How to Determine the Age of a Water Heater

Is your water heater making a strange noise or not heating the water as it should?

Having such issues with the water heater is inevitable. It is also obvious that these systems do not last forever. So how long does water heater lasts? If you’re facing such issues ask yourself, “How old is the water heater?”

You should consider going through the purchase receipt or read the manufacturer’s label to check if they’ve printed the age of the water heater there. However, if you’ve already lost the purchase receipt or if your model does not have an exact date mentioned in the label, what should you do?

There is another way to determine the age of the water heater — and it’s pretty simple!

Make sure to know the name of the manufacturer and the serial number of the water heater. Both the manufacturer’s name, as well as the serial number, can be found on the label attached somewhere in the unit.

Let’s go through all the methods on how to determine the age of your water heater. Furthermore, we will also help you decode the serial number of your water heater.

Let’s get into it!

How to Determine The Age of a Water Heater

Check the Label

First of all, check the manufacturer’s label. This label is usually attached to the side of the unit and includes the installation date of the water heater.

You can find out the actual age of your water on the label. But, not every model lists the installation date on the tag. If the label is missing, use the serial number to determine the age of your water heating appliance.

Decoding the Serial Number

Don’t worry if the manufacturer’s label of your water heater does not have the installation date or has already worn out. You can still determine your unit’s age by decoding the serial number. But, the format of the serial number can vary among the different brands.

Therefore, to determine the age of your water heater, check the brand name, and use the following guidelines to decode the serial number accordingly:

Rheem Water Heater Age

Serial NumbersHow to Decode
Format 1: 0912******
(September 2012)
Format 1: The first two digits are months, and digits three and four are the year.
Format 2: *3011*****
(30th week of 2011)
Format 2: The second and third digits are the specific week of the year, and digits four and five are the year.
Format 3: ** 1498******
(14th week of 1998)
Format 3: The third and fourth digits are the specific week of the year, and the fifth and sixth digits are the year.
Format 4: ****0709******
(July, 2009)
Format 4: The fifth and sixth digits are the month, and the seventh and eighth digits are the year.
Format 5: 10.04-******(April 2010)Format 5:The first two digits are the year and the third and fourth digits are the month (separated by a period)

A.O Smith Water Heater Age

Serial NumbersHow to Decode
Format 1 (current): 1612*******
(12th week of 2016)
Format 1: The first two digits are the year, and the third and fourth digits are the week of the year.
Format 2 (pre-2008): *A06*******
(January 2006)
Format 2: The second digit is the month (indicated by A-N, excluding I), e.g., A=January and N=December. The third and fourth digits of the code are the year.

Bradford White Water Heater Age

Serial NumbersHow to Decode
NM*******
(December 2016)
The first letter indicated the year:
P = 1997 | S = 1998 | T = 1999 |
W = 2000 | X = 2001 | Y = 2002 |
Z = 2003| A = 2004 | B = 2005 |
C = 2006 | D = 2007 | E = 2008 |
F = 2009| G = 2010 | H = 2011 |
J = 2012 | K = 2013 | L = 2014 |
M = 2015 | N = 2016 | P = 2017 |
SC*******
(March, 1998)
The second letter indicates the 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

American Water Heater Age

Serial NumbersHow to Decode
Format 1 (current): 1711*******
(11th week of 2017)
Format 1: The first two digits are the year, and the third and fourth digits are the week of the year.
Format 2 (pre-2008): *B07*******
(February, 2007)
Format 2: The second digit indicates the month (A-N, excluding I), e.g., A=January and N=December. The third and fourth digits of the code are the year.

State Industries Water Heater Age

Serial NumbersHow to Decode
Format 1: 1122*******
(22nd week of 2011)
Format 1: The first two digits are the year, and the third and fourth digits are the week of the year.
Format 2: L08*******
(November 2008)
Format 2: The first digit indicates the month of the year
A = January / B = February / C = March / using the key below
D = April / E = May / F = June /
G = July / H = August / J = September /
K = October / L = November / M = December
The second and third digits are the year.
Format 3: *E07*******
(May 2007)
Style 3: It is similar to Format 2, except it has an additional digit at the beginning.

Lochinvar Water Heater Age

Serial NumbersHow to Decode
DM*******
(December 2007)
The first letter indicates the year:
P = 1997 | S = 1998 | T = 1999 |
W = 2000 | X = 2001 | Y = 2002 |
Z = 2003| A = 2004 | B = 2005 |
C = 2006 | D = 2007 | E = 2008 |
F = 2009| G = 2010 | H = 2011 |
J = 2012 | K = 2013 | L = 2014 |
M = 2015 | N = 2016 | P = 2017 |
SB*******
(February, 1998)
The second letter indicates the month:
A = January / B = February / C = March /
D = April / E = May / F = June /
D = April / E = May / F = June /
D = April / E = May / F = June /
G = July / H = August / J = September /
K = October / L = November / M = December

Conclusion

The age of a water heater plays a significant role when it comes to its performance. If your water heater is leaking or making too much noise, consider checking the age of your system before trying to fix it. If the water heater is too old, it might just be time for you to invest in a new one.