We have a 26yo rheem electric water heater that keeps on ticking. I have no idea what repairs have been made since we've only owned the house for 2 years. We've recently finished our basement and added a whirlpool tub. I'm nervous regarding the ancient water heater failing and flooding the new carpet so I'm researching replacement options. Their is no flu on that side of the house but their is a gas line so my options are another electric or a direct or power vent, correct? I'm not entirely sure what the difference is between the direct and power vent. The current water heater is on an outside wall - we would have to go through the brick to vent it outside if we go the gas route. I guess I am interested in looking into gas because we live in the Chicago area and our electric rates are really high. I have looked into tankless - but can't justify the expense with our cold water. I also have 3 little girls and see long showers in our future Any advice would be greatly appreciated.