If it was me, I would just eliminate the darn thing. It's just one more source of potential problems as you have discovered.
If you start to run out of hot water, then if there's no infants, children or incompetent seniors in the house, then I'd just turn your thermostat up. There's a risk of being scalded if the water temperature is set too high, but as long as you use common sense, there is little danger of that happening. For example, if you decide you're gonna have a hot bath and fill your tub with hot water and then jump into it, you could be jumping into scalding water. However, if you check the water temperature before getting in, and realize it's way too hot, and add some cold water, then you won't get scalded.