Appliance Serial # Woes

I hate being wrong… nothing screws up a transaction and pisses people off like an incorrect HI.

I did an inspection on a condo last week and screwed up not once but TWICE!!!

I’m baffled that a 2016 Mitsubishi outdoor heat pump can have a 1995 ANSI date (see pic). WTF? Every other appliance seems to be within a few years. Anyway, I called the manufacturer today and ran the serial number and it came up with the correct date. In my defense I did state in the report that it was an estimate and to call for the exact date. I’m on Maui so by the time I was at the inspection Mitsubishi was closed.

Now, onto screw up #2. Bradford-White water heaters - I’m very aware of the way the serial# coding works with 2004 being A. Furthermore, I’m aware they skip O and I because they look too much like numbers. What I didn’t know was that they skip four more letters for some unknown reason (Q, R, U, V). So, I was “W” and just assumed 2000 but it turns out it can also be 2020. I can only think they do it so a given letter gets used once every 20 years.

I still find myself wondering why the hell they don’t just put the damn date on the tags?

Hopefully, I can save one of you from being called a moron :slight_smile:

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I use this website to look up numbers. They have almost everything…


Ryan has it

Mitsubishi Warranty Lookup

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Oh yeah - I use that too but thought I knew it!

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Bradford-White warranty lookup

I always look for the warranty lookups, if newer looking units. They tend to provide good info.


Was that a mini split? Those serial numbers only run 10 years apart. 2008 and 2018 can look a lot alike!

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Yep - I usually just call and verify to be sure. In Oregon where I’ve done most of my inspecting we really didn’t have that many splits until just recently. Most houses have gas furnaces. Over here in Hawaii everything is splits and I guess I got whacked by the learning curve.

Does anyone have any insight as to how/why a 1995 ANSI date is on a 2016 appliance? That’s what really tripped me up.


Yeah, I have a few memorized as well. But I’m with you, can the manufacturers just print the year on the tag and end this nonsense, lol?


/would you mind sharing the data plate photo?


Here’s the best one I have - it’s what I cropped for the first one I posted. The tag was behind a big bush and there was lattice about 4" away which made it a PITA to photograph.

I also should have been clued in by the presence of a QR code since those haven’t been around that long.

I placed this one at 2008 vs 2018 because of the condition of the outside unit.

I see your ansi problem. Does not make sense. I am glad you brought it up.


Where did this come from, Brian?

No serial numbers, Matt? How about for the water heater?

I think they’re in the 5th edition.

Prior to January 1, 2024 , equipment certified to UL 1995 must be updated to the 5th Ed. with revisions through August 17, 2018

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Water heater was Bradford-White “W” which I took to mean 2000. I didn’t realize they skipped so many letters near the end of the alphabet. I didn’t expect W to come around again until 2024-ish. My bad for not re-visiting the chart often enough. Most of the water heaters where I have done most inspections have permit stickers with dates. Hawaii is kind of the wild-west in regards to permits!

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This is the air handler side of a mini ductless system in Woodruff, South Carolina.

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Anyone know about the Canadian standard?


I see newer units around here a lot, with the 1995. I try not to rely on the ANSI/UL STD…