Water heaters are the last utility on our mind because we think that they are supposed to be always working…right? It’s not until you’re expecting a nice, warm shower and it suddenly feels like someone threw a bucket of ice on you or you find your garage puddled that you remember that water heater of yours.

Most water heaters are pretty simple with only a few ways to find out if it needs replacing. The two most common types of water heaters are electric or gas but with technology advancing there are a variety of kinds.

Here are a few ways to troubleshoot your water heater and find out if your home needs a new one!

1. Make sure the power source is connected!

2. If your water is coming out rusty then the inside of your heater has rusted-needs replacing!

3. Reset thermostat

4. Have thermostat or heating element replaced

5. Remove sediments by flushing tank If it is unable to be flush it out, it might be so corroded you need a new one.

6. Find out how old your water heater is by checking the label and using the serial numbers. If it is over 8-10 years, it’s likely you need replacing. Here is a breakdown of the most common water heater brands and how to tell their age!

Rheem or Ruud

ex. 0585A35604 (MMYYPnnnnn) = May 1985

MM = month of manufacture

YY = year of manufacture

P = plant identifying code

nnnnn = a consecutive serial number for your individual unit

AO Smith and American

ex. 9705123445 M07A127970(xYYxWWxxxx) = 2007, 12th week (mid March)

YY = month of manufacture

WW = year of manufacture

You can also use the build date on the label.

Bradford WhiteBradford White

ex. BH6511396 (YMxxxxxxx) = B=2005 & H=August

The Bradford White rating plate is the most difficult to decode. The year of manufacture is noted by the first letter of the serial number, the month is the second letter. The decoding is based on the following format:

Year Decoder: G = 1990; H = 1991; J = 1992; K = 1993; L= 1994; M= 1995; N= 1996; P= 1997; S= 1998; T= 1999; W= 2000; X= 2001; Y= 2002; Z=2003; A= 2004; B=2005; C=2006; D=2007

Month Decoder: A= JAN; B=FEB; C=MAR; D= APR; E=MAY; F= JUNE; G=JULY; H= AUG; J= SEPT; K=OCT; L= NOV; M= DEC.

After completing these step and you do find that your water heater needs replacing, call your friendliest San Diego plumbers at California Plumbing SD!

*This blog is for general understanding and educational purposes only and should not be used in place of professional advice. Please contact a professional at California Plumbing SD for a consultation.

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