When owning a water heater, it is important to know the water heater age and when it is time to service or replace your water heater. If you have owned a water heater for a long time or just moved to a house with a water heater you are not familiar with, then it would be a good idea to figure out your water heater’s age.
SensibleDigs has created a great article on everything you need to know in order to determine your water heater age. To read the full article, click here.
Here are some highlights from the SensibleDigs article on deciding your water heater age.
Determining Water Heater Age
With newer models, the installation date of the water heater is usually located on the information sticker that is right on the water heater. With older models, you may have to dig a litter deeper to understand the age of your water heater.
The best place to start is by looking at your water heater’s serial number that is usually located near the energy guide or warning labels on the water heater. The serial number displays the month and year of construction. This can be a little tricky because different manufacturing companies use different patterns or formulas when displaying this date on the serial number.
Decoding A Water Heater’s Serial Number To Find Construction Date
You will need to know your water heater’s brand in order to decipher the construction date and age of the water heater. See below for the most popular brands of water heaters and how to decode the serial number of each brand.
A.O. Smith Water Heater Age
Determining the age an A.O. Smith water heater is pretty straight forward. For older and current models, A.O. Smith states the year and week of construction within the first four numbers of the serial number.
Example: If the A.O. Smith serial number is 9808****** then the water heater was constructed in 1998 in the 8th week of the year.
It is important to know the age of your A.O. Smith water heater and when to replace an AO Smith Water Heater.
Rheem Water Heater Age
For most Rheem models, their construction dates are identified by the month, then the year on the serial number. These numbers are usually displaced as the first four numbers. In some cases, they may be displayed as the third to sixth numbers.
Example: If the Rheem serial number is 1110****** then the water heater was constructed in November 2010.
Bradford Water Heater Age
Bradford Water Heater’s uses a key to display the year and month of the manufacture date.
Here is the key for each letter that signifies a year… S = 2018, P = 2017, N = 2016, M = 2015, L = 2014, K = 2013, J = 2012, H = 2011, G = 2010, F = 2009, E = 2008, D = 2007, C = 2006, B = 2005, A = 2004, Z = 2003, Y = 2002, X = 2001, W = 2000, T = 1999, S = 1998, P = 1997, N = 1996
Here is the key for each letter that signifies a month… A = January, B = February, C = March, D = April, E = May, F = June, G = July, H = August, J = September, K = October, L = November, M = December
Example: If the Bradford White serial number is DG****** then the water heater was constructed in July 2007.
Rinnai Water Heater Age
Rinnai Water Heaters carry two serial number patterns. On newer models, they use a similar key to the Bradford White water heaters that signify the month and year of the manufacture date of the Rinnai water heater.
The year of manufacture is represented by the first letter on the serial number. Here is the key… A = 2009, B = 2010, C = 2011, D = 2012, E = 2013, F = 2014, G = 2015, H = 2016, J = 2017, K = 2018, L = 2019, M = 2020, N = 2021, P = 2022, R = 2023, S = 2024, T = 2025, W = 2026, X = 2027, Y = 2028, Z = 2029
The month of manufacture is represented by the second letter on the serial number. Here is the key… A = January, B = February, C = March, D = April, E = May, F = June, G = July, H = August, J = September, K = October, L = November, M = December
Example: If the Rinnai Water Heater serial number is JB. **-****** then the water heater was constructed in February 2017.
When To Replace Your Water Heater
Your water heater should last you many years and you should have a good idea of how much longer your water heater will last by reading the serial number to decipher the manufacture date of your water heater.
Keep in mind these 4 things when deciding the right time to replace your water heater:
- Water Heater Age: The general lifespan of a water heater is 10-15 years. This is why it is important to determine the age of your water heater and it is recommended to replace your water heater before it’s 15th birthday.
- Less Hot Water: If you are experiencing a decrease in hot water throughout your home, then it may be time to replace your water heater
- Higher Heating Bills: As a water heater grows older, it takes more energy to produce hot water. An increase in heating bills may be a good indication that your water heater is getting old and it’s time for a replacement.
- Corrosion: If your water heater is beginning to corrode, then this is means your water heater is significantly old and it is time for a replacement.
Water Heater Age & Replacing Your Water Heater
Unfortunately, water heaters don’t last forever and there will come a time when your water heater age will grow old and it is time for a replacement. On average, a water heater’s lifespan is anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
Take a look at your water heater’s serial number to decipher your water heater’s age to determine if it is time for a water heater replacement. If you are trying to determine “How old is my water heater,” then use this guide to determine the water heater age of your water heater.
For AO Smith warranty questions outside of New York, please call 1-800-527-1953.