Water heater tank

I go through gas water heaters about once every 7 years. I do all the required maintenance but it seems that they all die of the same disease: rusty tanks.
You can buy heaters with galvanized tanks, and ceramic tanks (I think), but they all eventually fail. My question is: Why is it so hard to make a water heater out of say, stainless steel? ...or some other metal or composite that plain and simple, won't rust?
Are we being held hostage by the companies that make water heaters, who have secretly agreed to not make a true lifetime water heater?
I'm not a conspiracy seeker, but these things are so simple, so little to go wrong. So easy to keep from going wrong.
Opinions please. Thanks.
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I put in a paper filter outside at the main incoming hose bib. Freezing is not an issue here. I change it every 6 months. Filter looks like the filter on a cigarette. I have a soft water system (water boss) that filters the water again before any one uses it. I even run softwater to my evap cooler. I just lost a 10 year old Lochinvar 80 solar water heater, not to bad considering. Even made a difference with the pool and my sprinklers
I would start with the paper filter on all your water, handy man job and probably less than 100 bucks. Check the filter in a month and see how it looks.
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snipped-for-privacy@pla.net wrote:

Tankless water heater? Which is one that heats the water on demand, and doesn't store it in a tank.
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Have you tried replacing the sacraficial anodes?
And as to my opition as to why nobody would make a high quality water heater it's because everything is made for the new home construction industry, which demands only the cheapest quality components possible.
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Filters? What will filtering the incoming water do? The rust forms on the inside of the tank. It doesn't come in from the outside.
Anodes? This is a natural gas heater, not electric.
Hey... I like the idea of an on-demand heater. I've heard of them. Can they keep up with most home needs, let's say a shower and a washing machine going at the same time?
On 3 Dec 2003 05:39:18 -0800, scott snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (Childfree Scott) wrotF:

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snipped-for-privacy@pla.net wrote:

If the water has significant ionic activity, two different types of metal form a battery in effect, which causes electrical corrosion of the materials.
A sacrificial anode is a peace of MORE reactive metal, which is put in the tank (or commonly on boats), so that IT and not the tank (or boat motor) gets eaten away.

Depends on the model. The ones I've seen locally come in 1-2 person, and 2-4 person models, the latter has more capacity.
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