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Reverse return multiple water heaters


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I ran across these three tank electric water heaters in what looks to be an attempted parallel install. In this set up the most demand is put on the center water heater with the shortest run as the path of friction is not equal between the three units.

I wanted to see if most here would agree that LIFO (reverse return) would be the best option for multiple water heaters, or is there a different set up y'all would prefer.

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Plumber did a nice symmetrical job with copper. Not sure of overall value unless someone just had a lot of extra money in the wallet to spend.

Also, does SC have a requirement for strapping of the W/Hs due to earthquakes?

I thought that was a West coast thing?

But then ... I'm in Texas and even though Irving, TX has had a slew of tremors over the past year it has not crept into the local codes to strap W/Hs ... Yet !!

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Thanks for the replies. The owners definitely have a few dollar to blow! This house is 15000 sq feet of living space with another 5000 or so of outdoor living. This is just one set of water heaters. The house has 9 total.

Nolen yes, there're requirements for earthquake straps now, but not when these units were installed. Charleston and the surrounding areas lie on a major fault. I was surprised to even see the drain straps around these units honestly. Usually they're just balanced on a piece of plywood in the middle of the attic!

This set up seems very wasteful as all three heaters are 119 gallon units. I understand it's outside our scope of work to evaluate adequacy, effectiveness, and efficiency, so I'm fighting with myself as to how to explain this one as something that should be repaired, or just observe and report and let them make up their minds.

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The size of the house explains the overkill on capacity. How many bathrooms? How many jet tubs.

I have seen a few commodious jet tubs in homes served by single 40 or 50 gallon water heaters.

Jim, there're 9 full baths and 3 1/2 baths. It's a vacation home so most bathrooms are mini suites with shower and tub. No jet tubs, but three of the bathrooms even have hydronic towel warmers lol! His master has a really cool wooden tub. It leaks like crazy too!

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...

This set up seems very wasteful as all three heaters are 119 gallon units. I understand it's outside our scope of work to evaluate adequacy, effectiveness, and efficiency, so I'm fighting with myself as to how to explain this one as something that should be repaired, or just observe and report and let them make up their minds.

I'd observe, report and let them make up their minds. Mostly because I can't quantify the equivalent loss in heater capacity.

I'd be looking out for other examples of poor plumbing installation work in case I could just group them all together in one writeup. Any missing escutcheons, PEX transitions through the walls, TPSR valve drains that slope upwards?

Marc

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