I am considering one of these Eternal Hybrid Water Heaters http://www.eternalwaterheater.com/ to replace my 17 year old tank heater and wanted to know if anyone has any experience with these. Now, before anyone jumps up and says "just get a Rinnai because this won't save you any money" or "tankless sucks" or the like, let me explain what my goals are and why I think this is the best option for me, I would be more than happy to entertain alternatives if they can meet my requirements.
I have a small ~1200 sq ft house, 3 bed, 2 baths, no jacuzzi tub or anything, one bath with a standard tub/shower, the other (one day, when I finally finish it) will have a shower only. Space is a premium in my house, so I would like to move the water heater into the attic. So that rules out most tanks.
Freezing is not much of a concern as I live in Houston. Most of the year it is hot, a couple months are pleasant, a couple of weeks are getting chilly (~40) and *maybe* a couple of days where it dips into the upper 20s for a few hours.
Next issue is our new front loading washer fills using brief spurts of water. From what I have found from searching around is that it causes a tankless to cycle on/off but is never on long enough to actually add much heat to the water.
Currently, the tank is in the utility room, which is in the center of the house. By moving it into the attic, it will be above the utility room, so there will only be a maximum of about 10 feet of pipe between the heater and the washer.
As far as I can see, the hybrid heater is probably my best option, but would like to know if anyone has experience/opinions on them?