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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Adding second water heater

    In anticipation of joining two families that will total 4 teenagers and two working professionals, we are renovating our 1 1/2 story cape and will be adding at least one full bath and a new laundry room as well as bedrooms. Currently we have a 2 year old 50 gallon natural gas water heater is not providing enough hot water for our needs on busy mornings when 6 people have to shower in a short period of time. So, I would like to add a second water heater. For various reasons I would prefer not to install at tankless heater in the new bathroom. There is no plan for a hot tub at this time. My question is: if I add a second 50 gallon heater, should they be connected in series, or in parallel? If I add a new, smaller heater, should they definitely be in series. If in parallel, should it be reverse return?

    Don't worry, a plumbing design consultant and plumber will be involved, but I want to be knowledgable about the situation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,183

    Default Re: Adding second water heater

    Why not just go with a larger heater? The cost will be close to the same and maintaining one heater is always better then two. Chances are that the gas line to your existing heater will be to small to handle two heaters. Also depending what type flue you have it may also be to small.

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Adding second water heater

    Good point! I guess since the present one is new I just didn't think about replacing it! From an academic side, anyone else have any answers to my questions?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Adding second water heater

    However, a new 75 or 100 gallon tank will be more expensive than a new 50 gallon one. Also, once the kids go off to college, we will not need the capacity except when they are all home. Having two tanks may allow one to be taken out use for much of the year, if it is plumbed correctly.

    Is there ever a situation where a tankless heater is put in series with a storage type? Would that be an option here?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Adding second water heater

    With 6 kids and 2 adults we get by pretty well with a 60 gallon tank. In the morning the rule is no 1/2 hr showers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Adding second water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Tola28 View Post
    However, a new 75 or 100 gallon tank will be more expensive than a new 50 gallon one. Also, once the kids go off to college, we will not need the capacity except when they are all home. Having two tanks may allow one to be taken out use for much of the year, if it is plumbed correctly.

    Is there ever a situation where a tankless heater is put in series with a storage type? Would that be an option here?
    Rather than using a 75 gallon tank (too small for you) or a 100 gallon tank (too expensive) think about this:

    Add a 40 or 50 gallon WH to service the addition only. You'll have to re-do the plumbing, bring in a new natural gas line and install a vent. You will need a permit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    boston,ma
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Adding second water heater

    A good choice for you would be an on demand instant hot water heater. I have just looked into the rheem eco-sense and the rinnai. They make them up to 7 gals. a minute ,the average shower only uses under 2.5 gals. a minute now under new codes, so running 2 showers shouldn't be a problem, a 75-80 gal nat. gas storage water heater will be expensive to maintain that type of demand you describe, especially if you run 2 at 75k btu's a peice, that is a lot of gas usage, also the tankless sits idle when there is no hot water demand saving you lots of green, and being green at the same time.Your only other option is if you have a gas boiler you could pipe in a 75 gallon indirect water storage unit off your existing boier and combine that with your 50 gal. gas fired unit. And then you will have plenty of hot water. In my opinion the tankless on demand sounds perfect for you, when the kids are gone it just sits idle and your not heating more water than you need! Good Luck!
    Last edited by jled96; 01-06-2012 at 10:31 AM.

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