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Old 01-22-2010, 02:24 PM   #1
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


Ok well here is the situation. I rent a manufactured home that sits above the ground and has about a three foot gap between the floor and the ground. My wife and I baught a house and where told we could not break our lease....thats fine but....I asked the land lord if I could turn off elect and water while continuing to pay rent. He said he isnt supposed to let me but sure. Now I havnt lived there for about 1 1/2 months and I turned off the breaker in the house to save money on the elect bill. I get a phone call today saying that the water company showed up and turned off the water being as it generated a very large bill (which i dont know the total for yet). Long story short the landlord said that there was water in the house, and the carpets are soaked and that there may have been upto a foot of water in some areas. He stated that I am fully responsible for this. I know that none of the pipes under the house are insulated and from what I have read it seems to be common practice to insulate pvc pipes that are in colder climates where temp can reach 20 deg or lower, just as my new house has in its crawl space. Can anyone spread any light on this?? IE should it have been insulated.

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Old 01-22-2010, 02:59 PM   #2
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


Insulation is designed to stop a heat source from leaving.
With no heat inside the house/trailer, the pipes froze and burst, resulting in the water damage.
The water lies needed to be shut off and drained so they don't burst. Also, the water heater should have been drained, too.

Insulation would not have helped. Lacking a heat source was the issue.

The landlord should not have let you leave the building un-seasoned. I'm not laying blame on anyone, just saying...

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Old 01-22-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


Does turning off the electric turn off the heat ?
If so do you have it in writing that he allowed you to do this ?
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:16 PM   #4
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


jlhaslip thanks for the info, makes sense! As far as it in writing....NO....darn. But you would think that his insurancxe covers this happening. ALso he is responsable for the whole community which encompasses about 100 trailers so you would think there insurance would cover it. Oh well. Thanks for the help guys. Does anyone know though if IPC2006 states that the pipes should be insulated or not in these conditions?
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


Common practice in Illinois, especially with old plumbing, to keep water on in a few places at a trickle all winter. The idea being that flowing water will not freeze. Cheaper than a pipe burst which sounds like what happened.

Does sound weird the landlord would let you walk away without at least heating to a maintenance level. If the plumbing runs beneath the trailer, where was the pipe burst inside?

As to the answer to your question, PVC is generally pretty strong stuff depending on the schedule that was used. Frozen water will expand and burst just about anything though.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:00 PM   #6
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


You're actually talking about CPVC piping for the potable water supply, I take it? The best way to get the answer to your question(s) is to talk to the local plumbing or building inspectors.

But I don't think it really matters; you told the landlord you were moving out and that the house would be empty after a certain date even though you were still paying rent per the rental agreement. It's his responsibilty as the owner of the property to look after it. If he's going to trust his investment to a renter that's already moved out, he's an idiot. If a house will be empty for any length of time where there's a liklihood of freezing temperatures, the heat should be left on low (50-55*F), and the water main shut off - minimum. If the heat is shut off, then all water must be drained from the water distribution pipes (potable water), and all appliances (DW, WM, icemaker etc), and antifreeze must be poured into all the traps. As a landlord (aka - "property manager"), he should know that. It was his own negligence that caused all the damage.

Having said all that, I'm no lawyer. But that's how I see it.

Last edited by Ishmael; 01-22-2010 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:17 AM   #7
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
As a landlord (aka - "property manager"), he should know that. It was his own negligence that caused all the damage.

Having said all that, I'm no lawyer. But that's how I see it.
Before you go blaming other people for' "What was said", I would look at everything that you have in writing, including your renters insurance and your lease agreement. My insurance says that my insurance is only valid if I'm living in the home. If I 'vacate', or don't have a person in the house, my insurance is not valid. If it's not in writing, it's not worth ****.

Insulation is only good, as others have stated, to help keep heat inside. Insulation without a heat source is only a filter.

For any exposed pipe, copper, cpvc, pvc, and poly, in the great white north, we have heat tape to keep pipes from freezing. We normally get up to -40 for at least two or three weeks in the winter. Heat tape with insulation keeps us from freezing the pipes.

I'm no lawyer either, but I think that you should be talking to a lawyer and not us.

At least you saved some money on your electrical bill.

