Posted on: 1 May 2018Share
If the hot water heater in your mobile home has finally worn out due to age, you may be surprised that you can't buy just any water heater when you need a replacement. You'll have some special considerations that don't really come into play when you buy a new hot water heater for a traditional home. Here are some things to know about buying and installing a hot water heater for a mobile home.
The Heater Must Be HUD Approved
Mobile homes are built according to codes approved by HUD, and that includes the type of hot water heater you can install. If you install a regular water heater, any damage it causes probably won't be covered by your insurance company. So, the first step is to narrow your search down to water heaters with HUD safety approval. These are available in both tank and tankless water designs, although there may be additional regulations on how the heaters can be installed in your mobile home.
Choose The Same Power Source For Savings
Electric hot water heaters are usually less expensive to buy initially but more expensive to operate over time. If you want to switch from a gas to an electric heater, be sure to factor in the additional cost of changing the power supply. The electrical panel in your home might not have enough power to operate an electric water heater without a significant upgrade. If you buy a gas heater, be sure to look for natural gas if you have natural gas now or choose propane if you have a propane tank. The heaters aren't interchangeable, so you want the right type. Also, you'll need to buy the right type of gas heater depending on if the tank is kept inside your home or outside so it operates safely.
Measure The Old Tank For The Right Size
One challenge with replacing a hot water heater in a mobile home is the tight space to work in as opposed to a home with a garage with a lot of open space. Your hot water heater might be in a bathroom or a small closet. Even if you wish you had a larger capacity heater to keep up with your family's demands, a larger tank might not fit in the designated space. Be sure to measure the size of the tank you have now as well as the width of all the doors the new tank will have to pass through to make sure the new tank will fit. If you want to go with a larger tank, then consider the additional cost of routing the power and water lines to a new location.
While it may seem challenging to buy the right replacement hot water tank, you can get advice and help from the plumbing company that installs the unit. The plumber can pick the right tank and help you decide if switching power or size is a cost-effective choice.