Water Heaters - too many choices!
I have a 17 yo Weil Mclain oil fired boiler with direct hot water. I also have hard water. My water company states the hardness is up to 17 grains per gallon. I believe it used to be even worse. Now my coil is finally shot on the boiler. I need a new hot water heater. These are the choices I have come up with:
1. The cheapest solutions is to install a separate electric hot water heater. I was quoted 800.00 for a 40 gallon. I am going to price larger ones.
2. replace the current coil with a new one, 970.00. No one is big on doing this and I have been warned that if the bolts break or something else major goes wrong, I could have to buy a new boiler right away. The coil was removed once in the last 15 years to be soaked and cleaned. It did not last long. That was a friend of the family that did that.
3. Install an indirect storage tank on my current boiler, cost 2100.00. No guarantees on how long the current boiler will last, of coarse, but I am told 20-30 yrs is not unusual. I was first told this was not advised because my boiler might not be large enough to hand the 3 zones on it now and the storage tank. They later said yes, it could be done.
4. A separate oil fired water heater, 2500.00. If I want Bock, 2800.00
5. A new boiler AND indirect tank, 6500.00. I don't particularly like those numbers. :)
This is a 1500 sq foot cape with separate zones in the basement and on the first and second floors for heat. One person living here, but it is a 3 bedroom and I don't want a water heater undersized for the house in case I ever want to cell it or circumstances change. I also have a large 2 person whirlpool tub in the second floor bathroom that I can't fill and I would like this to be usable again. I suspect it is about 80 gallons, def. less than 100 gallons. I don't want a whole house softener, but if there is a softener that would just protect the furnace or hot water heater for a reasonable price I consider that.
With the current price of oil, I honestly don't know which is more expensive to run.
I don't know how long any of these would last with the water, but the boiler could go in 10 years or less, too.
Is there any "right" answer to this?
Any help would be appreciated!