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tankless vs. tank hot water heater in place with "hard" water
We live in Cambridge, MA which is known for its very hard water. Our water heater is basically caput. I'd like to upgrade to tankless given the energy savings (the state gives a $750 rebate vs. $100 for regular water heater), but am not clear on the cost-benefit here. It seems tankless have higher annual maintenance costs and more likely to have problems, which may or may not outweigh the energy savings, although my understanding is these tankless units last 3x as long as a regular tank but are also about 3x the cost. What should be the factors that we use in making the decision? As experts, what are your experiences with each of these systems?
Also, I searched through the forums here, and found one post directly on "should you install tankless" (https://heatinghelp.com/heating-museum/tankless-water-heaters/
) but I couldn't immediately find more although I am sure they are out there. I apologize in advance if this topic has already been addressed; please do point me in the right direction if that's the case!