Seeking info about availability of MAYTAG Electric Water Heaters in WASHINGTON STATE!!!

Greetings,
I'm hoping that someone out here in the newsgroups can shed some light on what has become a VERY FRUSTRATING exercise in futility.
I have been gathering information on behalf of my parents who have a relatively urgent need to replace their existing Sears Kenmore-branded 66 gallon/12 year warranty ELECTRIC Water Heater. Most of the research I have done for this "project" has been conducted online; accessing manufacturer's websites, doing google searches, and contacting local installers.
As the water heaters have ALWAYS been in the laundry/utility room of my parent's approx. 3600 s.f., two-story home, the heater MUST BE ELECTRIC as they have always been located under a staircase.
In conducting my preliminary research, I came across the MAYTAG branded water heaters, which I understand are in fact manufactured by State Industries (and has recently been acquired by A.O. Smith). What caught my interest was the MAYTAG SERIES 12 PC Intelligent electric water heater, with its ability to utilize a programmable 24/7 digital thermostat much like a furnace or A/C unit. As my parents are in their early 70's, the self-diagnostis and the ease of controlling the heater, and the claim of potentially reducing electricity costs for operation by UP TO 15% seemed very attractive. As I continued my search, I learned that there were various dealers in the country who handled Maytag heaters, and that the www.maytagwaterheaters.com website provided a 1-800 telephone number to find out where to by them locally. Fine, I though, we could get one purchased and installed right away!
HOW WRONG I WAS! The two sources close to home cited by the customer service rep. DO NOT deal with Maytag brand water heaters, EVEN THOUGH they handle both A.O. Smith and State water heaters. I have contacted around half a dozen water heater installers in the greater SEATTLE-TACOMA area, and they have either never heard of maytag heaters, or they state that they can no longer obtain them??!!!??
CAN ANYONE please provide information as to the true state of availability of MAYTAG branded water heaters in WASHINGTON STATE? I have come up with nothing (almost). One installer told me he could order MAytag heaters, but it would take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks!!! HELP!
Again, if anyone knows if MAYTAG heaters are marketed in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, I'd appreciate any info you can provide. I'm looking at the other makes like A.O. Smith, Rheem/Ruud, American Waterheater (whose website is NON-Functional @%$*@), etc.
Please reply at your earliest convenience....it's a rather urgent need!!!
Kind Regards,
Matthew Wanamaker Federal Way, WA
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I suggest you just get a "regular" electric hot water heater. If you REALLY want to save that extra 15% (or whatever) you can put in an electro-mechanical timer or a remote control (X-10) switch. The hardware will be about $100 or LESS. Or you can just put in a two pole toggle switch and your parents can make turning on and off the heater a part of their daily routine.
We have a relatively new shower control and I have found that it is almost impossible to run out of sufficient hot water for a shower (IOW: the heater can supply enough water for a continuous shower). Water saving shower heads and valves really work! What this may mean to you is that you can consider putting in a smaller capacity tank (in gallons but not in recovery rated/heating capacity) to save electricity without being a PITA to your folks.
Since any "automatic" system (including electro-mechanical) may have to be reset after an power failure I would not want such a system in a home where there is a chance that the users would get confused about the operation.
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First , water heaters retain heat pretty darn well, My electric I could turn off for 5 days and it would still have a bit of heat in it. Point is that 15% savings is a Marketing Ploy.. You are only going to reheat those lost few degrees when they wake up maybe only saving 3% maybe Zero %. They are selling water heaters, the key word here is Sell. Also you have more to go wrong with it. If you really want to save use a unit that has no thermal standby loss, a tankless. Check out Aquastar, available everywhere.
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(reverse domain)
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I have no personal experience with Maytag (or any other) water heaters but am not a fan of electronics on any appliances (microwaves seem to do Ok most of the time though). They can be difficult to diagnose when they fail and expensive to repair. I myself would likely stay with a standard model and possibly hook up a mechanical timer if needed to regulate its use to reduce energy consumption but they'll likely be saving already just by replacing an older unit.
JMO
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Maytag+heaters
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