We will look at the difference between these two water heating systems and look at the various types, sizes, and various features of a mobile water heater.
Differences between the mobile home water heater and a house water heater
Although the two types of water heaters achieve the same goal, the following discrepancies explain why they cannot be used interchangeably in every situation.
Adjustable water temperature
Both mobile homes and regular water heaters have temperature and pressure valves. Traditional water heaters come with adjustable temperature setting to allow the owner to adjust the water temperature as needed.
Mobile water heaters have temperature and pressure relief valves that are not adjustable.
Source of fuel
Mobile home water heaters can be powered by both natural gas and propane. This is because as you move from one campground to another in a mobile home, the available fuel may not be standard. These heaters have two orifices so that you can use either fuel.
Providing the two options comes with unique design challenges, which boil down to the high cost of mobile home water heaters.
Regular water heaters, on the other hand, are designed to utilize only one type of fuel.
Hot and cold water connections
By default, regular water heaters have cold and hot water connections at the top of the tank. Mobile home water heaters usually have the hot water connection at the top, while the cold water inlet is on the side of the tank.
Some mobile home water heaters have both cold and hot connections on the side of the tank.
A mobile home water heater is required to be tightly secured in place. These heaters will often come with a strapping kit on purchase for secure mounting.
Conversely, regular home water heater units do not come with strapping equipment. This doesn’t mean that they do not require substantial support. You have to purchase a strapping kit separately or mount the water heater yourself.
Standard water heaters are designed for installation over non-combustible flooring. Contrariwise, mobile home water heaters can be mounted over a combustible floor. These heaters cannot damage your motorhome floor in operation.
Read more: Does solar attic fan works for mobile home.
Mobile home water heater features
Mobile homes are typically smaller than traditional homes. This brings space consciousness to the forefront for anyone who owns a motorhome. One area where space economy comes in place is the size of the water heater.
Traditional home water heaters have high capacities, with some as large as 60 gallons, while the average mobile home may have a 40-gallon heater. If your home demand for hot water is high, you can install an even bigger heater.
You are also not limited on where the water heater can be mounted. The larger ones are typically installed in the basement or at the back of the garage.
On the other hand, a mobile home is short of space and locations that can conveniently support the water heater. Typically, the heater is installed close to the furnace or in the master bedroom in some cases.
The location of the heater is primarily determined by the space available. Depending on the size, you may still be able to install the heater in the laundry room or the utility closet. Some water heater designs can now be tucked away behind the wall panel.
Mobile home water heaters are generally smaller than traditional home water heaters due to space constraints. The most common capacity is 30-gallon, although some larger mobile homes do accommodate 40-gallon water heaters. If you like modifying things, you can also squeeze a few things in your average-sized motorhome to accommodate the 40-gallon water heater.
The 30-gallon heater is usually sufficient for the occupants of a mobile home. If you have more people with you, you can invest in a tank-less water heater for convenience.
Types of mobile home water heaters
Mobile home water heaters can be categorized depending on the heating mode and whether or not the heater has a tank.
Gas vs. Electric heaters
Mobile water heaters can also use electricity, alongside gas or propane, as we saw earlier. The two options have their advantages and disadvantages, which you should carefully consider before purchasing.
Gas water heaters
The most notable thing about these is that they are expensive than the electric heaters. Nevertheless, gas water heaters are more adaptable to various circumstances. Most campsites provide natural gas or propane as fuel, even though these sites might be off the grid.
Electric water heaters
These heaters are less expensive, but they use only electricity. Although electricity hookup points are accessible from most camping grounds, if there is a major outage due to disruption, you only have your battery pack to power the heater. Batteries are usually never sufficient for heating.
Still, a mobile home must have the proper electrical wiring to operate an electric water heater safely. If your mobile home wasn’t designed for higher electric currents, you’d need a significant overhaul of the wiring system to accommodate the new energy needs.
Tank vs. Tankless heaters
A mobile heater may or may not have a water reservoir. Your choice mainly depends on energy requirements and convenience.
As the name suggests, these heaters do not have a tank. They heat water instantly and on-demand. The main advantage here is that they save on energy. Water is heated as needed without wasting energy on preheating the stored water, which sometimes cools off before it can be used.
Tank-less water heaters are also space-economical, which is a huge plus for small mobile homeowners.
Tanked water heaters are less expensive. They still do not have special requirements for installation, unlike the tank-less types.
Tankless heaters also have precise venting requirements, which could mean high installation costs.
As you can see, mobile home water heaters are quite different from regular water heaters. If you have been wondering whether you can use a traditional home water heater in your mobile home, it is now clear that this is not possible without spending unnecessarily high costs.
The different types of mobile home water heaters available are suited for unique situations. Ensure you choose the right one depending on your specific needs, as described above.