water heater replacement

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water heater replacement

Postby solden » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:43 pm

Hi, has anybody ever replaced there mobile gas water heater with a standard gas water heater and just use a direct vent, I see no difference in the specifications other than direct venting
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Re: water heater replacement

Postby JD » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:43 pm

The major difference between a MH water heater and std water heater is, only a HUD approved mobile home water heater is allowed to be installed in a mobile home. While this may not seem important to you now, this could be a big issue if there is ever a fire mishap regarding the water heater and it could adversely affect your home owners insurance. This could also result in a ding against you if you ever decide to sell the home.

A direct vent water heater is required when the water heater is accessed from inside of the home and some jurisdictions that require direct vent in all mobile homes. An atmospheric water heater can be installed when the water heater access door is on the exterior of the home and allowed by local code.

There are very minor differences between the two water heaters in question.
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Re: water heater replacement

Postby solden » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:59 pm

yes I understand this but, I would direct vent the std water heater which would make the same as a mh water heater, just minus the sticker and we have no codes in Iowa or local for mobile homes. so the only thing is would be Insurance
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Re: water heater replacement

Postby 1987Commodore » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:57 pm

A mh wh has the combustion area pretty well sealed from intake to exhaust, a standard wh is not. Besides increased fire risk, you also greatly increase the chances of a carbon monoxide incident from backdrafts down the flue. Not a good thing to risk your lives over.
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Re: water heater replacement

Postby solden » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:43 pm

I disagree with that I talked to rep. at richmond and they said interior is the same , in fact btu rating is lower on a std tank. if that were the case they would all be a fire hazard
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Re: water heater replacement

Postby JD » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:51 pm

solden, I understand how you feel and 20 years ago, installing std water heaters in mobile homes was common place. Even our local and state inspectors signed off on them. But it is not that way anymore, not here anyways. There are some differences in the units, as Commodore said. If you look at the bottom of a std WH, you will see a square intake vent, which is not on a MH approved unit. A smaller diameter, better insulation that base grade and water loading in from the side are not big differences, but they are different. Yeah, I know the stickers don't seem like a big deal, but HUD feels differently about the mobile home safety stickers. So with safety and legal differences, I sure wouldn't install a std water heater in a mobile home. Even if your local code does not go beyond HUD code, HUD is nationwide escept for Indian reservations and such.

So there is the info. I doubt that you will find many people here at this forum that would say it is OK to install a non-approved water heater.

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Re: water heater replacement

Postby Greg » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:14 pm

Bottom line here is It's your life, just don't jeopardize the lives of others.

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Re: water heater replacement

Postby solden » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:57 pm

OK the mh water that i am looking at is a Ge.brand it loads cold from the top,and my mh heater that i have has two 3" holes in the bottom for draw plus the center. so whats the difference between square or round. also I cannot find any Insulation material or amount different in any brand they all use the same,also the std Ge. and Richmond are smaller diameter and about an inch difference in height. I was not asking for an OK, but if someone out there has switched that's all . because I think we getting screwed when it comes to pricing that's all. thanks for everybody's comments
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Re: water heater replacement

Postby Greg » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:29 pm

You should be able to find the Square to round flanges if you need them. The other way to go would be an Electric unit if you have enough room to add a breaker in you box. Cost less too.

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Re: water heater replacement

Postby jpingram5 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:27 pm

1987Commodore wrote:A mh wh has the combustion area pretty well sealed from intake to exhaust, a standard wh is not. Besides increased fire risk, you also greatly increase the chances of a carbon monoxide incident from backdrafts down the flue. Not a good thing to risk your lives over.


It's either sealed combustion or not. No "pretty well". Why would a gas water heater in a conventional home not be as sealed as well as a mobile home unit? Gas is no joke and there's no room for error. I'm not knocking on you but I agree with solden. These companies that sell this "mobile home" certified equipment are ripping us off. The main concern is this, it needs to be a sealed combustion unit with direct venting. If it is sealed combustion & direct vent you will be fine. Yes the water connections maybe different but nothing a plumber or someone with experience can't do.

I install direct vent sealed combustion water heaters that weren't mobile home certified only due to the fact that there was no field conversion kit for LP to NAT. Now they have a conversion kit and are certified.
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Re: water heater replacement

Postby jpingram5 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:39 pm

And just so you understand. If you have home owners insurance or a warranty on the home. Installing anything that is not approved for use in a mobile will void the warranty and your insurance company will use that against you also in the event of an accident. Thats the risk you have to understand also.
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Re: water heater replacement

Postby Greg » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:52 pm

jpingram5, MH approved units draw combustion air from the OUTSIDE not the interior of the home as a conventional home unit. Should a backdraft happen the carbon monoxide will be directed outside the home not into it.

Are companies that manufacturing MH approved units ripping us off? Maybe, but you are also paying for an insurance policy when you buy one.

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Re: water heater replacement

Postby jpingram5 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:15 am

Greg wrote:jpingram5, MH approved units draw combustion air from the OUTSIDE not the interior of the home as a conventional home unit. Should a backdraft happen the carbon monoxide will be directed outside the home not into it.

Are companies that manufacturing MH approved units ripping us off? Maybe, but you are also paying for an insurance policy when you buy one.

Greg


Yes, you are completely correct about the MH units drawing air from outside. And yes, SOME conventional units draw air from inside, but there are also units that draw from outside. The danger you causing is insurance issues if a problem occurs. Which is something you need to think about.

That's why you get a Direct Vent system & Sealed Combustion. That means it draws fresh air from outside & sealed combustion meaning it won't draw air from inside. It's a sealed chamber. I started comparing a lot of MH stuff to conventional when I went to switch my AC for a HP and it was outrageous. I got a conventional setup that works perfectly fine for about $1,000 less then what I would have payed for the MH certified one. What's the difference you wonder? The coil was a little bigger but I fabricated a custom cabinet for it and it didn't have a plate that said it was HUD approved for manufactured homes. That's it, nothing unsafe about it. My Rinnai tankless LP water heater is direct vent sealed system and is officialy now certified for MH use. Why was it certified? Because now you can buy a conversion kit for LP & NAT for it. As long as it is sealed combustion direct vent you will be fine.

I'm not trying to convince people to use equipment not certified, but he wanted to know what's the difference and that's what I'm trying to explain. There's not much of difference except one violates your insurance policy and the other doesn't.
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