Water heaters are essential appliances in our homes, ensuring we have hot water for daily tasks. However, like all appliances, they have a finite lifespan. Bradford White is a trusted brand known for its water heaters, and knowing your Bradford White water heater age can help you plan for maintenance, repairs, or even a replacement.

In this blog post, we’ll go over the details of determining the age of your Bradford White water heater using the serial number and other clues.

The Serial Number

Bradford white water heaters have a serial number, which is the key to unlocking their age. The serial number is usually located on the rating data plate of the unit and consists of nine or ten characters. Here’s what you need to know to understand it:

1. Serial Number Styles

Bradford White water heaters have two common serial number styles. Style 1 is a typical serial number, while Style 2, which starts with the letter “O,” is a unique computer error serial number.

2. Year and Month Encoding

 The first letter of the serial number represents the year of manufacture, and the second letter represents the month. Bradford White uses a 20-year letter cycle to encode the year, meaning that one letter can represent many years. We provide decoding tables for both years and months.

Determining the Year Cycle

It can be confusing when figuring out the year from the serial number because of a 20-year repeating pattern. To resolve this, you can look at other factors, including the ANSI (American National Standards) Institute standards compliance date. This compliance date is a critical indicator to help pinpoint the exact manufacturing year. 

Other Clues and Resources

Sometimes, determining your Bradford White water heater age might require more detective work. This section outlines additional clues and resources that can assist in age determination. These include:

  • Physical Appearance: Observe any visible signs of wear, corrosion, or outdated design features.
  • Building or Health Department Inspection Tags: Check for dates on these tags or stickers.
  • Service Tags: If present, service tags can provide valuable information.
  • Age of the Structure: Consider the age of the building where the water heater is installed.
  • Common Sense: Sometimes, a little intuition goes a long way.

Contacting Bradford White

If all else fails, don’t hesitate to contact Bradford White for assistance. Provide them with the model and serial number, including the “dash number,” and their experts can help you determine the precise age of your water heater.


Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily decode your Bradford White water heater age and plan for maintenance, repairs, or replacement accordingly. knowing how old your Bradford White water heater is can help you better plan for maintenance, repair, or getting a new one. This guide will help you determine its age using the serial number. If you need further assistance, just contact Bradford White.

Also, remember these tips: Get regular checkups to catch problems early and prevent them from worsening. Look for signs of leaks or not enough hot water. Think about replacing your water heater before it gets too old to require significant repairs or suddenly breaks down.

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