Best choice - Marathon or standard water heater?
We need to get a water heater for our new house, and we're debating between the Marathon and a good standard water heater (electric). The water heater will be in a closet under the stairs, between the hall and living room -- so a catastrophic leak would doubtless damage the living room's wood floor at the least. We have actually never bought a water heater before, only inherited old ones already in our houses that never had any problems. Now, though, we have to choose a water heater.
I have read that if we get a standard water heater, AO Smith and Bradford White are especially good, and a 12-year warranty is a sign of better quality materials. Then there's the 'Marathon' -- about $200 more for the size heater we want (80 gal). Is it worth it? That's just enough to make us question the payback, given our good luck to date with water heaters.
We're on well water, by the way, which has elevated iron (not enough to stain) and a slight sulfur smell due to iron-loving bacteria. The only noticeable result of this is some brown slime where water sits (chiefly the toilets). The water isn't hard -- we don't get mineral residue.