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How Old Is My Water Heater? Quick Age Determination Guide

3 min read • January 19th, 2024

Heil Plumbing

How Old Is My Water Heater? (0:00-0:01)

Knowing the age of your water heater is essential for efficient operation and safety. An older water heater runs less efficiently and poses risks such as leaks or failure. If you’ve ever wondered, “how old is my water heater,” this quick guide is for you. Watch the video or keep reading, and we’ll help you accurately determine the age of your heater.

Identifying the Correct Sticker on Your Water Heater (0:03-0:06)

It’s a common misconception that the energy guide sticker indicates a water heater’s age. The actual date is on a different label, typically a white or clear sticker, which includes all the key manufacturer’s information, like the serial and model numbers, often found near the base of the heater. This sticker is the key to uncovering the manufacturing date.

The Serial Number and the Encoded Water Heater Age (0:20-0:44)

The water heater’s date of manufacture or “built date” may not be directly stated on the manufacturer’s sticker. If it isn’t directly stated, this information is encoded within the serial number found on the appliance. The method of encoding the manufacturing date in the serial number varies depending on the water heater’s manufacturer. So, unless you’ve had some experience with decoding water heater manufacturer serial numbers, you will probably need to do some simple research online. We outline how to go about this research below.

where is the serial number on my water heater? Look for the white or clear sticker.

How Old Is My Water Heater by Serial Number? (0:44-1:19)

  1. With the serial number from your sticker, open up an online search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, etc…).
  2. Search the manufacturer’s name and “warranty check” or “warranty verification.” For instance, if you have a State Select water heater, you might search “State water heater warranty check.”
  3. Click on the company’s “warranty” webpage. (The exact name of the webpage may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.)
  4. Enter your water heater’s serial number into the company’s warranty search engine.
  5. Once searched, the manufacturer’s site should reveal the exact age of your water heater.
to answer the question "how old is my water heater" find the serial number and look it up online

Why It Matters: Water Heater Life Expectancy

So why is it important for you to know your water heater’s age? A clear understanding of your water heater’s age can help you properly maintain your water heater and save you from needing an emergency replacement. Emergency replacements tend to be costlier, and the best plumber for the job might not be available when your water heater stops working. Since water heater life expectancy is anywhere from 10 to 15 years*, depending on water quality and usage, knowing your water heater’s age can help you decide when it’s time to replace the appliance.

*Note that in cases where hard water is prevalent, the lifespan of some heaters might be reduced to just 5–7 years if the hard water is not treated.


Where is the serial number on my water heater?

Look for the sticker, usually at the bottom or side of the water heater, as shown in our video.

Can I determine the age without the serial number?

The serial number is essential, but you might estimate the age from installation records.

Does the age of my water heater affect its efficiency?

Absolutely, older units are typically less efficient, as discussed in our video.

Looking for a plumber in the Baltimore or D.C. area?

Whether you have a simple question like how to turn up the water heater or a more complex issue, Heil Plumbing has you covered. And, if you live in the Baltimore-D.C. metropolitan area, don’t hesitate to call us. Whether you need our Howard County plumbing team, our plumbers in Anne Arundel County, a hometown plumber Baltimore County trusts, or one of our Montgomery County plumbers, we are here for you.


Heil Plumbing Team

8177 Mission Rd Jessup, MD, 20794, United States

(410) 799-7727

Schedule Service


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