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  1. #1
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    Default Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    It is my understanding that HUD approves water heaters for installation in mobile homes. This being the case, it would seem that they would know which water heaters they have approved. However, HUD keeps telling me that they have no such list; therefore, I find myself here. Do you know where this information can be obtained? Failing that, do you know of any 50-gallon gas water heaters that have been approved for installation in mobile homes? I am sure that there are many approved 40-gallon tanks, and I could probably get along with one of them, but I would really hate it if I installed one only to be told later, "If you had only..." That would sting. Incidentally, I know that HUD says that they are only interested in NEW installations, and I know that many people say that the regulations have changed, but I need something that will convince contractors, insurance companies, and local inspectors, it seems to me that the only thing that will satisfy EVERYONE will be the tag of approval on the tank. I don't want to fight any longer, and I don't want any uncertainty, so I'm now only interested in getting a tank with an approved tag.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    The tank manufactuers make mobile home water heaters. Its on the data label. Choose a water heater vendor, visit their website and it will list those that do and those that dont meet the specs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The tank manufactuers make mobile home water heaters. Its on the data label. Choose a water heater vendor, visit their website and it will list those that do and those that dont meet the specs.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    Thanks for your prompt response. I had thought of that, but your suggestion made me decide to put that idea into practice. I have now assembled a list of 13 brands, many of which I had never heard of, and I have asked the first on the list (American Standard) for comments. I'll be taking them one-by-one. If I can't get any satisfactory replies, I'll just have to settle for what the contractors are offering. At least I will have tried. Thanks, again.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    I have only seen 30 and 40 gallon water heaters in manufactured homes. My local building centers do not stock 50 gallon water heaters for manufactured homes. The water heater manufacturers that I have contacted state that manufactured homes must have a water heater approved for the home. However, as you indicated, California seems to be ok with any type.

    Personally, I hate having conflicting information and would only use a water heater that is approved for manufactured homes.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    "I hate having conflicting information and would only use a water heater that is approved for manufactured homes."
    Yes, that's what I had tried to say. It's more what the people I have to deal with believe than the actual legal situation, whatever that is. That's why I'm looking for heaters with the stickers. Stickers end the discussion. As to the size, yes, I can get by with a 40-gallon heater (that's what I had until it blew up), but it's just that I have a very large bathtub. I usually use the shower, but occasionally I want something more. I think it's worth a little effort to try for what I want. That's what I'm doing today.




  6. #6
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    I did a quick Google search and found this 50 gallon gas water heater for mobile homes (I searched "manufactured home" but Google optioned "mobile home" so I took it): https://www.menards.com/main/plumbin...1052166&ipos=7

    I am sure there are others out there.

    Yes, all appliances installed in manufactured homes need to be listed for use in manufactured home - otherwise they have not been tested, listed, and approved for that use (which could be a lack of foresight on the manufacturer, or could be safety reasons ... I wouldn't take the chance to find out that it was for safety reasons).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    - - - Updated - - -

    You have to be careful with Google classifications. I've been burned in the past for believing them. Anyway, I now have fourteen brands. The problem is, this advertisement says nothing about the heater being approved for use in mobile homes. However, it does raise some questions: What does "Performance" FHR 80 gallons for 50-gallon model" mean? In fact, how does tank capacity translate into hot water in the bathtub? Sure, 50 gallons of hot water would make more than 50 gallons of suitable bathtub water, but you don't get 50 gallons of hot water at one time. As the hot water comes out of the tank, it is replaced by cold water. Another thing I've wondered about. Could it be that an old heater (mine blew up at 17 years) gives less hot water than a new heater? Maybe that's why I wasn't satisfied with it. I just don't know, but if that is so, a 40-gallon heater might be fine. I guess I'll have to google for "suitable water heater size".

    Oh, I just saw noticed the following in the specifications: Certified for manufactured (HUD) and modular construction. Does that mean that it is certified for installation in a mobile home? I'll ask them. Thanks.

    Last edited by Warren Jones; 01-11-2018 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Addition of important information

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    Here's something I just found that answers one of my questions:



  9. #9
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Jones View Post
    Oh, I just saw noticed the following in the specifications: Certified for manufactured (HUD) and modular construction. Does that mean that it is certified for installation in a mobile home? I'll ask them. Thanks.
    "Manufactured Home" is the proper name for what are commonly called "mobile homes". These are "manufactured" ('built in a "manufacturing plant") homes and are to meet the HUD code.

