Well, I’ve read there is a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool (the water heaters at Lowes), and the GE I bought from Home Depot failed after a few months, and after 2 weeks of having a contracted company come out and work on it, I’m still without consistent hot water. What about another Bradford-White? I think that’s what the wholesale plumbing shop in my area is selling, and for the 50 gallon, they only wanted $300, and I gave $450 for my GE–for which I’m now kicking myself.
I’ve heard some folks recommend the tankless water heaters, but I hear that getting parts for them can be a nightmare when they break down–wait times of 4 – 10 days, but, of course, I’ve gone 2 weeks waiting to get my traditional GE water heater fixed, so . . .
And the polypropylene tanks, I wonder about the long term effects of chlorine.
As far as the fiberglass and concrete tanks, they look promising, and the ones I’ve seen have a lifetime guarantee. I haven’t researched them though. And if they do leak, do they give you a new tank, and if so, do they pay for the install or do you?
I would agree with David about abandoning the gas for the electric if you can, but my reasons for it are simply that the gas water heater seems to involve more maintenance, and if you’re paying for that maintenance, those costs easily outstrip any savings that gas gives you over electric (at least where I live, a gas tank is cheaper to operate than an electric at the moment–unless I’ve calculated incorrectly).
If I hadn’t been in a rush to replace my water heater (and if I had more space on my breaker box), I think I would have installed a solar/electric water heater, one that uses solar but has electric as backup. As far as tank materials, the only solar systems I’ve seen so far use a standard tank. The install and maintenance of solar might be prohibitive, but I probably would have installed and maintened my own, so that wouldn’t have been an issue. Anyway, worth lookin’ into.
All the best with your search, Todd