So the big news of the past few days is the hot water heater saga: Last Thursday evening The Wife and I went out in Boulder to the Rio with a gaggle of my new coworkers. After a lovely evening discussing the possibilities of attending a roller derby, a mixed martial arts bout, or a minor league hockey game (or all three) with the company founder's wife, we came home to discover that we had no hot water. A quick trip downstairs revealed that our twelve-year-old tank was done and dead and pissing itself on the basement floor. Off go the water valves, and I know what I get to do Friday (hardly a worthwhile day off work, if you ask me).
Long story shorter than it might be: We actually had the funds on-hand to do the upgrade to a tankless water heater like I've wanted to do. Now I'm a proud owner of a Rinnai unit hidden away in my crawl space. The old space for the water heater is now only filled by a wall-mounted control panel. Best of all, I can take a shower all friggin' day long if I want to.
There are couple downsides: the hot water is mighty slow to come at first; the hot water pressure is noticeably lower than that of the cold water. But neither of those bother me much -- the continuous nature of the hot water (I can now happily take my shower after everyone else in the house!) more than balances them out, IMO. (Oh, and I guess I get $300 next tax season...) Also worth noting: David at Oasis Plumbing rules me - highly recommended.