Where is the stop tap on a static caravan?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: Where is the stop tap on a static caravan? We will discuss and explain all the possible locations of a stop tap on a static caravan. We will also explain what a stop tap is and how the static caravan plumbing works.

Where is the stop tap on a static caravan?

The location of the main stop tap on a static caravan may vary, so just check the different places to find the valve:

  1. Look for the main shut-off valve where the main water line enters the static caravan’s water line. There should be a shutoff valve or ball valve at this location. Getting there is another story. If you’re lucky, there’s an easily removable siding section nearby, which you can just unscrew or slide to get to the shut-off valve. Sometimes there may be a vent nearby that you can pull out to reach the shutoff valve. 
  1. Another way is to simply look under the static caravan to find the shut-off valve, then turn it off.
  1. The shutoff valve can also be located somewhere in the yard outside the static caravan. You find this more in cooler areas where a shutoff and drain valve is installed somewhere before the water line runs under the house. Examine any yard or irrigation boxes that you find in the yard. Shut-off and drain valves require a meter key to turn them off, so be sure to have one handy for emergencies.
  1. Finally, the water meter may be the easiest way to turn off the water. Sometimes there are two valves in the water meter, one before the meter and the other after the meter. The owner is responsible for everything after the water meter, so if there is a valve after the meter, this is the one you are supposed to use.

 If there is no second valve, just the valve before the water meter, then you will need to speak to the water company and get permission to turn off their faucet. A water wrench is usually required to turn this metering valve. Water keys can be purchased at your home improvement or hardware store.

Note: If you break the meter valve you may be held responsible, so check with your local water company before turning off the meter. In many areas, the company will turn 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. In this way, any damage to the shut-off valve or the meter is their responsibility.

What is a static caravan stop tap?

The plumbing inside a static caravan is pretty much the same as any house built on the site. Each appliance has (or should have) individual shut-off valves (or stop taps). Shut-off valves at toilets, under sinks, and even at the water heater can be used to shut off the water supply to this particular fixture.

But shutting off the main water supply in a static caravan can be a bit more difficult than in a house built on-site because static caravans are lifted off the ground and shut off valves often come under the house, where they are protected.

Why you should shut down the water in your static caravan

You need to know where your caravan’ stop tap is before deciding to leave for winter. It is essential to shut down the water in your static caravan at the end of your stay in order to avoid the pipes from freezing (and bursting) when the cold temperatures hit.

Here are some basic tips:

  • When winter arrives, first of all, check that your heating system is working properly. If you use the static caravan’s electric heaters, be careful not to obstruct the ventilation channels and remember to ventilate from time to time to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • In addition, to prevent possible freezing of the pipes or pipes, drain those you are not using and cover the external pipes and the gas cylinders with a cloth or an insulating material. For gas bottles, there are small storage chests provided for this purpose, which will do very well.
  • Frequently check the condition of the water heater to anticipate a possible malfunction.
  • Insulate the static caravan tank and pipes. Before heading into the coldest winter, you can insulate the tank and pipes with Reflectix insulation. Reflectix insulation comes in 25 ‘x 2’ rolls, shiny, reflective and reflective, in plastic bags. The idea is that this thin material can act as a type of insulation in tight spaces where you can’t put thick fibreglass insulation.
  • Slightly tilt the caravan to protect the pipes from freezing. When you leave your static caravan at the campsite for winter, it is recommended that you leave it tilted so that the water from the drains goes to the waste tank, so that it does not stagnate in the pipes.

The challenges of plumbing a static caravan

You are probably familiar with all the plumbing problems when you live in a static caravan over 20 years old.

  • Inexpensive materials lead to inexpensive construction, including the mysterious plumbing systems that do not conform to building codes for homes built on site.
  • Static caravans are not only at risk of falling apart, plumbers generally refuse to do any work on them. Be aware that if your pipes are made of grey plastic (polybutylene) this material is considered seriously defective and prohibited in many places. Professionals consider it irreparable.

Of course, you can stagger the palliative repairs, but the only long-term solution is to replace all the pipes with modern ones. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it.

Here’s the good news: Contemporary static caravan plastic piping is cross-linked polyethylene or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, sturdy and easy to assemble. It replaces the copper water pipes in ordinary homes (it was in static caravans that this technology was first perfected).

You can find parts and fittings at your local hardware store and you won’t have to get dirty when soldering copper. Replacing a sink or tub is much less difficult than in a house with copper pipes. 

  • Unlike homes built on-site, static caravans do not have a basement and their pipes are under the floor (crawl space) rather than in the walls.
  • Work that needs to be done in the crawl space tends to be unpleasant given the limited space. So, people living in a cold climate should do this in order to avoid problems due to freezing:
  • If the shut-off valve is in the crawl space, move it to a warm place, in the residence itself;
  • In extremely cold areas, re-insulate the water inlet pipes and surround them with electric heating tape;
  • The same applies to all distribution piping under the floor.

You may be able to find specialized plumbers if you live in an area where static caravans are plentiful. Search the Yellow Pages website and ask your neighbours. As always, the better you know the basics of your system, the better you’ll choose the professionals, and the better you’ll be able to perform the repairs yourself.

Final words

Since the unexpected can always happen and precipitate the wear and tear of your static caravan, it is important for you to have good practices to prevent possible dangers and thus limit losses. 

The pipes of your static caravan can freeze with frost and suffer a possible blowout due to the deterioration of the material. And is that keeping your pipes protected from sub-zero degrees is essential to have a calm winter and avoid breakdowns that make your wallet shiver.

Frozen pipes are a problem in both hot and cold climates and affect families every winter. This can happen in static caravans with both plastic and copper pipes. By taking the prevention measures listed above, you can also reduce the risk of frozen water pipes that result in property damage.

Please let us know if we can be of any further help or if you have any questions or comments on the content!

FAQ on Where is the stop tap on a static caravan?

How do you weatherproof a static caravan?

Weatherproofing a static caravan means ensuring that it is cool in summer and warm in winter, but also that it is protected from snow, storms and other unpredictable weather. A weatherproof static caravan also means that it is “livable” all year round, which is a huge advantage!

Why is it important to protect water pipes from freezing?

It is important to protect water pipes from freezing because, in cold winter areas, icy pipes can cause a sudden emergency. The frozen water expands and cracks the pipes which, when thawed, lose water through the cracks.

Can you live in a static caravan in winter?

It is possible to live in a caravan in winter, but you must insulate your vehicle well and make all the necessary preparations.  Snow, heavy rain, cold or ice may be very present on the road. But you don’t have to worry, today’s static caravan brands are prepared for all types of climates. What’s more, new static caravans on the market are becoming better equipped to be able to use them regardless of the season of the year. 

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