Investing in a water heater can be daunting, but what if you need to purchase a mobile home water heater? Is it necessary if you reside in a mobile home? What is the difference between a mobile home water heater and a regular water heater?
For starters, if you live in a mobile home, there’s a high likelihood that a water heater has already been installed. However, the truth is, a water heater isn’t built to last forever, even with the best of care that includes using an anode rod to protect the inside from corrosion or explosion.
Therefore, if the time for a mobile home water heater replacement has come, it’s no secret that a multitude of questions is racing through your mind. In this guide, we’ll help you navigate your way through buying a new water heater for your mobile home.
In addition to answering your questions, you’ll understand the difference between a conventional water heater and one for a mobile home.
A mobile home water heater differs from a regular water heater (tank style heater which includes copper) in three major ways. Firstly, a mobile home water heater has interchangeable propane and gas orifices, allowing the water heater to be converted from natural to propane gas operation. Secondly, it has a cold water inlet or a drain valve on the side. Thirdly, a mobile home water heater has a hot water outlet at the top.
Ready to learn more? Read on!
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Water Heater in a Mobile Home?
The cost of replacing a mobile home water heater varies for a boatload of reasons. For instance, the price you might be influenced by where you buy the heater, the manufacturer, and the features included. An electric water heater for a mobile home is more affordable, which means you can find one of excellent quality for less than $600.
Just like a conventional water heater, a gas tankless water heater is pricier than an electric tankless water heater. Although you have free rein to shell out thousands of dollars for a top-notch water heater or opt for a rental water heater, you can usually find them at a steal.
We recommend roping in a professional plumber to install your new water heater but also help you identify the most ideal option for your hot water needs and mobile home. Mobile home water heater installation isn’t as easy as purchasing one for a conventional home.
Therefore, seeking professional assistance to guide you through the process is the best bang for your buck.
Why Can’t a Regular Water Heater Be Used in a Mobile Home?
A mobile home water heater has different code requirements. It must also be HUD compliant to guarantee it’s safe for use in mobile homes. If a mobile home water heater lacks the HUD safety approval, it’s illegal to use it in a mobile home.
Additionally, it’s essential to factor in that the manufacturer’s warranty will be voided, which means any insurance claims will automatically be denied. Nonetheless, some manufacturers, such as Rheem, will offer water heater models that meet the HUD standards and are designed to be installed in mobile or traditional homes.
However, this is usually the case with an electric water heater.
Can I Install a Tankless Water Heater in a Mobile Home?
Yes! You can install a tankless unit in a mobile home. However, you’ll need to discover the on-site electric or gas changes that must be made for your home to accept the tankless water heater. Furthermore, your local climate comes into play when determining the most ideal position to install the tankless heater.
How Do You Replace a Hot Water Heater in a Mobile Home?
Although we recommend hiring a professional, if you’d like to give it a try, follow the steps below.
1. Turn off the gas and the water
Close the shutoff valve on the cold water supply line that feeds the water heater. Close the gas valve on the control unit of the water heater, then turn off the valve on the gas supply line that feeds the heater. Allow the water temperature to drop.
2. Drain the tank
Connect the drain valve of the water heater tank to the garden hose. Extend the hose to an appropriate draining point, for instance, a planted area or landscape mirror. Then, open the drain valve empty the tank. Open the water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve, allowing air into the system and preventing suction. When the tank is empty, disconnect the hose and close the drain valve.
3. Remove the old water heater
Disconnect the gas control valve from the flexible gas line. Then, disconnect the cold water inlet and hot water inlet, respectively. Lastly, disconnect the draft hood on the storage tank water heater from the vent duct.
4. Install a Drip Pan
Install a drain and rust-proof drip pan for the new water heater, if required. You can reuse an existing pan if it’s in tiptop condition and is the ideal size for your new heater.
5. Add the temperature and pressure valve
Install the valve onto your new water heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
6. Place the New Water Heater
Position the new water heater on the drip pan. Ensure the heater is properly aligned with the existing vent duct, gas supply, and water piping. Secure the heater tank to the floor and wall as applicable.
7. Complete the Vent Connection
Install the given draft hood onto your new heater tank as instructed by the manufacturer.
8. Add a temperature and pressure valve discharge tube
Install a copper pipe onto the valve, ensuring that the pipe drains onto the exterior of your mobile home.
9. Connect the water lines
Attach the cold water inlet and cold water supply pipe to the heater tank using a thread-seal tape and supply connector for plumbing connections.
10. Check the installation
After confirming that all connections are secure with no leaks of exhaust gases, flue gases, or water, you’re good to go.
Where Is the Water Heater in a Mobile Home?
Usually, the water heater in your mobile home can be found near the furnace. At times, a water heater can be located in the closet of your main bedroom.
Alternatively, it can be located in a hallway hidden behind an access panel, laundry room, or utility closet. It’s worth noting that the appropriate flow rate (GPM) of a water heater for most households is anywhere between 5 and 10.