Are you comfortable showering or doing something else in your mobile home without hot water in the winter? Most likely not! With a mobile home water heater, you can have hot water while traveling and enjoy your time in your mobile home or RV.
However, if you are new to mobile homes, you may be unsure whether to get a standard heater or a bathroom heater. If this sounds like you, read our article that will guide you through the difference between mobile home water heater and standard water heater systems.
What Are Mobile Home Water Heaters?
The name aptly describes the device’s objective. There are a lot of people living in caravan-style mobile homes, and these remarkable vehicles now have the option of having a heater installed inside them. However, you won’t be able to use your regular water heater in a mobile home.
Mobile home water heaters are perfect for mobile homes, not to mention they’re at par with conventional water heaters in terms of robustness and dependability.
Due to space limitations, mobile home water heaters are often smaller than regular home water heaters, with an average capacity of 30 gallons. With that being said, feel free to opt for a 40-gallon water heater if you have a bigger mobile home.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) sets the regulations that differentiate mobile home water heaters from standard heaters. It’s worth noting that only H.U.D.-approved water heaters are allowed to be used in mobile homes.
What Are Regular Water Heaters?
Traditional or regular tank-type water heaters, fueled by either electricity or gas, are the kind of water heaters you’ll find in most households, and for a good reason — they are immensely versatile, allowing you to use them for multiple purposes.
However, you won’t be able to install such a unit in a mobile home. Regular water heaters also come with code compliances, describing the minimum requirements a water heater must meet to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Difference Between Mobile Home Water Heater and Regular Water Heater
Even though mobile and regular water heaters perform the same task, the following differences explain why you cannot use them interchangeably in all situations:
Source of Fuel
For a standard water heater, you’ll need to use either gas or propane as a fuel source. However, a mobile water heater’s propane and gas binds are interchangeable, meaning both gas and propane power options are offered in one unit. Perhaps this feature is why mobile water heaters are a little more expensive than their peers.
T&P Valve and Fixed Temperature Setting
Traditional water heaters have temperature controls, allowing you to change the temperature as needed. On the other hand, you cannot adjust the temperature and pressure relief valve on mobile water heaters.
The cold and hot water connections are the most visible differences between the two types of water heaters we’re discussing. These connections are found at the top of a typical water heater. However, a mobile home heater has a hot water inlet connection on the top and a cold water inlet connection on the side of the unit.
The presence of two inlets at each end prevents the heater from collecting water within the unit. While this feature ensures more efficient water flow, it prevents it from being used for more demanding tasks, which a conventional water heater can easily do!
A regular water heater demands a lot of room. Since most mobile homes will not have the same space as a standard home, water heaters in mobile homes are often much smaller.
Also, as previously highlighted, a mobile water heater’s gallon size ranges from 30 to 40 gallons, so expect your hot water to run out more often.
A standout feature of mobile heaters is that there are no restrictions on where you can install the water heater. They are generally placed near the furnace, but there’s no reason why you cannot place them in the master bedroom closet!
A strapping kit is necessary since the H.U.D. requirements for mobile home water heaters demand that they are firmly mounted. Since a typical water heater is designed to stay put and not travel about, you won’t find them tagging along with this type of kit. But, this isn’t to say that regular water heaters don’t need support — you’ll need to buy a strapping kit separately or install the water heater yourself.
Types of Mobile Home Water Heaters
There are two types of water heaters for mobile homes: one that runs on natural gas and the other on electricity.
Gas-powered water heaters use propane or natural gas to heat water stored in a tank. They also use less electricity to run with virtually the same efficiency as other models. However, gas water heaters are large and eat up a lot of room.
Electric water heaters are popular due to their durability, small size, and low water heating expenses. They’re also less expensive than those that run on gas. But, they’re also less efficient than solar-powered or natural gas water heaters, and they rely on standby power to keep their temperature consistent.
Tankless Water Heater
As the name implies, these water heaters do not have a tank. They instantly and on-demand heat water. Also, these tankless water heaters don’t take up as much space as their tank-based counterparts, nor do they waste energy on preheating stored water that may cool before you can use it.
We hope you’re now fully aware of the difference between mobile home water heater and regular water heater systems. In case you’re still wondering whether you can use a typical home water heater in your mobile home, well, you can’t!
Indeed, mobile home water heaters are more expensive than standard ones, but they’re worthwhile and splurge-worthy investments since they occupy less space and can be carried around in an RV.