To determine how old your water heater is, you will need to two do things.
1. Find the label on the water heater.
2. Determine the brand of your water heater.
3. Decode the label by finding out (chart below) how that brand of water heater documents the manufacturing date within the serial number on the label.
Water heater manufacturers document the month and year or year and week of manufacturing as part of the serial numbers on the water heater. Check the chart below to find the brand water heater you have. Then use the description to decode the serial number.
Determine the Age of Your Water Heater By Decoding the Serial Number
Serial # Ex.
(Prior to 2001, American was owned by GSW Corporation and manufactured water heaters for nearly 50 different brands. American was acquired by A.O. Smith in 2001 and currently only manufactures American, American-Pro-line, Premium Plus, U.S. Craftmaster and Whirlpool brand water heaters.)
|American||9746******(46th week of 1997)||American uses a 2-digit year followed by a 2-digit week |
|Earl’s Energy Saver|
|XCL-Energy Saver |
Serial # Ex.
|A.O. Smith||Before 2008*H06******Since about 2008 |
|Prior to 2008, the 2nd letter in the series is the month followed by the 2-digit year. A thru N = Jan thru Dec (excludes I).Since 2008, they use an 11-digit alpha-numeric serial number. The first two positions are the year followed by a two digit week.|
|Bradford White||D*******F(June 1967) |
B-W uses a 20-year letter code cycle to designate the year.
The first letter is the year and the second is the month.
Letter A = 1964, 1984 and 2004
A thru N = Jan thru Dec
(Excludes I, O, Q, R, U & V)
|Rheem||0794******(July 1994) |
Rheem uses a 2-digit month followed by a 2-digit year
|Coast to Coast|
|Intertherm & Miller|
|State Industries(State industries was acquired by A.O. Smith in 2008. A.O. Smith now uses this code.)||State/Kenmore||0904*******(April 2009) |
Prior to 2008, State used a 1-letter month followed by a 2-digit year
A thru N = Jan thru Dec
(Excludes the letter I)
Beginning 2008, State uses an 11-digit alpha-numeric serial number. The first two positions are the year followed by a two digit week. Position 5 is a letter followed by 6 numbers.
Not Sure if You Need a New Water Heater Yet?
Most tank water heaters start losing efficiency around ten years old and last between 10-12 years. Most tankless water heaters last 15-20 years.
If your water heater is on the older side, you'll want to start watching for signs that it is time to replace the water heater. For example, it may take longer for the water heater to produce hot water, or you may find you are running out of hot water more quickly than before. Learn more about tank water heaters and tankless water heaters here.
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Quick question & answer: How old is my water heater?
To determine how old your water heater is, find the label on your water heater. Then, determine the brand of your water heater. Decode the label by finding out via the chart above how that brand of water heater documents the manufacturing date within the serial number on the label.