A Coatesville, Pa., family's A.O. Smith water heater is nearly 50 years old and going strong. In 1958, the Stump family purchased its A.O. Smith 50-gallon electric water heater for about the same money you might pay for a pair of kid's shoes.

According to Vern Stump, whose parents bought the heater, "There have never been any problems with the unit, and it only costs about $12 a month to operate."