Gas Water Heater Basics
A slight majority of Americans have gas water heaters (53%); approximately 40% have electric water heaters. The remaining 7% have hybrid, solar or geothermal water heaters. If you're one of the majority of homeowners and you own a gas water heater, you need to know some basic information such as how to tell if your water heater is old enough to need replacement.
How Long Does a Gas Water Heater Last?
Gas water heaters last 8-12 years on average.
How Can I Tell How Old My Water Heater Is?
Watch this video to learn how to tell how old your water heater is.
To figure how old your water heater is, try this decoding trick:
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 this chart 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.
How Can I Make my Gas Water Heater Hang On Longer?
The best way to make your gas water heater last longer is to drain and flush your water heater once a year and replace the anode rod once every three years. Get step-by-step directions here:
Signs I Need a New Water Heater
If your water heater is making rumbling noises or shows signs of muddy water (try draining it to see what the water inside the tank looks like — follow detailed instructions on how to drain your water heater here — "muddy" water is a sign of corrosion inside the tank, a big red flag), it's probably time to think about replacing it. Other signs you need a new water heater are:
- Inefficient heating
- Not enough hot water
- Tank of water heater is leaking
- Tank of water heater has been damaged
Many homeowners wait until their water heater stops working to replace it, but you'll make the wisest choice if you are proactive and do your research ahead of time. Choose the right heater for your home, considering size and type of water heater.
Choosing a New Water Heater
If you've determined it's time to get a new water heater, be sure to read this article on how to choose a water heater by size and watch this video on how to choose between a tank and tankless water heater.
Then give us a call and talk to a Charlotte water heater expert. We'll set you up with the best water heater for your home.
Quick question & answer: How long does a gas water heater last?
Gas water heaters last 8-12 years on average. The best way to extend the life of your gas water heater is to drain and flush your water heater once a year and replace the anode rod once every three years.