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.