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When was the last time you took the time to date your water heater?

Ahhhh, young love, the romance of it all….the first kiss, long walks on the beach – oh sorry you thought we were going to talk about "DATING YOUR WATER HEATER." C'mon now we didn't actually mean take your water heater on a "date." What we actually meant was, have you taken the time to see how old your water heater is.

Whether your water heater is making strange noises, leaking, or just not heating the water the way you want it to, these are all signs that your water heater may have seen better days. Like most appliances, a water heater won't last forever, but the question is, "how old is it?"

For many of the newer water heaters, often times the date is printed right on the label, but for many, it can be a real adventure to discover how old your water heater really is. If you are wondering whether or not it is time to repair or possibly replace your unit, knowing the date can be a huge guide in making that decision. ***Once you know the date write it on the heater so you won’t have to do it again.

Luckily, the Forrest Anderson team has a few guidelines to help you identify the age of your water heater.

Check the label

Check for a manufacturer label on the side of your water heater — this should include the installation date. If the label is missing, or the installation date is not listed, you can use the serial number to determine the age of your unit.

Decoding the serial number

Serial number formats vary by manufacturer, with the installation date placed differently in each case. Check the brand name on your water heater and then use the following guide to determine the age of your unit:

  • Rheem and Ruud MMYY**** MM = Month of manufacture YY = Year of manufacture Example: 1209D1234 = December 2009

  • American and AO Smith 2008–present: YYWW******* YY = Year of manufacture WW = Week of manufacture Example: 16051234567 = 2016, 5th week (early February) Pre-2008: *MYY****** M = Month of manufacture A = January | B = February | C = March | D = April | E = May | F = June | G = July | H = August | J = September | K = October | L = November | M = December YY = Year of manufacture Example: 4D051234567 = April 2005

  • Bradford White Bradford White's serial numbers are a little less straightforward. The year of manufacture is noted by the first letter of the serial number, and the month is the second letter. YM******* Y = Year of manufacture A = 1984 or 2004 | B = 1985 or 2005 | C = 1986 or 2006 | D = 1987 or 2007 | E = 1988 or 2008 | F = 1989 or 2009 | G = 1990 or 2010 | H = 1991 or 2011 | J = 1992 or 2012 | K = 1993 or 2013 | L = 1994 or 2014 | M = 1995 or 2015 | N = 1996 or 2016 | P = 1997 or 2017 | S = 1998 or 2018 | T = 1999 or 2019 | W = 2000 | X = 2001 | Y = 2002 | Z = 2003 Note: Bradford White water heaters manufactured 20 years apart will have the same letter designation M = Month of manufacture A = January | B = February | C = March | D = April | E = May | F = June | G = July | H = August | J = September | K = October | L = November | M = December Example: KH6511396 = August 2013

Forrest Anderson is here to help!

As we said, it may be time to "Date" your water heater. You may find that you need to maintain it or replace it. The Forrest Anderson team is here to guide you in the process of buying and installing the perfect modern water heater that fits your home!

Forrest Anderson has been the go-to plumbing and HVAC company in phoenix for over 50 years.

Now is the time to schedule your Water Heater and AC Maintenance and repair for the upcoming summer months.

At Forrest Anderson, we provide residential and commercial plumbing and HVAC services throughout the Phoenix Metro area. Some of our most popular service areas include the cities of Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Chandler, Sun Cities, Queen Creek and the San Tan Valley.

If you are located in or near these areas, do not hesitate to contact us 24/7 at 623.780.4060 or visit us online at

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