What is this and why do I need it?


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Old 05-17-14, 09:58 AM
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What is this and why do I need it?

I just had a 75 gal gas water heater fail on me, so I'm replacing it with a 50, since I think 75 is too big. The 75 has some sort of recirc line coming out of the bottom where the drain valve would be on a typical heater. The 1/2" line comes out of the bottom, tees into a drain valve and goes to the ceiling and over to what I believe is my guest bathroom. The line has a check valve on it that only allows water to flow into the heater or drain valve. My guest bathroom only has the hot/cold lines coming out of the wall. I do not have a recirc pump on the heater, unless it's integrally installed inside. My first question is "what is this for." My second question is can i just install the same set up with my 50 gal. Any help appreciated.



 
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Old 05-17-14, 10:52 AM
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That line is set up as a gravity feed loop. The hot water will rise and the cold water will sink. This keeps the hot water line hot at all times to that bathroom and anything in between.

You can transfer it to your 50 gallon tank.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 10:57 AM
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Great. Thanks. I disconnected it at the union because it wouldn't drain. I stuck a screw driver through the pipe and pitch black water started trickling out. I guess it had a little bit of a sediment problem. In other words, nothing was circulating.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 11:01 AM
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Yes..... you should definitely be draining some water out of there at least once a year and twice a year would be better.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 09:04 PM
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The plumber(?) that set that up should be shot! You need to come off the drain with a 3/4 inch nipple and tee with the return coming into the side of the tee. Install a 3/4 inch ball valve in the run of the tee and add a garden hose adapter with a cap on the outboard end of the ball valve. This will give you a straight shot through the drain piping all the way from the valve outlet to the interior of the tank, allowing the use of a rod to clean out any accumulation of crap without having to disconnect any of the piping.
 
 

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