An older State water heater came with the home we bought last year. Up until yesterday, it put out a steady amount of reasonably hot water, but it seemed that an element replacement was in our future... Then yesterday morning when I went to bathe my son, the water came out EXTREMELY hot and I had to go from adjusting the faucet from near the hottest setting to the middle just to get a reasonable temperature. My husband and I then each took showers after this.

When we returned to the house in the afternoon, there was absolutely no hot water whatsoever. Now we're contemplating replacing the elements vs. replacing the unit. The heater does not leak (so far) and it has a timer unit on top from Home Depot that was put on by the previous owner.

Does this sound like something that an element change will fix, or should we be scraping the money together for a new unit?
Thank You!