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Water heater age

Robert Jones

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Hi Robert,

If I thought based on that serial number that it might be a '76 water heater ,and the house was supposed to be built after that, I'd probably just google the name of the county and the words "tax assessor" and "parcel viewer" and then plug in the address at the county parcel viewer to find out exactly when it was built.

They have an expected service life around here of about 10 to 15 years from the date of installation when properly cared for. If there wasn't any doubt in my mind that the thing was older than 15 years (Looking at that photo, there isn't any doubt.), I'd just tell the client that it's gone past the end of its expected service life, there is no way to know when it will fail - it might even fail as I'm backing out of the driveway - and I'd recommend the client be proactive and replace it now versus replacing it when it eventually does fail. When the realtorzoid pipes up and asks why I'd want to replace a perfectly good water heater that's not showing any indications of imminent failure - I'd simply point out to the client that it's easier to get it done now versus waiting for it to fail when he or she isn't home and it ruptures, floods the house, garage or basement and ruins personal property, etc..



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