Bradford White® Water age

How to determine the date of production/manufacture or age of Bradford White® brand Water Heater Systems.

Water heaters in general have an average estimated useful service life of 10-12 years, though water quality, routine upkeep/maintenance, and location of the water heater will all play critical roles in the longevity of these systems.

See also: Estimated Useful Service Life Expectancies

Parent Company: Bradford White Corporation

Subsidiaries: Bradford White Water Heaters, LAARS Heating Systems Company, Niles Steel Tank (NST), Bradford White Canada

The date of production/manufacture or age of Bradford White brand Water Heater equipment can be determined from the nine or ten character serial number located on the rating data plate. The serial number begins with two (2) letters followed by a sequential production number (seven digits in length before December 2007, and eight digits in length thereafter).

Example serial number styles/formats found:

  • Style 1:    DG6322957
  • Style 2:    OA8226825 (Unique computer error serial number beginning with the letter "O").

Legend:  Year is RED;  Month is GREEN; Week is BLUE

Style 1:   DG6322957

Year of manufacture can be determined by using the 1st letter of the serial number (see table)

Month of manufacture can be determined by using the 2nd letter of the serial number (see table)

How to determine the age or manfacture date of a Bradford White Water Heater
Bradford White® utilizes a rotating 20 year letter cycle to encode the year. (e.g., the letter "M" represents both 1995 and 2015 year of manufacture).

Production Year Codes:

  • A= 1984 or 2004 or 2024
  • B= 1985 or 2005 or 2025
  • C= 1986 or 2006 or 2026
  • D= 1987 or 2007
  • E= 1988 or 2008
  • F= 1989 or 2009
  • G= 1990 or 2010
  • H= 1991 or 2011
  • J= 1992 or 2012
  • K= 1993 or 2013

Production Year Codes:

  • L= 1994 or 2014
  • M= 1995 or 2015
  • N= 1996 or 2016
  • P= 1997 or 2017
  • S= 1998 or 2018
  • T= 1999 or 2019
  • W= 2000 or 2020
  • X= 2001 or 2021
  • Y= 2002 or 2022
  • Z= 2003 or 2023

Production Month Codes:

  • A= January
  • B= February
  • C= March
  • D= April
  • E= May
  • F= June

Production Month Codes:

  • G= July
  • H= August
  • J= September
  • K= October
  • L= November
  • M= December

It is common to encounter a Bradford White® water heater that may be difficult to determine which specific 20 year designation the letter code represents. In order to accurately determine which 20 year cycle the letter may represent, one must also look at other determining factors.

The ANSI standards compliance date is the most common key indicator to assist with this determination (see our sample style 1 photo below).

In the photo example below, the first letter "D" in the serial number can represent both @1987 and 2007.

The ANSI compliance date on the data tag indicates compliance with ANSI Z21.10.1a-1985. where 1985 is the year revision for ANSI Z21.10.1a% compliance standard.

This code is typically revised every 6-8 years, which indicates two common sense considerations...

  • 1. This water heater cannot have been manufactured prior to 1985.
  • 2. This water heater is more likely to have been manufactured in 1987 (within 6-8 years of 1985 code revision) as opposed to 2007.

In absence of the listed ANSI year revision, one must rely on other factors or clues including but not limited to:

  • - physical appearance,
  • - dates on the building or health department (authority having jurisdiction AHJ) inspection tag or sticker,
  • - service tags (if present),
  • - age of the structure it is installed in,
  • - and simple common sense.

If all else fails, contact Bradford White with the model and serial number (including "dash number") for assistance.


Style 2:   OA8226825

Due to a computer @ error there were some Bradford-White® Serial Numbers that began with the letter "O" which were mistakenly released into the market.

("O" as well as I, Q, R, U, & V were otherwise not used as part of their serial number nomenclature system.) .

These units were manufactured only in January, 1997. Should you encounter one of these rare unicorns....


Bradford White® History¹

  • 1881 - Began as Pennsylvania Range Boiler Company
  • 1959 - Company reorganized under new name: The Pennsylvania-Bradford Appliance Corporation
  • 1968 - Merger between Pennsylvania-Bradford and White Products of Middleville, Michigan under new company:  @Bradford-White Corporation
  • 1992 - Becomes employee owned Bradford White
  • 1995 - First in industry to increase tank warranty % to six years
  • 1998 - First in industry to make six year parts warranty standard on all residential water heaters
  • 2002 - Bradford White purchases Niles Steel Tank Company (Niles, Michigan) and Aero Environemental Ltd. (Canada)
  • 2003 - Introduces FVIR compliant Defender Safety System® technology
  • 2004 - Introduces EverHot® line of tankless water heaters
  • 2005 - Purchases Laars Heating Systems (Rochester, NH) to further expand plumbing and HVAC offerings

¹Excerpts from

Every effort is undertaken to offer you correct and concise information to assist you in determining the age or manufacture date of water heating equipment. Users relying on this information do so at their own risk.
Page last updated: 08/07/2023