how old is my water heater?There are many reasons that you may need to know the age of your water heater. Maybe your prospective buyers are interested in the age of your water heater. Maybe you need to decide whether or not it is time to replace the heater instead of repairing it. No matter why you need to know, there are a few simple ways to find out how old your water heater is.

Check Your Paperwork

If you have the owner’s manual for your water heater or the quote or receipt from its purchase, either one may list the date and therefore give you a general idea of how old your water heater is.

Look for Model and Serial Number

If you don’t have any paperwork, the model and serial number on the water heater can help you out. Look on the tank, near the bottom, for a model name and serial number. Different units may have it in different places. Many manufacturers include a year in the serial number itself. Depending on the manufacturer, you can decode the serial number differently:

  • American and AO Smith: The last two digits of the year the unit was made are the first two digits of the serial number.
  • Rudd and Rheem: The last two digitals of the year are the third and fourth digits of the serial number.
  • Bradford White: This company has a letter at the very start of the serial code. This letter corresponds to one of two different years. You have to determine which year is more likely for your heater! It is a complicated system, so it is best to just call Bradford White and ask them.

Call the Experts

If the serial number doesn’t help you out, it’s time to call the expert. You can call either the manufacturer or your plumber to get answers.

The manufacturer may be able to pinpoint the exact date the water heater was manufactured depending on physical cues like color, parts, model name, and more. However, if the serial code is heavily faded, and they included other differences between models manufactured in the relevant years, they may not be able to give you an answer. They may be able to give you something, though.

If your manufacturer can’t tell you what you need, your plumber may be a big help. While they may not have an exact figure for when your water heater was installed, they will be able to look at the condition of the water heater and make a rough estimate.

When Should a Water Heater Be Replaced?

Ultimately, when you’re looking for the age of your water heater, you are probably wondering if it I time to replace it. Most water heaters last about twelve years. If you’re doing repairs on a water heater that is ten years or older, it may be most economical to simply replace it. However, on younger models, even major repairs may still be worthwhile. Your plumber can help you make the best decision to save yourself money in the long-term. Our team is available for both residential and commercial water heater repairs MantecaRipon, LathropModesto, and more.