I haven't owned my house since 1987 (year built) but I'm inclined to believe my water heater is original. I've been here 9.5 years and it looked old then. Fortunately it has never fully failed although once in a very rare blue moon it will not have hot water in it. It can run out after two people take back to back long showers. I also do not have as hot a water as I'd like coming out of my kitchen sink faucet. So I'm contemplating replacing it and hope I get hotter water and more efficiency. I know I can try to remove silt to increase capacity (did this before), I can also replace heating probes. But I'm thinking why bother on such an old unit. Brands/quality aside (I've seen the recent rants) I'm pleased to see standard units available for $300 -$350. Anybody know how much electricity a 1987 era unit might consume so I can estimate my potential payback period? I really have no idea. It has always just been two of us living here with morning showers and moderate laundry usage, so we haven't placed a lot of demand on the water heater. But it probably isn't a 'smart' unit so I guess it used resistance heating elements off and on all day long to keep the water hot even during daytime or late at night. Newer units seem to have some intelligence or programming available to tune in heating times.