Sorry to hear about the water heater. Your car is out of the park, what you have done on this is just out of this world.
Now back to the water heater. I assume you have a standard tank type. You might check out the tank-less type. They are a bit more pricey, they wind up saving more money in the long run, because you are not spending money contentiously heating up the tank of water. With a tank-less type you only heat up what you actually use. Just my $.02. Again you work on the cat is spectacular.