Mobile homeowners typically have one of two types of water heaters: gas or electric. Below we’ve outlined steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix issues with both models.
Gas hot water heaters
The first thing you need to check with a gas hot water heater is its pilot light. This is the small gas flame located inside the metal covering at the bottom of the water heater that serves as the ignition source for your water heater. Check to see if the light is on or off before proceeding.
If your pilot light is off, the first thing you want to do is try to relight it. Please follow this step-by-step guide to relighting your pilot light if you’ve never tried this before. Note that this process may be different for each gas water heater. There should be a label on your gas water heater that gives instructions for relighting your specific model.
If there’s still no heat in the home after you’ve successfully re-lit the pilot light, then there may be an issue with the heater’s thermocouple. The thermocouple is responsible for opening the main gas valve in the pilot housing to ignite the burners. Check out this guide on how to replace your thermocouple if this is the issue. Luckily for you, this is a pretty inexpensive replacement and can be accomplished without the help of a professional if you have the right tools.
Another common source of issues is the gas valve. The gas valve is responsible for controlling the flow of gas to the pilot light and to the burner – it’s commonly located on the outside of the burner. There’s a good chance your gas valve is at fault if you cannot light your burner and the thermocouple is in working condition. It’s recommended that less experienced DIYers call a professional plumber to fix the gas valve, as there are a lot of potentially dangerous situations that can result from working with gas lines. Those who feel comfortable enough doing this themselves can check out this DIY tutorial.
Other potential issues include a broken thermostat, a rusted out burner, sediment build-up in the tank or a wrong temperature setting. The issue could also, unfortunately, lie in the size of your gas heater. You should consult with an expert in your area to see if your tank is able to meet your needs.
Something important to note: do not under any circumstances try to fix a gas water heater yourself if you smell leaking gas. This is a job for the professionals only! Before you call a plumber or gas utility specialist, please shut the pilot light off and close the main gas valve. You should also avoid turning on any electrical power switches.
Electric water heaters
A lack of hot water can oftentimes be the result of a loss of power with the electric water heater. You’ll want to first check your electric water heater’s circuit breaker. Circuit breakers are known to trip, so your fix could be as simple as resetting the breaker. You should also check to see if the breaker has a blown fuse or if it’s warm to the touch. A blown fuse should be pretty obvious by the look of it or if you detect a burnt smell.
If your circuit breaker is in working condition and you still don’t have heat, the next thing you should check is the electric water heater’s heating elements. An electric water heater has two heating elements located at the top and bottom of the machine – also known as the upper and lower heating elements. Like the circuit breaker, you have to measure the electric current to get an idea if they’re in working condition. The heating elements will need to be replaced if your reading displays infinite resistance (this is indicated by “O.L.”) or if the needle is staying on the infinity sign located on the left side of the analog meter. Check out this guide to testing and replacing the heating elements to get a better idea of this process.
Quick tip: issues isolated in the upper or lower heating elements have common signs. Lukewarm water is typically contributed to a defective upper heating element, while short spurts of hot water can be sourced back to the lower heating element.
A lack of hot water can also be the result of a faulty thermostat. A typical electric water heater will have two thermostats for the upper and lower heating elements. Testing the thermostats can be a complicated process that you may want to leave to the professionals. Take a look at this step-by-step tutorial to get an idea of what it will take.
Like a gas water heater, there may also be a buildup of sediment at the bottom of your electric water heater. Your water heater will make a lot of noise when you turn it on if this is the issue. Eliminating this problem is as simple as flushing your tank. It’s recommended you do this every six to 12 months to avoid any future buildup.
Please call a professional immediately if the floor next to your electric water heater is flooded with water. You won’t be able to repair an electric water heater if it’s leaking. You should also call a professional if you don’t have any experience working with wires and testing electric currents. There’s a good chance you won’t have the required materials to conduct these tests.
No need to panic if there’s no hot water in your mobile home…
Even though having no hot water in your mobile home can be a significant disruption, you now know how to troubleshoot the problem and repair it yourself. Please note that our guide only covered troubleshooting methods for when your mobile home has zero hot water. Repairs can differ if you have an inadequate supply of hot water, water leaks or rust-colored water. Don’t forget to call a professional if repairs are serious or outside of your skillset. If you have no water in your mobile home at all, then the issue could be frozen pipes.