Helping a friend replace a water heater in a mobile home.
( standard dimensions, 30 gal. natural gas )
Everyone I've spoken to insists
that ONLY a mobile water heater
can be installed in a mobile home.
Firstly; they're hard as hell to find.
Secondly; there's a $100 premium on the price.
But no one can tell me "why"
or, what is the difference between "mobile" and "regular"
Mobile home water heaters are normally enclosed so that the air intake
is choked off with a standard water heater. The mobile home water
heater has its air intake on the bottom. The idea is to draw the air
from a hole in the floor. Most importantly insurance claims will be
nullified if you do not have a mobile home rated water heater.
So how does a hot water heater/tank work in a regular stick built home? I live
in a mobile home with a hot water tank located inside the home (they call it an
"inside closet")......has it own area with a regular inside door to it. the tank
is vented to the roof and there is a vent coming up through the floor but is to
the side of the tank. I guess I don't understand why there is regulation on this
but not on one for a stick built home. If its just a ventilation issue, couldn't
I put a vent in the door where the tank is located or even take the door off
altogether??? I'm getting a lot of different answers to my questions from mobile
home repair places (not one matches the other).....same goes for these so called
"big box stores." Thank you for any help you can offer me.
Often, there is not enough room to install a larger tank.
Mobile Home Water Heaters - Gas or electric water heaters designed
specifically to meet HUD requirements for manufactured housing installation.
A gas mobile home water heater features a gas control that is convertible
for natural or propane gas operation. Only water heaters that meet HUD
manufactured housing standards can be installed in mobile homes. A standard
residential water heater should never be installed in a mobile home.
Mobile home water heaters
It is very important to install the correct type of
gas water heater in a mobile home ( or manufactured
housing). If your mobile home has an
exterior access door you may use a standard
mobile home water heater with an open draft
hood (atmospheric vent). If your water heater
access door opens to the interior or your water
heater is located in a cabinet or closet, you
must install a direct vent mobile home water
heater. A direct vent water heater is designed to
prevent the accidental spillage of flue gases into
the home. The letters "DV" will appear in the
What you are saying is true, but only for gas water heaters.
With electric ones any heater will work.
I live in a mobile home. I bought the used home from a trailer park
in a small town. The water heater was for natural gas. I moved it on
a farm, where I only have propane. So, I immediately could not use
the heater. I found out the high cost and all the special hookups
needed, and said the heck with it. I installed an electric heater,
and just bought a standard home model. It was only 3 feet from the
breaker box, so it was easy to install. I re-used the hole where the
old heater vented outside, as a dryer vent after changing the vent
head on it.
It costs a little more to operate an electric heater, but you save a
lot in initial costs, do not have to cut holes in your trailer, are
easier to install, and if you run out of propane, you still have hot
water. On top of that, there are no open flames, and trailer tanks
are always in tight places surrounded by wood. No Thanks, I'll use
All water heaters in trailers should be placed on a metal pan that
drains outside in case of a leak. I oculd not find a local place to
buy one, so I just made a box out of treated plywood with treated 2x4
sides, siliconed and screwed to the plywood base. Then a piece of
auto heater hose goes outside. The only problem is that the hose is
an air leak in winter, so I keep a cork in it, which I guess defeats
the purpose. I also think mice can get in that hose. I have yet to
find any solution to that.
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