirting covering the base, remove a section of the skirting. You may need a flashlight to locate the main water pipe. It will usually be located near the back of the mobile home since this is where most manufacturers position the fitting for the water hookup. In modern mobile homes, this main water pipe is often made from plastic or a flexible tubing known as PEX. Especially in colder climates, you rarely see metal water mains entering a mobile home, since these can be prone to rupturing when they freeze.

Locate the Main Shut-Off Valve(s)

Somewhere along the main water pipe, there will be a valve that serves to control all water flow into the home. Mobile homes may have two shutoff valves. One may be located beneath the home near the back, where the water main is connected. If you spot a gate valve or ball valve here, it is a main water shut-off valve. If you are lucky, there will be a section of easily removable siding nearby that you can just unscrew or slide out of the way to get to the shut-off valve. Sometimes there may be a vent nearby that you can remove to reach the shut-off valve. Another way is to just climb under the mobile home to find the shut-off valve.

Or, the shut-off valve may be located somewhere in the yard outside the mobile home. You find this more in colder areas where a stop-and-waste valve is installed somewhere before the water pipe runs in under the home. Examine any yard or irrigation boxes you find situated at ground level in the yard. Stop-and-waste valves require a meter key to shut them off, so make sure you have one handy for emergencies.

Most mobile homes also have a second main shut-off valve, usually located somewhere near the water heater. This will be a valve located before the water heater, not the valve on the pipe running from the water heater. This indoor main shut-off valve is generally located near the floor.

Close the Valve

Close the valve to stop the flow of water into the house. This valve can take several appearances. It may be a gate valve with a rotating handle; to turn the water, turn the handle clockwise fully until it turns no further. Or the main shut-off may be a ball valve with a lever; to shut the water off, turn the handle fully so it is perpendicular to the water pipe.

Stop-and-waste type valves have a small rectangular knob that must be turned by a key shaped to fit the knob. If you don't have a key, you may be able to operate the valve with a wrench. On these, you turn the water off by turning the knob so it is perpendicular to the water pipe.

Turn off the Water at the Water Meter

Alternatively, the water meter may provide the easiest location to turn off the water. Sometimes there are two valves in the water meter—one positioned before the meter and another after the meter. The homeowner is responsible for anything after the water meter, so if there is a valve after the meter, that's the one you should use. If there is no second valve, then you'll need to get permission from the water company to turn off their valve. A water key is usually required to turn this metering valve. Water keys can be bought at your local home improvement or hardware store.

Note: If you break the meter valve, you can be held liable, so do check with your local water company before shutting the meter off. In many areas, the company will come to shut off your water whenever you need to do plumbing repairs. After you finish, they'll turn the water back on as soon as you call again. This way, any damage to the shut shut-off valve or meter is their responsibility.