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Details You Need for Water Heater Replacement

by | Mar 28, 2017

When you are looking for water heater replacement, you will often need advice on which features and models are best for your needs. At Waterheaters.com, we can help you with that decision. However, you first need to gather some information. We will need some photos of your water heater to help diagnose the issue. Locating the serial number is also important for helping to determine if water heater replacement is needed. We can use it to track down the make, the model number and when your water heater was manufactured. We may also use the model number information we find to locate a similar water heater to replace your old model.

How to Find the Serial # of Your Water Heater

You will need to locate the rating plate of your water heater to find the serial number. The rating plate gives three essential pieces of information:

  1. The serial number.
  2. The model number.
  3. The date of manufacture.

The main thing you are looking for is the sticker on the tank that shows the model number and the serial number on it. This is known as the rating plate. It will usually be attached to the side of your unit. The model number will tell us important information about the water heater’s height, its width, and its power source.

The serial number of your water heater will also be used to determine if it is still under warranty. If the water heater is still within the warranty period, you can usually get a new water heater replacement from the manufacturer.

Submitting Other Photos of Your Water Heater

There are a few other photos you should submit to help us best troubleshoot your water heater.

  1. A photo of your tank installation that shows where it is situated within your basement or other location.
  2. A photo showing the pipe connections of the water heater tank.
  3. A photo showing a leak or any other problem the water heater is exhibiting.

How Old Is Your Water Heater

Although not required for submitting our form, you may wish to know how old your water heater is. Most hot water manufacturers have a manufacture date displayed on the water heater. However, different brands record the age of manufacturing in different ways. There are too many brands to describe how to read the age of every water heater in existence, but here are a few methods for determining the manufacturing date (depending upon the manufacturer) by reading the serial number.

  • American (who makes American Proline, Craftmaster and Whirlpool brands of water heaters) lists a two digit year followed by a two digit week at the start of their serial numbers.
  • Rheem Corporation water heaters use a code that comprises the first four digits of the serial number. The first two digits of the serial number indicate the two digit month of manufacture, and the next two digits indicate the year of manufacture.
  • State Industries / A. O. Smith: If your water heater was manufactured before 2008, State Industries used a single letter to signify the month and two digits to represent the year. The letters A – N are each equivalent to January through December. If you have a unit manufactured after 2008, then those units use only digits to denote the production date (a two digit year followed by a two digit week). This will be the same with any water heater produced by A.O. Smith, who acquired State Industries in 2008.
  • Bradford White is another manufacturer who uses letter codes to signify years and months. The first letter in the serial number denotes the year and the second letter the month of manufacture. The letter A could stand for 1964, 1984 or 2004, while the letter B could stand for 1965, 1985 or 2005, etc. Bradford White uses a 20-year letter cycle where every letter of the alphabet is used except for I, O, Q, R, U, and V. Like State Industries, the second letter (A – N) stands for the months January through December. For example, a Bradford White water heater serial number that starts with FJ… that was purchased after the year 2000 will have a manufacture date of September 2009.

Keep in mind that the typical tank water heater only lasts ten to twelve years, while tankless water heaters typically last fifteen to twenty years. If you are still having trouble finding or figuring out the rating plate of your water here or whether it is still covered by warranty, get in touch with us so we can help. Contact Waterheaters.com today for all your water heater replacement needs.