This installment is aimed at home owners. The intention is to provide information on How to determine the age of a hot water tank or hot water heater.
There are several dozen manufacturers of residential hot water heaters in North America and they all have a date code so they can track warranty or production defects throughout the products’ life cycle. Fortunately there are only a hand-full of manufacturers that make up the majority of the hot water tanks that we, as home inspectors, come across on a daily basis.
The generally accepted life expectancy of a residential hot water heater or hot water tank is 10-15 years. There are several factors that can affect the life of a hot water tank, most notably the load that the tank is under, the chemistry of the water being heated and the environment in which the tank is located.
The following information will enable a home owner to determine the age of their hot water heater (for the most common brands seen in the Greater Vancouver Region).
The date code can be found in the Serial Number. Rheem water heaters have a ten digit serial number, the first 2 digits are the month of manufacture and the next 2 digits are the year
Example: 1001X4567 = October 2001
Manufacturer: John Wood
The date code can also be found in the Serial Number. John Wood water heaters have a ten digit serial number. The date code is either the first four digits or the last four digits. More recent water heaters will be coded to the first four digits, if your water heater is coded to the last four digits it is probably well beyond its’ expected life cycle. With the John Wood water heater coding the first 2 digits are the year of manufacture and the next 2 digits are the month.
Example: 100134567 = January 2010
Manufacturer: Bradford White
The date code can be found in the Serial Number. Bradford White water heaters have an Alpha numeric serial number, the first letter represents the year of manufacture, the second letter represents the month of manufacture. The following table is used to decode the year:
The following table is used to decode the month:
NOTE: Some January 1997 models were erroneously marked “OA”, when really they should have been marked “PA”.
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For other models not listed here or for other questions concerning your home, please feel free to contact Stonegate Home Inspections Ltd for a free consultation. Happy New Year!
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