What's this copper line at bottom of water heater for?

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mszenas

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Hello - I'm replacing a functioning WH due to age. Large 3/4 house with master BR on one end with large tub in master bath. This WH appears to have recirculating plumbing with a return line on top. see pic. There is no recirculation pump anywhere to be found and unfortunately, there is no access to the tub plumbing in master...

Here's my issue - at the bottom of the HW tank, there is a 'T' at the drain and a copper line with a valve that goes up and into to the wall. It looks like this is original construction configuration. There's some foam insulation up where the pipe enters the wall. I have no idea what this is for? the pipe is cold to the touch all the time. Turning the valve closed does not seem to affect water flow anywhere... And this is NOT code. I need to get rid of it, but trying to figure out it's function first, so I don't create more problems... see pic. What is this for? Why? I'm stumped. thanks Mark


water heater.jpg
IMG_4865.jpg
 

Fitter30

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Guessing the cold going into the wall is the line at the bottom of tank? Guess they thought water would enter from two places to possibly keep the minerals stired up. A once or twice a year flush would do more because all the velocity would enter the tank.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Could also be a different recirculation return, possibly for a system that is no longer working.

Cheers, Wayne


It might be a passive return line that works from gravity instead of having a recirculation pump...
odds are that is what it was or still is......

you can just shut them off and see if effects any kind of instantianous hot water at the furtherest
places in your home.....

you dont have to have them either way
 
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