Mick
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:26 AM   #8
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


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Before you go blaming other people for' "What was said", I would look at everything that you have in writing, including your renters insurance and your lease agreement. My insurance says that my insurance is only valid if I'm living in the home. If I 'vacate', or don't have a person in the house, my insurance is not valid. If it's not in writing, it's not worth ****.

Insulation is only good, as others have stated, to help keep heat inside. Insulation without a heat source is only a filter.

For any exposed pipe, copper, cpvc, pvc, and poly, in the great white north, we have heat tape to keep pipes from freezing. We normally get up to -40 for at least two or three weeks in the winter. Heat tape with insulation keeps us from freezing the pipes.

I'm no lawyer either, but I think that you should be talking to a lawyer and not us.

At least you saved some money on your electrical bill.

Mick
Of course you're correct, Mick - "If it's not in writing, it's not worth ****."
That's the way it is in this society...there's always somebody else to blame. But there's something wrong when a landlord who's got over 100 units under his "care" can just leave one to the elements knowingly and also know full well he won't have to pay for it. The rest of us will in the form of higher premiums
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:13 PM   #9
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


Ishmael, I have a strong feeling that we are not hearing the full story here. Why would a 'landlord', (and I thinking, park manager or maintenance man, not the owner) allow someone to shut off power (and heat) and water to a home. I'm also thinking that, a reasonable person would have thought about a freezing situation (in winter) and dealt with the possibility and taken to correct steps to avoid that situation. That would have included draining all of the water lines, water heaters, toilets, and applied trap protection. I am willing to bet that there is more information to this story than we are getting.

With one hundred units, do you think that this is the first time that this situation has come up?

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Old 01-23-2010, 07:37 PM   #10
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


A landlord with 100 mobile home units knows with the electric off, lines can freeze when temperatures get below about 22 degrees for 12 to 24 hours. I think the landlord was kind of dumb if he didn't have renters insurance. . . he probably did! By charging you for the damage he can get paid on both ends which is illegal but who can prove it?

In KY I doubt that the temperature seldom gets much below freezing for 12 hours except for maybe this year?

I imagine the lines froze under the cabinets!

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Old 01-23-2010, 07:47 PM   #11
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


winterize the pipes.blow out water lines and dump rv antifreeze in toilets/drains.how do ya get a foot of water standing in a house trailer with no basement? was this thing sinking by the bow like the titanic?
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:49 PM   #12
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Does turning off the electric turn off the heat ?
If so do you have it in writing that he allowed you to do this ?
Dave. You should consider a new profession (in addition to all the others). Attorney! But all kidding aside. IMHO the pipes burst for another reason beside frost. The pressure in the pipes built up due to non use for an extended period. I'm speaking of experience. In my case the pipes didn't burst yet! But it took a while till the pressure stabilized! That happened in the summer!!
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:02 PM   #13
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


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Originally Posted by Water Guy View Post
Ishmael, I have a strong feeling that we are not hearing the full story here. Why would a 'landlord', (and I thinking, park manager or maintenance man, not the owner) allow someone to shut off power (and heat) and water to a home. I'm also thinking that, a reasonable person would have thought about a freezing situation (in winter) and dealt with the possibility and taken to correct steps to avoid that situation. That would have included draining all of the water lines, water heaters, toilets, and applied trap protection. I am willing to bet that there is more information to this story than we are getting.

With one hundred units, do you think that this is the first time that this situation has come up?

Mick
I hear what you're saying, Mick, and you may be right that we're not hearing the whole story. But it's hard for me to believe that the tenant (or any tenant) wouldn't at least try to work out a deal with the landlord when they're moving out early. That's why I think the landlord must've known it was empty. I'm sure this situation has come up many times in such a large complex - all the more reason to believe he (the landlord) should've/could've handled it much better.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:03 AM   #14
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Does PVC piping require insulation in colder climates?


Every rental contract that I've seen and been involved with over the years has been able to be broken with the payment of three months rent.

The 'landlord' might be trying to take advantage of people that don't know their way around a rental agreement.

I also agree with the poster that questioned 'a foot of water in some places'. I find it very hard to believe that modular homes are that water tight.

People are messing with minds.

Mick

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