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Old 11-09-2015, 05:34 PM   #1
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Two water heaters


I recently bought a house that has two water heaters. A 40 gallon (propane) main one for most of the house and a much newer and smaller 17 gallon electric one that powers the master bathroom. The 40 gallon is on its last legs and I plan on replacing it very soon. My question is, I don't want to waste the new one but I also want to reroute the master bathroom through the main water heater because using propane is much cheaper than electricity here. Is it possible to feed the smaller water heater from the larger one so that if the smaller one were to run out of water, it would still be fed hot water from the large one?
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:20 PM   #2
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Ayuh,.... Replace the 40 gallon, with a 50 gallon, 'n remove the electric one,....

Then do a recirculator loop to the MB if it's that far away,....

I agree, Gas is the way to go over electric,....
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:23 PM   #3
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Just curious, what issue does my solution have? I have no prior experience with plumbing so for all I know it could be horribly flawed.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zburtle View Post
Is it possible to feed the smaller water heater from the larger one so that if the smaller one were to run out of water, it would still be fed hot water from the large one?
Quote:
Originally Posted by zburtle View Post
Just curious, what issue does my solution have? I have no prior experience with plumbing so for all I know it could be horribly flawed.
I don't know if that can be done. Please wait for the plumbers to respond to that question. Thanks.

Imo, Bondo has the best and easiest solution that will save you money and water.
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:26 PM   #5
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Just curious, what issue does my solution have? I have no prior experience with plumbing so for all I know it could be horribly flawed.
The water between the 2 tanks will cool down when not used. So when you demand HW from the small heater, the heater will fill with cooled down HW. That's not much different than your current set up. But eventually it will fill with preheated water.
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Old 11-10-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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Yes you can keep the small water heater at your master bathroom and feed it with hot water from the large heater. But the role the small heater now plays will be somewhat different than what you think.

Without the small heater, you will be running a lot of water down the drain waiting for fresh hot water to arrive from the large heater down in the basement.

With the small heater, you get almost immediate hot water with only a small number of degrees (probably not noticeable) drop as the slug of cool water in the pipe between the heaters commingles with the 17 gallons in the small tank pending the arrival of fresh hot water from the large heater. Little or no wasted water down the drain before your shower.

Because the small heater receives mostly hot water from the larger heater, the small heater will not run much.

But there is still some cost, the maintaining of the 17 gallons in a hot condition between usages using electricity.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-10-2015 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:13 PM   #7
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That's true. I think both of you guys make good points. I think ultimately I'm just going to unplug and drain the electric heater and leave it be for now and then just reroute the bathroom to the main one. Water is pretty cheap here so if I have to waste a little bit that's ok.
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