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How to Determine the Age of a Water Heater

Whether it’s leaking, making noises, or simply not heating water the way it used to, water heaters will eventually have problems. Since you probably understand that appliances don’t last forever, one of the first questions you’ll ask yourself when something goes wrong is, “How old is my water heater?”. You may be wondering if repair or replacement is the best option or even if you’re still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Hopefully your water heater is not THIS old.

If you’re the type who saves every purchase receipt for decades, you probably don’t need to read this. If you have a newer model, the water heater age is sometimes clearly printed on the manufacturer’s label affixed to the unit. For everyone else, keep reading to see how easy it is to find your water heater’s manufacture date. All you need is to know who manufactured the water heater and its serial number (both found on the label affixed to the water heater).

Manufacturer vs Brand

Before going further, I want to point out the differences between a water heater manufacturer and a water heater brand. The manufacturer is the company that takes materials or components to create (or manufacture) the water heater. The brand on the other hand is what the water heater is sold (or branded) as to customer. A small number of manufacturers create water heaters which are then sold under dozens of different brands. For instance, even though the water heater you bought from Sears says Kenmore on it, it’s still manufactured by Rheem.

Below are serial number lookup sections for every major water heater manufacturer. Column one lists all the various brands that manufacturer makes, column two shows sample serial numbers, and column three of each table acts as a serial number decoder.

A.O. Smith Water Heater Age

Included BrandsA.O. Smith Serial NumbersHow to Decode
A.O. Smith
Glascote
PermaGlas
Style 1 (current): 1510*******
(10th week of 2015)

Style 2 (pre-2008): *A07*******
(January, 2007)
Style 1: Digits 1-2 are the year and digits 3-4 are the week of the year.

Style 2: The second digit is the month (A-N, excluding I) so A=January and N=December. Digits 3-4 are the year.

Rheem Water Heater Age

Included BrandsRheem Serial NumbersHow to Decode
Rheem
Ruud
Rheem/Ruud
Richmond
Vista Therm
Citation
Aqua Therm
Energy Master
Vanguard
Cimarrom
Coast to Coast
Lowe’s
Servi-Star
True Value
ABS
Intertherm & Miller
Mainstream
Montgomery Ward
General Electric
Professional
Style 1: 0811******
(August, 2011)

Style 2: *3210*****
(32nd week of 2010)

Style 3: ** 1599******
(15th week of 1999)

Style 4: ****0608******
(June, 2008)

Style 5: 09.04-******
(April, 2009)
Style 1: Digits 1-2 are the month and digits 3-4 are the year.

Style 2: Digits 2-3 are the week of the year and digits 4-5 are the year.

Style 3: Digits 3-4 are the week of the year and digits 5-6 are the year.

Style 4: Digits 5-6 are the month and digits 7-8 are the year.

Style 5: Digits 1-2 are the year and digits 3-4 are the month (the sets of numbers are separated by a period)

Bradford White Water Heater Age

Included BrandsBradford White Serial NumbersHow to Decode
Bradford White
Jetglas
EH*******
(August, 2008)

TB*******
(February, 1999)
1st letter equals the year using this key:
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

2nd letter equals the month using this 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

State Industries Water Heater Age

Included BrandsState Ind. Serial NumbersHow to Decode
State/Kenmore
Ace
Ambassador
Barnett
Century
Crosley
Energy Stretcher
Freedom
Freedome/Nipsco
Hardware House
Master Plumber/True5
Mission
Nationaline
Patriot
Penfield
President
Regency
Reliance
The Plumbery
Thermo-Ki
Style 1: 1021*******
(21st week of 2010)

Style 2: K06*******
(October, 2006)

Style 3: *K06*******
(October, 2006)
Style 1: Digits 1-2 are the year and digits 3-4 are the week of the year.

Style 2: The 1st digit is the month of the year using the key below and digits 2-3 are the year.
A = January | B = February | C = March
D = April | E = May | F = June
G = July | H = August | J = September
K = October | L = November | M = December

Style 3: Same as style 2 except it has an extra digit at the beginning.

American Water Heater Age

Acquired by A.O. Smith in 2001. Prior to that, manufactured water heaters for dozens of different brands.
Included BrandsAmerican Serial NumbersHow to Decode
American
Ace
American Hardware
Best
Best Deluxe
Apex
Aqua Temp
Agua Therm
Aquamatic
Champion
Craftmaster
De-Limier
Deluxe
Eagle
Earl’s Energy Saver
Environtemp
Four Most
Hotmaster
Hotstream
King-Cleen
King-line
Master Plumber
Mor-Flo/American
Nationaline
Neptune
Penquin
Premier
Prestige
Proline
Proline-Plus
Quaker
Quick-Flo
Raywall
Revere
Riveria
SABH
Sands
Sentinel
Service-Star
Shamrock
Special Deluxe
Standard
Super Eagle
Sure-Fire
Thoro-clean
Tru-Test
Tru Value
U.S. Supply
Whirlpool
XCL-Energy Saver
Style 1 (current): 1510*******
(10th week of 2015)

Style 2 (pre-2008): *A07*******
(January, 2007)
Style 1: Digits 1-2 are the year and digits 3-4 are the week of the year.

Style 2: The second digit is the month (A-N, excluding I) so A=January and N=December. Digits 3-4 are the year.

Lochinvar Water Heater Age

Included BrandsLochinvar Serial NumbersHow to Decode
Lochinvar
Energy Saver
Golden Knight
Knight
EH*******
(August, 2008)

TB*******
(February, 1999)
1st letter equals the year using this key:
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

2nd letter equals the month using this 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

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