Flooded Water Heater (C) Daniel Friedman Montgomery Ward Water Heater Age Decoder
Montgomery Ward water heater data tag indicates water heater (cylinder / geyser) age
     

  • MONTGOMERY WARD WATER HEATER AGE - CONTENTS: how to de-code Montgomery Ward water heater serial number data tags to estimage the water heater age. Spare parts information for Paloma, Rheem, Wards water heaters. Wards Signature, Reliance & State water heater identification, age, parts, & installation manual sources.
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Life expectancy of a Montgomery Ward water heater: this article describes how to read the data tag and de-code its numbers to determine the age of a Montgomery Ward water heater.

We show typical water heater data tag model and serial number formats and note where in that information the year or week or month and year are encoded.

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How to De-Code the Data Tag on a Montgomery Ward Water Heater - Age Determination

Wards Signature 500 glass lined water heater cylinder (C) InspectAPedia DPMontgomery Ward Water Heater Age De-Coding Guide

Because we had trouble finding Montgomery Ward serial number decoding guides for the wide range of ages of manufacture of Wards water heaters in the books and de-coding charts provided by most publishers, we include a Wards water heater serial number decoding guide and de-coding examples here.

[Click to enlarge any image]

How to Decode Wards water heater serial numbers in format SNN 1280A12345

Standard de-coding for many Montgomery Ward water heaters whose serial number is printed as

SNN 1280A12345

depends on two pairs of digits in the serial number, digits 4&5 = the month of manufacture and digits 6&7 = the year of manufacture. So for my example the heater would have been made in December of 1980.

Wards water heaters have also been marketed under Wards Signature brand and the Reliance brand and were produced by State water heaters (according to some sources) and by Rheem (LeMarr).

For State water heaters manufactured for Montgomery Ward, an 8-character serial number was used (one more digit than yours) and are decoded as follows from Carson Dunlop Associates comprehensive Technical Reference Guide

Ser# B9912345

where the "B" position is an alphabetic code for month of manufacture (A-M omitting use of I, where A = January) followed by two numeric digits of year - B9912345 would decode as February 1999.

Use the CONTACT link at page top or bottom of our website pages and send me some sharp photos of your water heater and closeups of its labeling.

Scott LeMarr at Honest Home Inspections informs us that Montgomery wards should have been made be Rheem, Rudd / Richmond. For Montgomery Ward water heaters

  • the first two digits equal the month,
  • the next two digits give the year

Mr. LeMarr has shared his free WATER HEATER AGE DETERMINATION CHART [PDF] that decodes both furnace age and water heater age for many brands.

How to De-code Older Montgomery Ward water heater serial numbers in format Ser# TE22780

Query: 01/24/2014: G M Wagner said: Montgomery Ward Electric Water Heater-Model 94-SHT-2861A, Serial # TE22780 . Would you please tell me how old it is. Remodeling the basement and finally putting in a new one. thank you.

Reply: best guess: 1980

For decoding the age of a Montgomery Ward water heater, your Montgomery Ward electric water heater serial number is of an older format TE22780 that does not match the water heater age decoding formats I give just below. Providing you're giving me the whole n umber, and pending further research most-likely the year in which the water heater was manufactured is coded in the last two digits of your example - meaning this heater was made in 1980.

Scott adds this helpful tip:

Even looking at the model and serial number nothing matches the other water heater manufactures. Typically Rheem, American, and AO Smith were the only ones that would "Blue Label" a water heater. Typically the Model number has the tank size which the heater just above (SN TE22780) does not..kind of weird.

On occasion there is a yellow "Energy" label on the unit and at the bottom (sometimes middle) will tell you what ANSI Spec it was built to or it may give you an estimated cost on a particular year. If it reads ANSI Spec 1994 that it would have to be 94 or newer typically these specs come out every 2-3 years.

Query: (Jan 11, 2012) Doug said: My Montgomery Ward Signature 700 water heater is not working. Any idea how long it's been in my house? SER# is 1170 3310 SN

Reply: Doug, MM YY NNNN - 11 70 3310 means it looks as if your Wards Signature 700 water heater was built in November 1970. We can't say when it would have been put in the home, but if it is the original water heater then it would have been installed most often not long after its production, perhaps a year or two.

Reader Question: Age of a Montgomery Ward Electric Water Heater-Model 94-SHT-2861A, Serial # TE22780

(Jan 24, 2014) G M Wagner said:

Montgomery Ward Electric Water Heater-Model 94-SHT-2861A, Serial # TE22780' . Would you please tell me how old it is. Remodeling the basement and finally putting in a new one. thank you.

Reply:

Mr./Ms. Wagner:

For decoding the age of a Montgomery Ward water heater,

your Montgomery Ward electric water heater serial number is of an older format TE22780 that does not match the water heater age decoding formats I give below. Providing you're giving me the whole n umber, and pending further research I'm guessing the year is coded in the last two digits and = 1980.

Standard de-coding for many Montgomery Ward water heaters whose serial number is printed as SNN 1280A12345 depends on two pairs of digits in the serial number, digits 4&5 = the month of manufacture and digits 6&7 = the year of manufacture. So for my example the heater would have been made in December of 1980.

Wards water heaters have also been marketed under Wards Signature brand and the Reliance brand and were produced by State water heaters (if not other manufacturers).

