water heater replacement

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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lrjester

Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:06 am

Hello to all again. I was reading the post on water heater temp fluc. I have a water heater question for Maureen and anyone else who can answer.(Not water temp fluc).
How difficult is it to replace the water heater in a mobile home? Mine is only 3 yrs old, but the previous owners had this one replaced for the original...but, it was put in very shoddy. The cold water intake/hot water out have the copper flex piping going into/out of the tank. Problem is, the compression fittings were never tightened enough, so now it leaks around the plastic rings and has corroded things badly. I need to replace the whole thing, but I only seem to find plumbers who won't work in mobiles or charge double. I would do it myself if it is do-able. It's the typical mobile home mess. Thanks in advance to any help!!
Linda


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Yanita
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Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:18 am

Hi Linda,

I am going to move this to the repair forum, you will get a response much quicker there!

~Yanita~
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

lrjester

Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:31 am

Thanks Yanita. I was just browsing thru the topics, (while trying to stay awake), and thought I was in the right one. :oops:

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Greg
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Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:16 pm

How hard depends on a few things, is it gas or electric? How hard is it to get to and finally is it full of rust, lime, etc. Usually it is not a hard job, but always plan for the worst. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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Maureen
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Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:50 pm

Greg's correct! A lot depends on the type of water heater you have, gas or electric. If it's full of rust and sediment, it can get really heavy! I know, I have a back yard decoration right now that resembles an old water heater LOL! We've got to get a few of Ryan's friends to get it into a truck to haul it away.

Another factor that comes into play is whether you have an outside water heater closet, or inside. Ours is outside. It was a chore getting that heater up into the closet, 3 feet off the ground.

It took us about an hour. about 20 minutes of that to get the old heater out. Two guys to lift it up and myself and a friend to hook it up. It was in January and quite cold outside. This was a gas water heater.

Make sure that you purchase a mobile home rated water heater, if gas! We did upgrade to a 40 gallon from a 30. Well worth the extra money! Make sure that you have the room in your closet first!

Maureen

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artzypantz

Wed May 02, 2007 1:24 pm

Maureen,
I know this sounds stupid, but how do you know if your W.H. closet is big enough? I need to replace my W.H. soon and would like to have 40 gal. Mine is indoors. I haven't done the measurements yet, nor do i even know what i have, except its gas & at least 9 years old.
Is there a certain amount of space you must have around the sides of the W.H.? (ceiling space is no problem right now as its on the floor and not raised up as some of the small electric W.H. i have seen.)
Thanks!
Tonia

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Greg
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Wed May 02, 2007 5:44 pm

I know there is a clearance spec. but I do not know off the top of my head what it is, you could check some of the water heater web sites and see if they list it or check with a home center and see if it is on the box. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

artzypantz

Wed May 02, 2007 6:20 pm

Thanks Greg!

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Maureen
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Wed May 02, 2007 11:49 pm

Yep, Greg's correct! All you need to do is locate a water heater that you're interested in. They will give the clearance recommendations for side and height clearance. I believe our new water heater has at least 6 inches on all sides. Plenty of room above and under.

In our outdoor closet, it originally had a 40 gallon water heater. It was replaced with a 30 gallon heater, because the home was barely used for about 20 years. It was a vacation home of sorts. I know this because my neighbor helped replace the 30 gallon heater years ago.

Just remember to purchase a mobile home approved gas water heater! That is also very important!

Maureen 8)
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.
'Plato'

artzypantz

Thu May 03, 2007 9:18 pm

Hi Maureen! Thank you so much for the info! I hope i am as lucky as you! Last time i was in the closet was a year ago, (trying to remember) i think there was about that much space on each side except where the doorwall is, i'm almost sure there wasn't that much space there.
Gosh i hope theres already a 40 gal there! not to sure how much difference between the 30 & 40 gal tanks.
I already learned last year to replace with mobile home w.h. from reading posts here at M.H.R.F. :D (thank you all!) I've got my eye on a 40 gal gas m.h. heater at menards, the only place in town that has one. I'd love to go electric on demand, but thats a whole can of worms i can't open.
I plan to replace the particle board floor with 3/4" hardwood plywood and put a W.H. pan under it when the jobs done just for good measure as its a 1977 home.
Thanks again for your help!
Enjoy your evening!
Tonia

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Maureen
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Thu May 03, 2007 11:20 pm

Hi Tonia,

You're on the right track with everything you've learned. You may or may not be able to fit a 40 gallon heater in the closet. Look at your old water heater. It will have labels on it as to how many gallons it is.

Our new heater is a bit wider around than the old one. Like I said before, the original was a 40 gallon, so the space was there.

One word of caution though, please inspect your water heater often. Especially an inside heater. Even if you replace the subfloor there and the water heater, with a drip pan, a few years down the road the heater could fail and cause major damage to other parts of your home. Make it a habit to check it once a month or two. Also follow the maintenance instructions for a new water heater!

I'm always amazed how few folks actually maintain their water heater! It's just as important as any other appliance in the home. Maintenance extends the life of any appliance.

Maureen 8)
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.
'Plato'

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Fri May 04, 2007 10:50 am

Water heaters come in all sorts of sizes. You can get a 40gal. water heater in a regular, tall and short model. The difference in hight is the taller the unit the smaller in circumference which gives you more clearance if needed. Hope this helps.
Also it is not that much to change to electric. You just have to have a 220 volt line run from your electric panel to the heater closet and take out or cap the gas line. (Best done by an electrician and plumber)

Ron

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Robert
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Fri May 04, 2007 6:13 pm

Hi,

Here's a good read for now or in the future:

http://mobilehomerepair.com/article19whconv.html


Take care and best wishes,
Robert
Some people are Humbly Grateful, while some are Grumbly Hateful.................... Which one are you ?

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Maureen
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Sat May 05, 2007 12:13 am

Hi Ron,

Yes, electric water heaters come in all shapes and sizes. Electric water heaters are an easy fix!

She's got a gas water heater. This has to be mobile home rated, and that really narrows down the size options available.

Hot water heaters aren't one type, or size, easy fix in our homes.

Maureen 8)
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.
'Plato'

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Harry
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Sat May 05, 2007 7:31 am

Hi

Also ... Mark's Repair Manual Chapter 15 covers water heater removal, installation, troubleshooting and tips.

We converted from gas to electric and love it.

Good luck.

Harry
Aside from the roof leak, soft floors, rats, mice and bursted plumbing ........ how do you like it?

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