I'm buying a (foreclosed) home and the electric water heater does not work. I had a plumber friend look at it. The supply line was leaking at the top of the tank due to over-tightening. He replaced both supply lines, and the ball valve, and turned on power at the breaker box. There was ice-cold water still in the house. After a few hours there is still no hint of warm water in the house. He said the next thing to test are the heating element(s)? I know nothing about water heaters. Can anyone tell me, is this cost-effective to test and replace a heating element if it's not working or should I just buy a new water heater? Are heating elements expensive? And of course we don't know the reason the heating element might have stopped working. Is this a common occurrence with electric water heaters? This is a Flo-Mor brand and it's about 13 years old.