Right now, I have an oil-fired water heater with a tank. It has sprung a leak in the tank, so this question is of some urgency as I have to replace it ASAP.
Due to where I live in Ontario, CA, I don't have gas, I also have hard water. I've installed a softener and while that's helped a lot, it has not completely eliminated the calcium-buildup problem.
I thought that maybe it would be worth it to get a tankless oil-fired hot water heater as that would reduce the amount of scale that accumulates. However, the only model I can find available for purchase here is the Toyotomi OM-148/OM-180. The one place that sells them, doesn't install them and can't recommend an installer locally because that's not part of their service. Every oil installer guy I've talked to has said that tankless oil-fired hot water heaters "don't exist" except one guy who said, when told the name and model "Oh, that's a boiler, you don't want that, that's old technology" In other words, no matter who I ask, no one knows anything about this and they're all trying to sell me whatever it is they've got, which isn't helpful, or they are slagging the competition (which also isn't helpful). None of my neighbours have one of these, and the few that have gone tankless have propane already installed, while I am still (obviously) on oil.
So, can anyone give my any rave reviews about this product (or horrifying cautionary tales)? Is there something "better" or equal or that I haven't considered yet? I am truly in the dark here and chasing my tail in circles.
My current options are: to replace the tank (least expensive option but would likely be back in this same position in another 7 years), or just go for it and get this fancy tankless/boiler or similar but I know nothing about them and don't know if it's worth the risk because they sure ain't cheap. Please keep in mind that if there is another alternative, we in Canada often don't have the same access to products that you people in the States do, so a link would be helpful to find out if they have local distributors or ship internationally.
Thanks for your help!