How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

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How do I tell the age of a Bradford White water heater from the serial number?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bradford White uses a 20-letter code for the year of manufacture of their water heaters. The first letter of the serial number is the one to use. The letters I, O, Q, R, U and V are excluded. Because the letter code recycles every 20 years “A,” for example, can be 1964, 1984, 2004. You have to use your own judgement of the condition of the water heater to determine which year is correct. Knowing when the house was built is also helpful.

A = 1964, 1984, 2004      B = 1965, 1985, 2005      C = 1966, 1986, 2006
D = 1967, 1987, 2007      E = 1968, 1988, 2008      F = 1969, 1989, 2009
G = 1970, 1990, 2010      H = 1971, 1991, 2011      J = 1972, 1992, 2012
K = 1973, 1993, 2013      L = 1974, 1994, 2014      M = 1975, 1995, 2015
N = 1976, 1996, 2016      P = 1977, 1997, 2017      S = 1978, 1998, 1998
T = 1979, 1999, 2019      W = 1980, 2000, 2020      X = 1981, 2001, 2021
Y = 1982, 2002                 Z = 1983, 2003 

  The data plate for the Bradford White water heater shown below has a first letter of “Y” and, because we knew that the house was built in 2002,  the other choice of 1982 was ruled out and we determined that it was the original water heater installed in the home. 

To determine the age of another manufacturer/brand of water heater, go to How do I determine the age of my water heater?

   To find the age of other home components, go to How can I find out the age of a roof? and How do I determine the age of an electrical panel? and How do I determine the age of my air conditioner? For life expectancies, visit What is the average life expectancy of the components of a house?

   Visit our WATER HEATERS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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