How to Tell If It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater
Predicting your water heater’s future is risky — although it’s most likely to last 10 to 15 years, waiting until it breaks can be costly: The average insurance claim for water damage due to a failed water heater is $4,000. And to make things worse, you may be stuck without hot water or end up with a flooded home.
So if you don’t know the age of your current unit, it’s worth checking to see if you’re nearing time for replacement. It pays to prepare before your water heater gives up or fails, which can be inconvenient (at best) or catastrophic (at worst).
Since finding the date of installation isn’t always straightforward, we came up with the handy guide below to help you find the age of your water heater.
Check the label
Check for a manufacturer label on the side of your water heater — this should include the installation date.
If the label is missing, or the installation date is not listed, you can use the serial number to determine the age of your unit.
Decoding the serial number
Serial number formats vary by manufacturer, with the installation date placed differently in each case. Check here to determine the age your unit based on the serial number.
Due for a replacement?
If it’s time for your old unit to go, consider upgrading to a hybrid water heater. Their super-efficient heat pump technology uses just 40% as much energy as conventional electric water heaters and they have a longer lifespan; in the long run, you could save up to $3,600 by choosing a hybrid water heater.