hot water heater.......

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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Bamaspek
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:30 pm

Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:51 am

No hot water tonight. Not a breaker issue. Either way I knew this day would come , as there is no access panel to get to the hot water heater. :evil: This is a double wide and the HWH is behind the wall in a bathroom(or so I assume). I say this because there is no exterior vent on that wall and the exterior wood paneling has no access panel. The area where it must be is behind a tub and a built in medicine cabinet.

I have done work underneath, but cant remember a vent or water lines visible in that area either, but its the only place with a interior area unaccounted for. :? I will look tomorrow morning underneath again.

I should have dealt with this before it became a larger problem, and I knew when we set the place up that no access to the hot water was going to be a problem, but i have been putting out the big fires after moving and setting up this older DW. Rotted rim joists and flooring, still is not level, bad sliding doors and rotted siding etc, etc, ....

OK so the question...assuming I find the hidden Hot water heater...and I remove the 4x8 sheet of hardie board siding panel... and fix whatever the problem is.... then what? Do Ineed to cut a man sized door in the side of my house and install a vent?


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JD
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Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:37 am

You said, "Not a breaker issue", which tells me you have an electric water heater. Electric water heaters do not require ventilation. All of the electrics that I have worked with, that were totally enclosed, were accessed by removing an interior panel in the utility room. Not sure if that will be your case though.
☯JD♫
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All information and advice given is for entertainment and informational purposes only. The person doing the work is solely responsible to insure that their work complies with their local building code and OSHA safety regulations.

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flcruising
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Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:17 pm

If you do some exploring inside the closets, you may find an access panel there. Look around for some dead wall cavities, ie, where the room or closet space doesn't continue all the way to the adjacent wall. (If that makes any sense). Otherwise, you should be able to get underneath and see a pipe sticking out of the belly for the T&P valve. Also, the water heater is usually located in the vicinity of where the water line enters the home.
[color=blue]Aaron[/color]

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Greg
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Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:06 pm

Start in the closet of the master bedroom. Most of the electrics I have seen are located behind a panel there. Look for screws holding a panel. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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Yanita
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Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:13 pm

Hi,

You said older home...the info you have been given is great...but in my home that hidden dead space is to the right of my stove under he counter! I had to slide the stove out and cut an access panel there. Just another place to look.

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


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Brenda (OH)
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Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:01 pm

hey, the good news is, and least it did not leak and you located the water heater that way!!!I had one that was back to back to the furnace, it was in the closet behind a wall... it is usually the end of the closet closest to the center of the mobile home, not the end of the closet closest to the exterior wall, happy hunting.... Brenda

Bamaspek
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:30 pm

Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:43 pm

Well, I confirmed the hot water heater was located in a "dead" space behind the shower unit and a bedroom wall. There was no access panel at all.

After taking of another 4x8 piece of siding ( Previous post was me replacing 3 pieces of siding along with all the bathroom floor joists and main outer joist), I found the unit. Obviously the bathroom at some point was remodeled and this put in before the new shower so now there is no interior access.

I worked form the outside between two studs to remove both element and found them fine...turns out the thermostat was bad allowing both elements to come on at the same time tripping the breaker. Replaced that, which was no small feat since the water heater was facing 90 degrees away from where I had my arm squeezed through! After I refilled the unit I noticed a little water behind the unit where I could barely see since half the unit was still obscured from the exterior siding. Pulled another piece of siding off and the sheetrock was damp and the floor was damo...dried it and alittle water came out again. :evil:

We have hot water tonight but another project again...... I'll either have to remove the bedroom wall or cut load bearing studs out to replace it!!!!!!!! :evil: :evil: Or remove the bathtub :shock:

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bell30655
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Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:13 am

I'm glad you found a simple solution for yours. Trust me it could be much worse. I'm sure you'll be installing an access panel to make things easier if you ever have to get to this thing again.

My 1991 Southwind 14 X 70 also started tripping the power breaker this week. After I moved the washer & dryer I was able to remove an access panel see most of the water heater. It appears to have a small leak. Worse, it appears that it may have been leaking for years! Finally, it leaked across the contact wires causing the breaker to do its job which alerted me to the issue. I've learned my lesson. The water heater will be on my monthly inspection of the unit tour.

Did you notice that I said the access panel allows me to "see" the unit? It's going to take some work to get this thing out and replace it. This electric water heater will not be coming out without removal of some 2 X 4's. I can't figure out how the heck they got the water heater in when they manufactured the home. From the top before the roof was put on? Set it in before the walls were framed??

On the positive side, I close on my 1997 Fleetwood Spring Hill (70 X 28) on 1.29 acres on February 7th!!! So, I guess I'll be taking cold showers for the next couple of weeks.

Northern Star
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Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:55 am

>>>>>>>>Obviously the bathroom at some point was remodeled and this put in before the new shower so now there is no interior access.

I'd track down the knucklehead who did this and make them change it out! :-)

>>>>>>>> but in my home that hidden dead space is to the right of my stove under he counter!

My 1971 Northern Star has a similar set up, but you could access it through the sink cabinet doors. Needless to say there were some choice words uttered while I changed it. This was a 20 gal. low boy heater.

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Greg
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Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:54 pm

If you are not planning to, Do yourself a favor and buy a NEW unit and be done with the problem. You really don't want to keep having to open things up to make repairs.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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bell30655
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:41 am

The water heater decided it wanted me to open the wall up last night rather than wait a couple weeks! Now it has a leak on top!!! Can anyone say, "New access panel" I removed a small piece of wall.
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flcruising
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:35 pm

You mean fountain...?!
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