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Lets see if I can explain my quandary. My brother just called from FL and asked me to do a job for him at a home he owns in NY. The HW heater is bad. Simple replacement would be easy. BUT then I wouldn't be asking a question. There are two apartments upper and lower. At this time one tenant is paying to heat the water for both flats. We want to change this. I have not seen the basement of this house for 25 years so I am not to sure of the layout. I do know there are two services (Gas / Elect) and two furnaces but one HWH. I also think that the plumbing is probably run through the home as a single unit. My question is this. If I run a gas line from the line that now is not paying for HW and can I combine two HWH to the same single system? I told him this will not solve the problem of one tenant paying for the gas for HW as I believe one HW heater will still be used mainly to supply the house. If this makes sense to you guys, let me know if it is possible without a manifold to manually control the tank being used. I need to do this in the morning so any help would be great.
Thanks
Paul
 

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I'm not the plumber but i know from being around them there is some kind of balancing act that needs to be done when the water heaters are parallel. I have a duplex with connected water pipes and two water heaters. We did them in series, (one tank feeds the other). I've been real happy with that system. It is set up so that if either tank goes you can flip a couple of valves and let the other one take over. Takes away all that urgency of replacing a broken one. Hopefully you'll get a couple of plumbers to jump in here.
 

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Although the existing system is not correct I don't think piping two heaters in series with two different gas lines would be any better. The usage of HW varies from tenant to tenant so the gas bills would not reflect their own usage. I would take the time to try to isolate the hot water lines and see if you can seperate the apartments.At least there is a basement and you have a shot at doing this. If not keep it the same and work out the gas bill. Adding that second heater will obviously provide more capacity but not a solution to the existing problem. Good Luck
 
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