It does not seem to be a cross connection. I checked all the faucets in the house with the cold water turned off to the water heater. The upstairs stopped running very quickly and the basement took a little longer but did eventually stop. I am assuming that was gravity at work. The problem now is when I went to turn off the cold water to the water heater the pressure relief valve seems to have shed some water recently. The copper pipe was still warm at the top and there was a trail of water to the floor drain. There did not seem to be a lot of water but should I be concerned about this now also?
When my father-in-law came over yesterday the thermostats and the elements seemed to be working OK. He did not have an ohm meter but had a voltage tester. Everything was getting the proper power and the heater was switching from the top element to the bottom element as it is supposed to. We can’t check the anode since there is only an 8.5 inch clearance between the ceiling and the top of the tank and the anode is not visible so it would be difficult to get to. We would probably have to unhook the tank and take it out to check the anode. Whoever thought this was a good place to put a water heater needs to be shot. Unfortunately it is not cost effective to move it to another spot and gas is out of the question due to space constraints.
We decided a new heater would be the best way to go. Now I have to decide what the best heater will be for us. I want to get the tank that will give is the most hot water and with the space issues there seems to be only 1 or 2 tanks from each company that will work. They are lowboys and range from 46.5-50 gallons, .90-.92 energy factor and 52-67 gallons first hour rating. Bradford White who does not sell to the public has a 50 gallon tank with a 67 gallon 1st hr rating and a 6yr warranty. Maytag has a 40 gallon tank with a 57 gallon 1st hour rating and 9yr warranty. Maytag and Sears have a 50 gallon tank with a 55 gallon first hour rating and 6yr warranty. It looks to me as though Bradford White has the best for my situation but I have to find a plumber who sells them and will install it doubling my cost. If I want to install it myself which tank will give me the most hot water? A 50 gallon tank with a 55 gallon first hour rating or a 40 gallon tank with a 57 gallon first hour rating. Or is it too close to call? Everything I read says the first hour rating is the most important. It seems to me that the 50 gallon tank would give me more water though.
I am sorry this is so long, but I am thoroughly confused at this point.