Odd Piping

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by wht1986, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. wht1986

    wht1986 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Hi all, I'm a pretty handy guy, and have done a fair bit of bathroom plumbing amongst other general remodelling of our house. Our HWH is almost 15 years old and being only 40 gallons can not keep up with the demands of the family load, so i figured it was time to replace it. I used some lowe's gift cards, store credits, etc and picked up a US Craftmaster 66 gallon tank. I've helped someone before replace their tank, but the piping on my current HWH has me slightly skeptical of what to do.

    If you look at the top of my current HWH in this picture, it is almost standard. Port on left is hot water outlet. Port in center is TPV. Port on right is cold water inlet. You will see that the cold water inlet has a T junction on it. The 'T' branches out into an insulated pipe which then goes into the wall.That can be see in this picture. You can also see they had the drain pipe going into the wall as well.

    My question is 'what the heck is that T junction for?' I have yet to see anything like it on any hot water piping diagrams.

    I'm tempted to cut away some drywall because I'm curious what they had going on back there.

    Thanks in advance, Kevin
  2. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Its a cold water supply to something in your home. Turn the valve off and see what it turns off. As for the pipe that they teed on the bottom where the boiler drain is. Only time I seen some one do that is a recirc return line.

    One other alliterative is that they are taking running the two pipes to HVAC unit. If that is the case someone replaced the original heater with the wrong unit and plumbed it in crazy. With out being there and looking into things it is hard to tell what and why they plumbed it in the way they did.
  3. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Gravity recirc¿
  4. wht1986

    wht1986 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    ah a gravity recirc line, i can see how it could be that now. wonder why they did that my house is not big and the farthest point away is only maybe 30 feet. Anyhow, I'm not real up on recirc lines but what I've read says its a good way to save water but a bit of an energy waster because of the heat losses in the return line. My question is (a) do you think it worth retaining for the new HWH and (b) if not, whats the best way to 'disable' them?
  5. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Messages:
    1,317
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Penn reels....good choice. :D
  6. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    The top one is definitely NOT gravity fed recirc line. And the bottom one is not the drain going into the wall. If there is some gravity recir going on it is the bottom one. Top one goes to a hose bib¿
  7. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    If the bottom one is a gravity recirc, there should be some sort of check valve on there.
  8. wht1986

    wht1986 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Ah ha, figured out what it really was. Turns out they are lines to an A/C heat pump. Pictured Here As you can see, it is not hooked up to anything and not even powered. I have been in the house 10 years, so it's been disconnected for at least that long. Now what to do. (a) Just cut off and cap those lines next to the HWH and pretend like they dont exist, or (b) hook them up to the new HWH in case some day I feel like repairing the heat pump.

    And yes, I love my Penn reels, but the click tongue is broke in the 450 SS there. $0.45 part but everyone wants $5 for shipping /sigh Guess that's a seperate thread though ;)
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