Water heater question

The Tank Water heater question

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    I have attached a pic of the setup that I have a question about.
    I bought an older building with several apartments and several electric hot water tanks. The tank on the left is leaking. I have shut off power to it and am working on draining it. The drain at the bottom is cracked though so I’ve been using a wet vac to suck it out. I
    I have shut off the blue and red knobs at the top of the tank.
    Based on the pic, can anyone explain to me what appears to be going on? It looks like it’s connected to the tank to the right but I’m not really sure what that means.
    My goal is to drain the tank but I want to make sure there’s not water going into it and am not sure how to stop water from going in.
    Thank you for any help you can give as I am a plumbing novice

    Attached files

    Randy Schuyler

    They are separate. What you see is a single incoming cold line that tees to serve both tanks. Both appear to have shutoff valves. They’re gate valves, so they may or may not work. You’ll want to try to close the one on the leaking tank or you’ll have trouble draining it. One question is where the hot outlet goes. I can see the blue shutoff on one branch, but the other goes straight up. With luck, there will be another shutoff higher up because if these are in the basement, all the water upstairs will drain downstairs as you drain the tank, and it will take longer.

    Randy Schuyler


    Thank you, that is quite helpful. The one that goes up goes to an upstairs apartment so I’ll have to look for that shutoff somewhere in the floorboards. That explains why the tank isn’t draining.

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