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 shutoff valves. Shutoff 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 there are also times when you may want to shut off the main water supply to the entire home. 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 off the ground. The main shutoff valve often comes in from under the house, where it is protected. The location of the main shutoff can vary, so the process for turning it off is mostly a matter of locating it.
Equipment / Tools
- Screwdriver/drill (if needed)
- Water key (if needed)
- Wrench (if needed)
Look for the Main Water Pipe
The main water pipe bringing water into your mobile home 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 get into the space. If your home has skirting covering the base, remove a section of the skirting to gain access.
You may need a flashlight to locate the main water pipe. It will usually be located near the back of the mobile home because 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 Shutoff Valve
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 shutoff 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 shutoff valve. Sometimes there may be a vent nearby that you can remove to reach the valve. Another way is to just crawl under the mobile home to find the valve.
The shutoff valve may be located somewhere in the yard outside the mobile home. This configuration is common in colder regions, 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 shutoff 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 shutoff valve is generally located near the floor.
Close the Valve
Close the valve to stop the flow of water into the house. There are a few different types of valves. It may be a gate valve with a rotating handle; to turn off the water, turn the handle clockwise fully until it turns no further. Or the main shutoff 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. (When it's time to turn the water on, make sure the handle is in line with the water pipe.)
Stop-and-waste 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 valves, turn the water off by turning the knob so it is perpendicular to the water pipe.
Turn Off the Water at the Water Meter (Optional)
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 its valve. If the mobile home is on a community-style plot that is privately owned, reach out to the property manager or owner to turn off the main meter. And if you're not sure who should be responsible for turning off the valve after the meter, ask: Contact the property manager or utility company to ensure you get the right information to turn off the water properly.
A water key is usually required to turn this metering valve. Water keys can be bought at your local home improvement or hardware store.
If you break the meter valve, you can be held liable, so 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 shutoff valve or meter is their responsibility.