Parts and Inspection of a Water Heater (part 4 of 4)

Water heaters in general are reliable for around 10 years.  They can last much longer or they can start to fail after 5 or 6. (the oldest I have seen was a 68 year old electric water heater that was still cranking away!)  Among other issues with water heaters, the age is a good indicator of when the unit may start to fail or when you may need to replace the unit.

The thing I look at, when I am inspecting homes in Salem, Oregon and the water heater is the name plate:

The name plate will give most all of the information we need to determine the size and age of the unit.  Some times the age is very obvious and there will actually be a label that states when the unit was manufactured.  Most of the time you have to look in to the Serial Number. With most brands the year will be the second 2 numbers in the serial number.

Bradford White apparently insists on being difficult because they use a secrete spy code on their tanks and you need to bring your box-top decoder ring.

In this first picture you can see the location of the serial number:

This next picture shows the two letters that are significant for determining the date of manufacture of this particular water heater:

At this point we get out our secrete spy decoder ring (or try a Google internet search):
and we can see that this tank was produced in October of 2005.  Meaning it is a 4 1/2 year old tank.

At this point I am tired of talking about have concluded some brief ideas on what to look for when looking at these super stylish modern appliances.  You can check out my earlier posts here:  More water heater information

Jim Allhiser President/Inspector

“Always on the cutting edge”

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