with a model which might get me laughed at - so I won't mention it So now my attention turns to the remaining identical tank. I've drained the sediment and replaced the anode (yeah I know this was negligence). No rust was detected and there was only minimal anode loss.

So I may have dodged a bullet here - but don't wish to push my luck. Hence my question: What might be a good strategy to minimize costs on this "very unused" side of the house? ie What equipment bill of materials should I be ready to buy to do this correctly (with a bit of terrylove.com cleverness)?

When the kids aren't visiting, the only hot water load on that heater comes from a horizontal axis washer (pretty minimal). Would like to avoid wasting gas, would like to avoid purchasing another "efficiency costs never recoup purchase price", and would like to avoid possible bacteria problems by running this heater too cold.

There is good info on this site, and I've pored through a lot of of it. But I haven't seen much regarding optimizing underutilized water heaters - only vacation homes (perhaps a slightly different application?). Guess I'm not so concerned about EF on this one - only sufficient hot water for 2ea 2gal/min showers, the minimization of standby losses, and enhanced durability. Also don't care to "condense" or run powered fans on this one. Needs to be dead simple - but with low standby losses. Have looked - don't see many manufacturers bragging about such a beast.

Keywords for others to find this: Standby loss, infrequent, low utilization, underused