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Thread: will installing two water heaters work

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member dichroic's Avatar
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    Default will installing two water heaters work

    hello, and thanks for this forum.

    I have a small cabin I wish to rent. It has a 20 gallon, 110 water heater that is fine for two people. I would like to install a second 20 gallon 110 water heater next to the shower, which is only 15 feet away. Will I then have 40 gallons of hot water if I connect it into the existing plumbing lines? I don't want to have 2 separate zones, just one zone with 2, 20 gallon water heaters for a total of 40 gallons. If I separate it into zones I still only have 20 gallons going to the shower. I want the shower to use both water heaters at the same time. Will this work? I really don't want to have to install a 220 volt water heater if I don't have to. Thank to anyone who can let me know if my idea will work.

  2. #2
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    If cold-input to the water heater by the shower is plumbed to the hot-output side of the original HW heater you'll get the full showering capacity out of it. If you try to parallel them by tying the hot outputs together, probably not. Shbrt draws from the tank by the shower will have a small "abandoned heat" penalty of water drawn from the first tank ending up in the plumbing between them, but that can be mitigated by insulating that line well (R4 minimum, not the crummy 3/8" wall R2 stuff sold at box stores.)

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    How ever you do it make sure that your Cabin can support the extra electrical load.

    Cabins are not known to have large electrical systems.

    Are we getting spoiled yet ?


    Good Luck.
    Last edited by DonL; 10-04-2013 at 07:30 AM.
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    DIY Senior Member Smooky's Avatar
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    Often in hotels or restaurants there will be multiple hot water heaters. In most cases all the tanks are located in one room. The cold line goes to a tee and then splits to go to each tank. The hot outlets go to another tee so that there is one hot line. In these set-ups there are unions and valves so a heater can be removed and replaced or worked on etc without a big impact on the hot water.

    I your case it might be cheaper and easier to just replace the 20 gallon heater with a 40 gallon heater.

  5. #5
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smooky View Post
    I your case it might be cheaper and easier to just replace the 20 gallon heater with a 40 gallon heater.

    I agree.

    You could use 120V elements, and would not need all of the extra headaches.


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  6. #6
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    I suspect that were there space for a 40 gallon tank, there would already be one...

    Most 120V 20 gallon water heaters are set up with elements to work on a 20A breaker.

  7. #7
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    I suspect that were there space for a 40 gallon tank, there would already be one...

    Most 120V 20 gallon water heaters are set up with elements to work on a 20A breaker.

    I bet you are correct.

    Cabins are not like living in the hotel, and some heaters are put under the floor. Very little head room.

    Can I say Spoiled again ? Oops, just did.


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  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member dichroic's Avatar
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    thanks everyone. yes the cabin is small and the current wh is in the kitchen next to the sink. it's the old modular steel kitchen insert from the 50's. looks like the best thing is to install a 40 gallon one and by pass the 20 entirely. I have a 50 amp stove breaker that is free as I have a gas stove. Taking out the 20 gallon will give me that breaker free also. Should have plenty of power. Can I just cap off the cold going to the current 20 and tap into the cold for the new 40 about 15 feet away?
    thanks again
    donald

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