Re: new water heater - yes or no?
Yes, please replace it. Better safe than sorry....17 years is awfully old....
If your husband is handy, he can easily replace the hot water heater by himself. The worse part is removing the old water heater, they can be heavy due to sediments and water left inside the tank.
You can drain the water from tank from the faucet on the bottom but it is never that effective...trust me on that..... I learn the hard way.
"Life does not go by the book, we learn as we go along".
You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape.
If it doesn't move and should, use WD-40.
If it shouldn't move and does, use the Duct Tape.