    "Modular Home" are constructed (typically built in a controlled environment( and are constructed to the building codes.

    Station "Certified for manufactured (HUD) and modular construction" is an indication that they are dual listed, meeting the requirements for the HUD code and the building codes.

    The line between "manufactured homes" and "modular homes" begin to blur the line separating the types of homes they are, but the end result is "what is it stated as being"?

    Basically ...

    - Manufactured homes depreciate in value (they are 'vehicles'l.

    - Modular homes appreciate in value.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    Also be aware of the different types of gas-fired water heaters.
    The conventional types need combustion air to enter the closet from hopefully outside, but could be drawing air through louvers from the interior.
    A direct vent water heater draws air in through a coaxial vent pipe, cooling the combustion air as well. The vent size is larger in diameter.
    A powered vent water heater has a blower on the vent pipe, but you may not find one approved for your home.

    If your tank is not mounted in a drain pan, have one installed with the new tank. A pipe goes down into the crawl space and saves your floor from water damage.
    Set a battery-powered water alarm in the pan, they cost less than $15, altho you can get the $100 model that calls your cell when it detects a leak.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 01-12-2018 at 11:28 AM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    If the following article is reliable, a 40-gallon tank should be enough for me, however, every time I took a bath using my old 40-gallon heater, I was disappointed at how quickly the hot water ran out. I might add that when I checked my tub's capacity by adding gallon after gallon, fifty gallons took me to within 2" of the tub's top. Could it be that old hot water heaters deliver less hot water than new ones? If that is true, I'm almost ready to replace my old 40-gallon water with a new 40-gallon water heater. Here's the article:
    Determining if a water heater is large enough for a bathtub is actually pretty simple; the water heater tank should be about 2/3 the size of the bathtub. For example, if you have a 40-gallon water heater, it would be just large enough for a 60-gallon bathtub. A very small bathtub might hold 40 gallons, while a larger single person bathtub could easily hold 100 gallons or more.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If the following article is reliable, a 40-gallon tank should be enough for me, however, every time I took a bath using my old 40-gallon heater, I was disappointed at how quickly the hot water ran out. I might add that when I checked my tub's capacity by adding gallon after gallon, fifty gallons took me to within 2" of the tub's top. Could it be that old hot water heaters deliver less hot water than new ones? If that is true, I'm almost ready to replace my old 40-gallon water with a new 40-gallon water heater. Here's the article:
    Determining if a water heater is large enough for a bathtub is actually pretty simple; the water heater tank should be about 2/3 the size of the bathtub. For example, if you have a 40-gallon water heater, it would be just large enough for a 60-gallon bathtub. A very small bathtub might hold 40 gallons, while a larger single person bathtub could easily hold 100 gallons or more.
    Here's another possible way I just found:
    In order to use the whirlpool at my bathtub, I cranked up the temperature on my water heater from a safe 120 degrees to a dangerous 140 degrees (or so). With 140 degree water coming out of the hot water spout at my bathtub, I could mix in a lot of cold water to get the water to a comfortable temperature, and I was able to fill up my bathtub.

    Last edited by Warren Jones; 01-12-2018 at 12:46 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    First of all, the old unit was a gas burning water heater, correct?

    Sure, if your gas burner was partly clogged or rusted up, you would have a smaller flame there. also there is a thermostat control that maybe was turned down too low for a fast recovery.
    A fast recovery is what you are looking for, and I'm pretty confident that a new 40 gallon will suffice.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    Hmm, I thought I was supposed to be notified when someone posted something in this thread. Well, I guess you just have to keep logging in to see the latest. Anyway, I'm beginning to think that maybe a 40-gallon tank will be enough. I happen to be in an area with very hard water, so maybe that affects the hot water flow and volume. Maybe over a period of seventeen years, the scale builds up and...I don't know. However, I do have to wonder why 40-gallons is supposed to be enough for a 2 to 3 member family but not enough for solitary me. I'm just not that strange. Well, I'll gather a bit more information on the subject and then decide what to do. One thing that sort of surprises me is that I've been without a hot water heater for at least two weeks, and it hasn't been a problem. Maybe I need a wife to nag me.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    One thing that might (or might not) have been an issue is if the inlet dip tube was detached or broken. The dip tube is supposed to bring cold water down to the bottom of the tank and limit the mixing of the cold and hot water. If the dip tube is broken/detached, then the water in the tank would temper much more rapidly.

