The worst thing about not having hot water is showering.
You can now buy Bosch electric tankless hot water heaters at Lowe's for a little less than you can a Seisco. Nice thing about the Bosch's is that they use copper pipe instead of the special plastic that Seisco uses. It's the plastic that has caused all of my problems. After about 3.5 years it started developing stress cracks. I noticed that the plastic they sent to replace it is a different color -- so I wonder if they've changed the formulation. I asked if they had a run of bad plastic, and they said "not in your serial number range." At any rate, if it were going to cost too much to replace the circuit board, I was going to go to a Bosch. Since they'll ship it for freight costs, I decided to save the money. $745 vs $35. Only no hot water for a week in the middle of a cold winter....
I talked to Ryan about it -- he had once mentioned that we could hook the wiring directly to the heating elements with the breaker off.... then if we wanted to shower we could turn the water on, go turn the breakers on, take a shower, leave the water on, go turn the breakers off, and then turn the water off. Theoretically, that should work.
However, we decided that if we were planning on using the water heater and not replacing it, that could be a bad idea.
So I went to Bass Pro and bought a Zodi camp shower. It runs on propane, and produces just enough of a hot water stream to take a shower in hot water. Well, I do let the bucket of water sit all day and adjust to room temperature, which helps. And the stream of water is less than 1/8 of the stream of a regular shower, and not excactly a lot of pressure, either. So while the water is hot, you get cold, because you're wet and not enough warm water is compensating for the evaporation off of your body. It also takes longer to rinse. Still -- it's waaaaaaay better than a cold shower.
There is carbon monoxide to worry about, but a couple of 5 minute showers doesn't produce enough to cause us any harm, plus just to be safe we leave the door open and turn the exhaust fan on. (note: if you do this, don't sue me for carbon monoxide poisoning. The packaging clearly states it's for outdoor use only. Do it at your own risk, etc, etc. I understand the risks and that they are my responsibility when I take them myself)