Not necessarily. Although gas may be slightly cheaper, gas water heaters are more expensive than electric units, and the venting now required for safety can be quite expensive. The thing to remember is that electric water heaters are nearly 100% efficient, as all of the heat generated stays in the unit instead of some going up the flue. Also, the Marathon is like a Thermos® in that it keeps the water hot once you have made it. It's the most efficient water heater made.
Many people are now building tighter, more efficient homes than they used to and indoor air quality is becoming a concern. Any fossil fuel water heater can be a problem with carbon monoxide, NOX, and other pollutants needing to be vented. You can eliminate this issue entirely, however, with the energy-efficient, electric Marathon water heater. The price of propane and natural gas has recently been climbing and nobody really knows for sure where it will go. While electric rates have gone up slightly, it seems to be more stable and defined.
That's impressive, but not uncommon for older water heaters. The older water heaters purchased in the 1970s and 1980s had much thicker steel and more porcelain than today's units. Because manufacturers have cut so many costs from the manufacturing process, most steel water heaters made today will not last much longer than their warranty. It's much like the automobile; the thickness of the metal on today's units is very thin compared to older models.
Yes. Typically it will pay for itself in energy savings over a conventional water heater. The Marathon will save you energy year after year and after 5 years it won't have to be replaced. The cost of the water heater is usually only half your cost however. Installation is the other cost and you won't have to pay for that and another water heater in 5 years. The other thing people often overlook is the damage to their floor and belongings when their cheaper water heater fails when they least expect it. These failures and leaks often happen when you are not at home.
We stock the 50-gallon and 85-gallon models at Columbia Rural Electric Association. The 50-gallon model measures 24 inches by 67 inches and weighs 100 pounds. The 85-gallon model measures 28 inches by 71 inches and weighs 124 pounds. There are other sizes available by special order. Marathon water heaters are the preferred water heater tank for geothermal installations.
The smaller Marathon units will cost approximately 2 to 3 times more than a basic steel water heater of the same size. That is not a real comparison though, as you are comparing a lifetime warranty product that is super insulated, against a 5 or 6-year warranty product with minimal insulation. Remember that the Marathon tank will not leak or rust; while your steel tank will eventually fail and you will be installing another tank soon....it's just a matter of time. The Installation process for the Marathon is no more and sometimes less than for steel units.
Larger units such as the 85 and 105-gallon models are typically the same cost or less than short-lived steel units of the same size. Our manufacturing process is technologically advanced and very efficient so our incremental cost between our smaller tanks and our larger ones is much smaller than that of steel tanks. We are currently offering a $200 rebate on Marathon the 50-gallon and 85-gallon water heaters for Columbia Rural Electric Association members, when installed at a location we serve.