Difference between a mobile home water heater and a "regular" water heater?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Beeman, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    What exactly is the difference between a natural gas water heater for a mobile home and what they sell as a "regular" water heater? Can you use a regular water heater in a doublewide? Is this only done for HUD specs on assembly?
    I do not live where there are inspectors of any type for work done on your home. I do not have a mortgage but I do have insurance.
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    This will not answer your natural gas water heater question but with an electric heater in a mobile home here are the differences that I am aware of:
    1..The mobile home tanks are smaller, typically 30 gal or less instead of 40 gal
    2.. The mobile home units have dedicated heaters in some of the tanks and they have to be sourced from a MH supplier
    3..A few of the MH heaters are 110 volt
    4..Mobile home water heaters do not last very long
    5..Mobile home water heaters cost more than regular heaters used in a conventional house

    I always install a conventional electric heater when time comes for replacement. Usually I can get an upright tall one that will fit the tight area allocated for the MH small diameter design. I substitute MH items anytime anything for a conventional house will fit. I get better results and the costs are typically much less. I am currently ripping out the entire contents of a 1997 14 ft wide and will go back with conventional products. I noticed that Lowes is now carrying a 54inch long tub which looks nice for $199. The cheezy MH replacement tub is $325 as a comparison. Do a bit of research and I think you will find that you can substitiute the gas water heater without problems.
     

  3. froggirl

    froggirl Feelin' Froggy

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    Hi Beeman,
    We usually have the homeowner take measurments for a water heater install and then match a new one to their existing measurements. We've only installed electric water heaters in the mobiles we've worked on and in three years we have never sold a NG or LP mobile home water heater but here's the difference: 1) HUD compliant design 2) they are field convertable from LP to NG (don't ask me why) 3) the have a closed combustion vent that goes out the roof and 4) they're anout 75% more $$. Obviously they are skinnier, too.

    Hope that helps!
    --f.g.
     
  4. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would guess a real house is built & outfitted for a single location, where the fuel used is a known. A mobil can see a couple different locations with different fuel sources, and at the time it is built probably no idea which fuel will be available - NG at a park, or LP from a remote property.... So that part actually makes good sense.

    Otherwise, aren't all mobile home components made with extra poor efficiency & as cheaply as possible? :)

    --->Paul
     
  5. john in la

    john in la Well-Known Member

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    While there may be differences in the tank design ect............
    I replaced my elect mobile home water heater with a house water heater from the big hardware warehouse.
    It was cheaper; had a better warranty; and was easy to find.

    The only problem I had is a mobile home heater has one of the water connections and the over heat pop off valve at the bottom of the tank.
    The house water heater has all connections on the top of the tank.

    You need to redo the plumbing for the water pipes.
     
  6. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I've called some water heater companies and here's some of what I've been told.
    Yes the LPG/NG convertible is part of the requirement so if the home is moved. This home is only moving if there is a tornado. On the gas water heaters in a mobile for some reason they duct fresh air intake to the burner usually thru the floor so all combustion air is drawn from outside and you aren't using indoor air for combustion.
    I guess the next question is has anyone installed a regular NG water heater in a mobile ?
     
  7. sbeerman

    sbeerman Well-Known Member

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    My son got a good buy on a natural gas water heater. But we have propaine here. I thought from previous post you can't change them. I hope I'm wrong. Where would one get the right propaine orfice if this is workable, Thanks for your help.
    Sandie OR.
     
  8. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I would start with the water heater company or your gas utility.
    My original water heater was propane only. When the utility ran gas lines down our road they converted everything in my house to natural gas. On my water heater they had to replace more than just the orifice but they did convert it and it has worked fine for years.