Wow! You guys are talking up a storm! I feel as if I woke up from a nap and found it was a hundred years later!
Larry and I will be going to the ACEEE Hot Water Forum in a couple of weeks. We’ve met people in such places that have good intentions, but who so fixate on “saving energy” that they forget there are other considerations — such as whether anybody will be able to afford a hot shower when all is said and done.
A friend of ours named Gary Klein advocates getting the energy savings by reworking the plumbing instead of by making water heaters harder to live with. Passive system, nothing to go wrong or maintain.
I wonder if there will be a revolt one of these days when people realize how complicated and expensive water heaters have been made to be.
Regarding maintenance, the GE Geosprings produced by Rheem had accessible anodes and powered anodes could be used with them. Other makes, don’t know. Now that the GE brand is owned by Electrolux, I’ll be curious to see if the design changes.