    Or, the tub could be too great a capacity for the water heater to handle. I wonder if there are any tankless water heaters approved for manufactured homes.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    Thanks Gunner. I did not realize water heaters had drip tubes to mix water.
    I look for mixing valves.

    Plumbing-geek.com Drip tubes.
    When the inlet port of a water heater was at the bottom of the tank the outlet port was typically at the apex of the domed top of the tank. This created an elegantly simple and functional system, heavy cold water in at the bottom light hot water out at the top. At some point manufacturers abandoned this form in favor of both inlet and outlet ports at the top of the tank. Not only did they relocate the cold inlet, they relocated the hot outlet. It was no longer at the apex, it was offset which created symmetry between the hot and cold ports. I must be honest and admit that I don't understand why the change was embraced but it certainly looks to me like a classic example of form thwarting function. What did not change is the thing that never changes, the immutable laws of physics. They still needed the cold water to encounter the entire pool of water at the bottom of the tank. To do this they narrowed the inlet port at the base of its female thread and inserted a plastic tube that was flared at one end. This flare hung from the narrowed ring of the inlet port and once a pipe nipple was threaded into the port the tube was trapped into position. Incoming cold water was shunted by the tube that dipped into the tank from the new high inlet, the "dip tube" was created.

    Best.
    Robert

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    Huh? Just because somebody publishes something on a searchable website doesn't make it correct or intelligent. No offense.

    The dip tube was steel and they did sometimes rust off at the top. This is not something new, and usually these days the dip pipe lasts the life of the tank.
    This 17 yr old tank may well have dropped its pipe. You can find out if it rattles by picking it up and shaking it. Just kidding.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Huh? Just because somebody publishes something on a searchable website doesn't make it correct or intelligent. No offense.
    No offence taken. I thought it was a good article. It mentions "A dip tube is a plastic tube in your water heater that was installed by the manufacturer to insure that the water flowing in at the top of tank will mix only with the water dwelling within the bottom of the tank.' I never seen one.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The dip tube was steel and they did sometimes rust off at the top. This is not something new, and usually these days the dip pipe lasts the life of the tank.
    If they rust, corrode, at the top, then one can base that a vessel would be compromised. The sacrificial anoide is not doing it's job.

    Let see how the older tanks fare with new tanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    This 17 yr old tank may well have dropped its pipe. You can find out if it rattles by picking it up and shaking it. Just kidding.
    Maybe in hay day but now.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Replacing gas water heaters in mobile homes

    [QUOTE=Bruce Ramsey;277516]The tank manufactuers make mobile home water heaters. Its on the data label. Choose a water heater vendor, visit their website and it will list those that do and those that dont meet the specs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The tank manufactuers make mobile home water heaters. Its on the data label. Choose a water heater vendor, visit their website and it will list those that do and those that dont meet the specs.
    ---------------

    I had the same idea, but I didn't act on it (It seemed to be too much trouble); however, your comments motivated me to take action. I wrote to ten companies. Four answered-finally-but only TWO out of the ten gave me the answers that I needed. Anyway, not having all of the answers on all aspects of my problem, I haven't done anything. However, I've decided to take action next week even if that means buying a 40-gallon tank an crossing my fingers.

    - - - Updated - - -

    [QUOTE=Bruce Ramsey;277516]The tank manufactuers make mobile home water heaters. Its on the data label. Choose a water heater vendor, visit their website and it will list those that do and those that dont meet the specs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The tank manufactuers make mobile home water heaters. Its on the data label. Choose a water heater vendor, visit their website and it will list those that do and those that dont meet the specs.
    ---------------

    I had the same idea, but I didn't act on it (It seemed to be too much trouble); however, your comments motivated me to take action. I wrote to ten companies. Four answered-finally-but only TWO out of the ten gave me the answers that I needed. Anyway, not having all of the answers on all aspects of my problem, I haven't done anything. However, I've decided to take action next week even if that means buying a 40-gallon tank an crossing my fingers.


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