Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Replacing a mobile home water heater with a normal one.

How to Replace a mobile home water heater with a 'normal' one.

1. Remove power (or turn off the gas).
2. Turn off water (Likely for the whole home).
3. Drain the old heater (if water is hot run it out first until it is cold).
4. remove the electric power or gas lines to the heater.
5. Cut the water lines to the heater.
6. Remove the old water heater.
7. Level the floor under the heater.
8. Remove the new heater from the box and Install it.
9. Add the cold water shut off valve.
10. Add pipes to go to the top of the heater.
  You will need the following;
     10 feet of pipe.
      4 x 90 degree elbows.
      2 x Male 3/4 inch connectors.
      1 x Shut off valve.
      1 x Union.
11. Fill with water and check the fittings - the top fittings leak the most.
  Add more Teflon tape and re-do the top fittings.
12. When the tank is full and not leaking run the hot water for SEVERAL minutes.
13. Reconnect electricity or gas lines.
14. Turn on electricity or gas.
15. The water should be hot in about 15 minutes.

Note: The old trailer heater had one 4500 watt heater element, the new standard heater had 2 x 3500 watt heat elements.  Trailer heaters have the water connectors on the front, normal heaters have the fittings on the top.

First the old heater.  Note that it has been leaking by all the stains on the floor.
Next the new heater. Note the old gray pipe as a shim to level it and the shut off on the cold water coming into the tank.  It looks like someday I might need to rotate it a little to access the heater elements?


Ursula said...

can PVC pipe be connected to the flexible lines in a modular home? My grandson now has a basement under his and wants to get a " normal" water heater and have it in the basement.

Ursula said...

My grand son now has a basement under his modular home and wants to put the waterheater there. Can the PVC pipe be connected to the flexible lines in the home?

Bob Davis said...

They make "shark bite" fittings that can connect the flexible pipes to standard PVC pipes. They are visible in the pictures they are copper in color.

George J. said...

Hi there! So we can in fact, just by adding the piping to make the water lines reach the top? Isn't there something about venting that we need to be concerned with? I keep seeing something about needing to buy a manufactured home specific heater because of this "venting" issue....? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance! :P

George J. said...

Hi there! We're wanting to put a "normal" heater in the place of a mobile home water heater (it's a "newer home" so the water heater is in the house lol)It seems as if by purchasing the piping and other recomended items for the water lines that's the main "difference" as far as what you show. What I keep seeing is something about not doing a regular one in a mobile home because of something to do with venting....Any thoughts??

Bob Davis said...

If it is not an electric heater, venting the exhaust gasses can be an issue. Otherwise there needs to be a pressure exhaust vent (the white pipe in the top picture) that must be vented somewhere (down through the floor in my case).

Gunter said...

Drain the old heater (if water is hot run it out first until it is cold). ...

Anamul said...

The principle distinction is that there are no connected systems to a mobile home and the insurance company recognizes this.
please go to:- mobile homes Massachusetts for extra.

Mike Hungrige said...

I am changing a water heater in a manufactured home. the only weird thing about the tank im replacing (besides the cold water inlet being on the side) is that the current one has an air intake on the bottom that pulls air from the crawl space. if my new water heater is not enclosed, it should be able to vent regularly right?

Bob Davis said...

If it is a gas heater then it needs input and exhaust vents. Electric heaters are much easier to replace. A gas heater that is not enclosed can get its intake from the room. I have seen instances where the local code required an outside air intake vent for a furnace. So basically if you are doing a gas heater be sure to check your local codes.

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Tony Paul said...

You've given up some of the useful tips when replacing mobile water heater with the normal. Those pictures helps a lot in understanding what you are trying to tell. BTW thanks for the article.

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