Where Is The Water Heater In A Mobile Home?

Where Is The Water Heater In A Mobile Home?

Where Is The Water Heater In A Mobile Home?

To the question of where is the water heater in a mobile home, we can respond that it is almost always located in a compartment access panel affixed with hex or square drive screws inside the master bedroom closet, near the bathroom, or kitchen window wherein piping networks are located.

Older mobile homes have the access panel on an outside wall, usually next to a bathroom or kitchen window. Also, there is often an on/off switch in or near the bathroom that glows red when the water heater is turned on. 

It looks like a light switch and in some cases does not even turn red, so it is normal to become confused.

Newer mobile homes locate the water heater compartment access panel in the master bedroom closet or laundry. The raised panel with a narrow trim piece around it is easy to recognize, and the screws typically each have a snap-off cover piece to conceal the head.

So then, if your mobile home or manufactured home is relatively new, check behind an access panel in the master bedroom closet, or most commonly find them with an outside access door.

You will most likely have to remove a panel at one end of the master closet to be able to see the water heater. It is probably strapped to the wall with both water lines and the relief valve piped right in the way if you need to replace it.

Locations Under The Mobile Home

If you get under the house, look for an uncapped 3/4″ or 1/2″ water supply pipe. There should be a pipe extending down through the vapor barrier from the water heater pop-off valve. If this does not help, usually they are near other sources of plumbing like the bathroom or utility room.

Where Are Gas Water Heaters Installed In A Mobile Home?

The location of a mobile home water heater is especially important if it is a gas unit. A water heater located inside a mobile home, such as in a closet or alcove with no outside access, must be a sealed-combustion unit so that there is no connection between the heater’s intake and exhaust and the home’s ambient air. A gas water heater that is located in an exterior compartment—with an access door only on the outside of the home—can be a standard gas water heater that is approved for mobile home use.

Other Frequent Locations

If you have tried looking in all these locations and still can’t find the water heater, here are several other possibilities:

  1. Sometimes a homeowner installs new siding on an older mobile home and sides right over the access panel, making it disappear. Yes, it’s silly, but it does happen.
  2. When a long-term leak in the water heater compartment rots out the floor, some ingenious homeowners put a low-boy (short and wide) water heater on the ground directly under the compartment. Check in the crawl space.
  3. If the homeowner decided to upgrade to a larger water heater that does not fit in the compartment, it may have been moved to a shed on the ground next to the exterior wall of the compartment, or to a detached shed, carport storage room, or well house.

Location Of The Switch For On And Off

After you have found where is the water heater in a mobile home, found the compartment, and opened it, you have to look for the switch.

Normally, it is located inside the bathroom or just outside it. If it is OFF, you will not have hot water even when the tank is full of water or the tankless vessel is working fine.

Another location for an on/off switch is mounted over the cover plate for the heating element at the side of the water heater. If you have checked the circuit breaker in the electric panel and it’s “ON,” but you still do not have hot water, try looking around for a switch.

What To Do After Finding Where Is The Water Heater In A Mobile Home?

Because getting at a mobile home water heater requires a few minutes work to remove the 6 or 8 screws securing the cover panel in place, it rarely gets checked for leakage or corrosion unless it stops working. That’s a shame because, when a problem does occur, it may not get noticed until water seeps into an adjacent room. At that point, there is likely to be structural damage to the floor, wet insulation under it and mold growth in the drywall of the compartment. To head off this potentially expensive problem, we recommend opening the compartment once a year for a quick look around.

 If you determine that your water heater needs replacement after you find it, only a water heater rated for installation in mobile homes should be used.

Most of the time, the water heater in your manufactured home can be located near the home’s furnace. Sometimes, water heaters can be found in your primary bedroom closet. It could also be found in a utility closet, in the laundry room or even in a hallway hidden behind an access panel that looks just like your wall. In the Breeze single wide model, the water heater is actually in the closet of the bedroom at the end of the home!

If you have a hard time finding your water heater, look in one of those common manufactured home water heater locations for an access panel with batten strips surrounding it if your home has wallboards. If your home has drywall, check your closets or utility room. All water heater access panels on new Clayton Built® homes are interior access panels, not exterior.

How to access your hot water heater – Wallboard

To access your water heater for repair or temperature adjustment, remove the batten strips surrounding the wall board that covers up your heater. Then you should see your water heater and its different hook ups.

How to drain your hot water heater

Fortunately, water heaters are pretty self-maintaining. Your water heater does not need much maintenance, but if you want to change the temperature or drain your hot water heater, it’s not difficult to access. For instance, some people who vacation in the winter and do not want to leave their heat on while they are away will turn off their breakers and drain all the plumbing in their home so the pipes will not freeze and burst while they are away.

To get to your water heater, remove the access panel and look for the hook up valves at the bottom of your water heater. This is where you can attach the proper hoses for drainage. Make sure to turn off your breakers first! Then you can drain your water heater.

Where Is The Water Heater In A 1975 Mobile Home?

In a mobile home or manufactured home from 1975 or earlier, the water heater is located in a closed compartment. The compartment is closed with at least four perimetral screws and requires a tool to be opened.

However, the daily operation is performed via a switch that looks like a light switch that I have found sometimes inside the bathroom.

Photo of author

BY M. Kogan

Hello, I am Marcio. I am an architect and designer, alma mater is Mackenzie. Retired in theory, but an architect never retires completely. Along with architectural projects, I am a filmmaker and have completed some short documentaries. Filmmaking and design are my passions. In HomeQN I write about home decoration and foundations. The goal is to teach homeowners to DYI as much as possible, and when this is not possible, enable them through knowledge, to evaluate service quotations and choose the best service technicians.

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