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mfpeggyj
2nd existing water heater discovered

A little background first--
the house was built in 1948. It is less than 1100 sq ft. A few years ago, we were having issues with no hot water to some but not all parts of the home. After alot of head scratching and many,many questions with no agreement among anyone, we replaced the elements in the 1970's water heater (electric) and problem was resolved. In May 2011, that water heater failed, the valve rusted to the point of causing water to spew from the base of the valve. Instead of trying to patch it, we replaced it.
The water heater is built into its own closet in a small bathroom. Inside this bathroom are built in (to the wall) drawers with a cupboard. We removed one drawer last week, and coincidentally saw a big tank behind it. Upon further look, found a second water heater, in use. It is completely built into the wall with no access. One wall is shared with a wall oven. Another with the toilet. The water heater must be at least 50 years old or more. Likely it was walled in and ignored when the house was added onto in the 70's. It provides hot water to the kitchen and that bathroom. I would like to remove it, but would have to modify the existing pipes for the kitchen.
Any suggestions??? I do not have tons of cash and there is a 10 ft distance from one tank to the other.

A. Spruce
Re: 2nd existing water heater discovered

All you should have to do is cap the water supply to the second tank and plumb the hot side into into the remaining waterheater circuit. 10' of pipe is easy.

dj1
Re: 2nd existing water heater discovered

You can do as Spruce recommends, but I'd find a way to remove the 50 year old tank out and use the extra space for storage, since the house is fairly small.

Then the plumbing can be customized accordingly.

A. Spruce
Re: 2nd existing water heater discovered
dj1 wrote:

You can do as Spruce recommends, but I'd find a way to remove the 50 year old tank out and use the extra space for storage, since the house is fairly small.

Then the plumbing can be customized accordingly.

That would be a given, IMHO. If the old tank is terminated, then it should be removed completely whether the space is repurposed to something else or not. Termination would include terminating any gas or electrical connection to the old tank as well.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: 2nd existing water heater discovered

50 years old? Who made it? Where can I buy one???? ;)

johnjh2o
Re: 2nd existing water heater discovered

My guess is the 2nd heater is no longer in service and the piping has already been changed. I would think after 50 years the tank would have failed by now. If It hasn't remove it and call the manufacture I'm sure they would pay to have it for advertising there product.

John

bconvers9622
Re: 2nd existing water heater discovered

I would get rid of the old tank. Be mindful, though, as some old tanks are made of solid copper and could be nicely cashed in on. If not, still be mindful of fuel, water, and other abandoned utility lines. Have the more recent tank properly re-installed. With a fair amount of googling, you can re-install the tank yourself, if you see your self as at all handy. By reinstall I mean anything from making sure everything's piped correctly to seeing flaws and actually repiping some of the plumbing around the tank. Interesting problem though!

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