Well I'm in the planning phase of a new hot water heater for an up north cabin. Right now there is a 5 year old electric water heater in there and I'm planning on switching it over to gas for the cost savings. Having visited this board for many years my plan was to purchase a Bradford White but from the posts it seems like that might not be a good idea. I did go to the website and was kind of shocked at the number of seemingly electronic/computer systems on the tank. Seems like a lot of moving parts.
I have a bunch of questions so I'll just write them in list form:
1) Is Bradford White not the go to brand anymore?
2) Is switching from electric to gas really going to save me enough to warrant the switch?
3) Are there any arguments that I should know about for electric vs gas for a vacation home?
4) Since the tank won't be in use very much since it's an up north cabin, what is the shortest amount of time away that will warrant shutting the tank down as opposed to just leaving it running? Is it different for gas and electric?
5) The water tank is in a basement. Does that mean for a gas tank I need a power vented unit?
6) What is the theoretical limit on how long the vent can be? I might need to go as far as 25 feet to vent it.
7) Since the basement floor is cold, should the tank be elevated? If so what is the best method?
8) I have a softener installed that works really well. What should I be aware of with the soft water being in the tank? Does this mean I should drain the tank each time?
9) Will wrapping my tank in insulation improve it's efficiency to be worth going through the trouble?
I really appreciate any time that you guys take to answer the questions above. I want to make sure that I spend our money wisely since it's seems harder and harder to come by.