Tankless hot water heaters are the “in” thing these days, but they are still pricey to purchase and to install.
If you are going the traditional route with replacing a tank heater, here’s some advice:
Many plumbers agree that there is precious little difference between the 6-year tank and the 12-year tank. In fact, the only real difference is the warranty. Most tanks will last 10 years. Even the 6-year ones. So save yourself a hundred dollars or so and have faith that it will probably be just fine.
Later, if you get cold feet (no pun intended!) you can still opt to upgrade your warranty.
Be aware, though, that these warranties often only cover the residual value — if your heater dies after 5 years, you won’t get a new one.