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Old 01-18-2014, 01:48 PM   #1
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Plumbing shutoff for water heater


I have a two water heater setup in my home and I have determined I really don't have a current need for two. I would like to shut one of them off for the time being, but I haven't had a lot of interaction with water heaters in the past, so I want to make sure I do it right.

I attached a pic of my setup. They are piped parallel with one shutoff for cold supply going in. I am assuming I can just pipe in another shutoff after the tee on the cold supply to the water heater I want to turn off. Will this be sufficient? Do I need to do anything else on the hot supply side?

Another thought is just unhooking the cold and hot supply from the tank I'm not using and put some kind of plug in the connector. Is this possible?

I am thinking I should probably turn off the water heater without the expansion tank (the one on the left), correct?

Also, should I do anything to the one that I am turning off? I was thinking I would empty it and turn off the gas supply to it. Should I do anything else?

Thanks a lot for any help.

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Old 01-18-2014, 01:51 PM   #2
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:00 PM   #3
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Plumbing shutoff for water heater


Is this going to be a permanent situation or do you plan on hooking it back up to where you have two water heaters at some point?
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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I'd re-pipe them in series. And just leave the leaving water heater on. that way the first water heater acts as a tempering tank.

If you want to totally disconnect the unused one. yes, you must use the one with the expansion tank.
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:57 PM   #5
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Plumbing shutoff for water heater


It is going to be a temporary adjustment. My kids are all still young, so the need for hot water to supply consecutive showers isn't there. I will probably hook it back up within 5 years or so.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:32 PM   #6
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Plumbing shutoff for water heater


letting a water heater sit idle for long periods of time is not recommendable especially gas.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:58 AM   #7
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Plumbing shutoff for water heater


Thanks for all the input. Here is my thought process, for those with more experience please enlighten me if I am off.

My purpose in getting rid of one of my wh is (obviously) to save energy costs. My thought is if my gas bill goes down $30 or so per month and I do this for 5 years my savings will be about $1800 over 5 years. What I am now trying to understand is - with two water heaters do they "load balance" the cost? In other words will my one water heater have to work twice as much if I pull one of them out of use? If my savings will be closer to maybe $10 a month it doesn't seem like it will be worth the hassle.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:06 PM   #8
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Plumbing shutoff for water heater


10 bucks is about what you will probably save. The one water heater will now run twice as long as the 2 together did when you use hot water. The only savings you will get are from less standby loss.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bartleby View Post
I have a two water heater setup in my home and I have determined I really don't have a current need for two. I would like to shut one of them off for the time being, but I haven't had a lot of interaction with water heaters in the past, so I want to make sure I do it right.

I attached a pic of my setup. They are piped parallel with one shutoff for cold supply going in. I am assuming I can just pipe in another shutoff after the tee on the cold supply to the water heater I want to turn off. Will this be sufficient? Do I need to do anything else on the hot supply side?

Another thought is just unhooking the cold and hot supply from the tank I'm not using and put some kind of plug in the connector. Is this possible?

I am thinking I should probably turn off the water heater without the expansion tank (the one on the left), correct?

Also, should I do anything to the one that I am turning off? I was thinking I would empty it and turn off the gas supply to it. Should I do anything else?

Thanks a lot for any help.
Id run them in series as suggested previously.
Then just turn down the temp on first heater and use it as a preheater to help with recovery time on second unit.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:12 PM   #10
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Plumbing shutoff for water heater


I was pretty set on taking one out for a while, but with the minimal savings (thanks beenthere) I am going to bag that idea. I hadn't taken putting them in a series as a possibility, but now I am more interested. Back to the purpose of what I'm doing, would I really see any savings by putting them in series vs parallel?
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:11 PM   #11
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Plumbing shutoff for water heater


It would be easier to regulate the temp on the first one if they were in series, that save you money on gas.
It would also give you a decent supply of hot water, and you could turn it up or down depending on amount of hot water needed.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:14 PM   #12
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Plumbing shutoff for water heater


In series, you have the choice of either shutting the first one off(burner) completely, or setting it to vacation.

Shut off, it acts as a preheat tank slowly absorbing heat from the basement. Saves a buck or so a month more then just removing it, depending on water use.

Set on vacation. It acts as a pre heater/warmer, and the second water heater doesn't have to raise the temp of water as much on long water draws, so you still get an increase in hot water volume over only having 1 water heater. And down the road, when you have a higher hot water demand, you just turn the thermostat up to a higher temp.

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