I am going to be buying a new water heater for my home soon.

I currently have a 6 year A O Smith which seemed to work well enough, so I would buy another A O Smith.

I am concerned how old my water heater is because it’s on my main floor for some reason (and not in the garage like normal), and the heater is a standard 6 year warranty that now is going on 9 years old, and about 2 years ago I changed out my anode rod.

The Company I worked before my current company did water heats when we were slow, and with my current company, I do not believe they do any water heaters, so I have little knowledge about the actual differences between manufactures, quality, and the differences between the warranties.

Is there a builder grade, premium grade, or ultra grade in water heaters? What brand would you buy for your home?

What is the actual difference in the quality between a 6 year, 9 year, and 12 year heaters, if any?

I was told there is no real difference in the quality of the tanks itself, nor any difference in the insulation or seals, I was told the only difference between the 6 and 12 year heaters was a second anode rod, is that true?