This is some validation of Larry Weingarten’s sentiments that simpler is better.
These new hybrid heaters are very nice, as long as they work. Same with power-vents and other units with electronics.
Ej mentioned to me once that new water heaters require a much greater degree of involvement from their owners than used to be the case, and that most people have yet to realize this.
So anytime anybody has an older heater they’re thinking about junking, I say, “Keep it.” And I’m keeping my own, now 30 years old, even though it only has R-6 insulation.