My son called me to the basement in a panic yesterday afternoon. There was a growing puddle on the floor in the furnace room. Eeks, the water heater was leaking. It took a bunch of time to clean up, but found that it didn't do much damage. yippee. yes, the water leaked under the wall to the next room, but there were only paint cans on the floor. And neither room is 'finished' so the wall board was high enough from the floor not to soak up the water.
It seems that the building codes changed August first in Ontario. The exhaust pipe for the gas water heater now has to be a 'white' pipe instead of the old black pipe. So, to replace the gas water heater with the same type heater would involve replacing the whole length of this exhaust pipe at the homeowners expense. eeks. One of those un-expected expenses. As it turns out, when the tech was removing the old water heater, he barely nudged the black pipe and it broke off in his hand. Perhaps there is something wrong about this black pipe!!!
The result is that we are installing a tankless, electric water heater. It does not store hot water, rather heats it to demand. Best of all, we should never run out of hot water. Its a tiny unit and mounts on the wall. Even better, we don't need to change the black pipe to white pipe, since we don't need an exhaust.