How to tell the age of a water heater

2016-06-20 09.13.02When buying a home, many people ask a very common question: How old is the water heater.

They probably ask this because they have either heard horror stories of older water heaters bursting and leaking all over a home, or perhaps they have even seen it first hand.

The problem is, sometimes those stories are true. Water heaters seem to choose the most random time to break – and sometimes the worst time. So replacing your water heater before it breaks is important.

So before we answer the question in our blog, we should first understand how long the average water heater lasts. According to most associations, the average lifespan of a water heater is about 10 years. But there are other factors.

For instance, larger water heaters and electric water heaters tend to last a little longer. Also, some brands go sooner, and some last longer. The average water heater warranty is about 6 years – so a good rule of thumb is to at least start watching a water hear at 6 years old, but consider replacing it at 10 years (whether it still works or not).

So how can you tell how old your water heater is? That’s an easy one. has most manufacturer’s date codes (usually built into the unit’s serial number). Just look at the sticker, and use the Building Center online guide.

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