For State water heaters manufactured for Montgomery Ward, an 8-character serial number was used (one more digit than yours) and are decoded as follows, using Carson Dunlop Associates example of

B9912345

where the "B" position is an alphabetic code for month of manufacture (A-M omitting use of I, where A = January) followed by two numeric digits of year - B9912345 would decode as February 1999.

Use the CONTACT link at page top or bottom of our website pages and send me some sharp photos of your water heater and closeups of its labeling and I'll research this further.

Reader Question: Montgomery Ward Signature 700 water heater age

(Jan 11, 2012) Doug said:

My Montgomery Ward Signature 700 water heater is not working. Any idea how long it's been in my house? SER# is 1170 3310 SN

Reply:

Doug, I decode this serial number as MM YY NNNN - 11 70 3310

It looks as if your Wards Signature 700 water heater was built in November 1970. We can't say when it would have been put in the home, but probably not long after its production, perhaps a year or two at most.

Wards, Rheem, Paloma water heater history, sales, acquisitions:

Rheem Manufacturing is now [since 1988 - Ed.] owned by Japanese water heater manufacturer Paloma, of Nagoya, Japan. - Scott C. LeMarr - HonestHomeInspections.com

Rheem Australia is the largest domestic & commercial water heater manufacturer in Australia. Quoting water heater history from Rheem / Paloma Australia:

Rheem Manufacturing Co (Australia) Proprietary Ltd was incorporated in Melbourne, Australia on November 26, 1936 as the first overseas venture of Rheem Manufacturing Company, an American drum manufacturer. Rheem ® began making drums in Australia in 1937 and manufactured its first gas water heaters in Australia at Waterloo, an inner Sydney suburb, in 1939. Electric water heaters commenced manufacture in 1945.

Over the years, the Rheem product range has diversified and has set up manufacturing plants as markets have developed. The most up-to-date technology has been installed to keep Rheem at the forefront of manufacturing techniques. ... Since 2001, Paloma Co Ltd, an international leader in water heating and space heating technology and manufacturing, has been the ultimate controlling entity of Rheem Australia Pty Ltd. - http://www.paloma.com.au retrieved 1/24/2014

Spare Parts for Rheem, Paloma, Wards water heaters

You will need your equipment brand, model number and serial number to be sure that proper parts are being ordered. Look for the data tag on the equipment. On furnaces and some other HVAC equipment the data tag may be inside of an access panel or cover. [Turning off power for safety may be necessary before removing the access cover on some equipment.]

  • Rheem water heater spare parts in the U.S.: Website: http://www.rheem.com/products/replacement_parts/
  • Rheem water heater spare parts in Australia: Tel: 1800 812 916

[Online and telephone support are readily available. Good luck trying to find a brick-and-mortar address or email - Ed.]

Finding the Data Tag on an Older Wards Signature 500 Water Heater

Wards Signature 500 Electric Water Heater data tag search (C) InspectApedia DPReader Question:

6/24/2014 Donna said

Hi, we need an age of our electric water heater. I've attached several photos, we could not find a serial number plate. Thanks for your help. We are trying to win a "Oldest water heater in use" contest, to win a new water heater! Thanks, D.P.

(June 23, 2014) Donna Paar, dmpaar26@aol.com said:

We have an old Montgomery Ward Signature 500 Series, electric water heater. We cannot find a serial number. Would a picture help or is there another way to determine the age of the unit.

Reply:

Good looking water heater. If you have access to all sides of the heater exterior and still don't see an actual data tag, I would pull the access cover on the front - chances are there will be a data tag inside on the cover or on the heater itself. If you do that, send me images of what you see.

I'll post your photos to see if other readers can offer further help, but best bet is to inspect all around the heater sides and top and behind the removable front service panel for a data tag.

The Signature water heater line sold generally under the Wards brand was made by several manufacturers (listed in the article above) and has been sold in North America since, by my estimate, 1948.

Here are several approaches to finding the age of this or any other water heater / cylinder / geyser

Wards Signature 500 glass lined water heater geyser cylinder (C) InspectAPedia DP

  1. Find the data tag (as I've discussed above) that will allow us to decode the date of manufacture of the heater.
  2. Find the installation and service manual for this particular water heater. Often the installation guide is stuck behind a pipe or overhead nearby. The manual may include a purchase of sale receipt, handwritten notes on installation date, or even lacking these, it will have a publication date that gives the earliest-likely manufacturing age of this specific heater.
  3. Note the age of the building where the heater (geyser, cylinder) is installed.
  4. Note the age of components used to install the heater such as its wiring and plumbing materials

Your Signature 500 electric water heater (or geyser or cylinder depending on where you live) looks like a much newer installation. I see light colored wood 2x studs (recent construction) and shiny copper electrical wiring at the ground connection at the heater top. Also I see the use of modern red PEX tubing used for the temperature/pressure relief valve discharge tube.

Certainly the heater could be older than its present wiring and plumbing, but if those are any guide, this is not a very old unit.

Depending on where you live we could get a more accurate estimation of the year of installation of the water heater plumbing as presently shown even before finding the heater's data tag (which I am betting is there somewhere). PEX surged in popluarity in the U.S. beginning around 2000.

For example, in the United States, California, one of the last adopters, did not approve the use of PEX (cross-linked polyethylene tubing) for household plumbing until 2007 (on a case by case basis) and not until 2009 for all homes. More about PEX plumbing pipes used for building water supply and hot water heating applications can be read at PEX PIPING INFORMATION.

 

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