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  1. #1
    Noah Adams's Avatar
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    Default Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    I have an older Rheem furnace that I'm trying to narrow down how old it is. The electrical service had a tag on it dated 1973, but that doesn't mean the furnace has never been replaced.

    It's a Rheem 3404-125GB, serial number XK69JN3B004 2287

    Since the "2287" is off by itself, I first thought maybe it was the sequential build number... but now I'm wondering if it's the date code.

    Every place I look for Rheem serial number decoder rings says that the 4 digits after the "F" in the number are the date code. However, my serial has no "F".

    Any insight would be appreciated!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    The chart I use lists RHEEM since 1974 the age is coded into the last four digits of the serial number by week & year. xxxx2302= 23rd week of 2002. It would appear that your unit would have been built in the 22nd week of 1987.
    Attachment 23281

    Alton Darty
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Thanks for your reply, Alton. I was assuming this was older than that. But still... it's a year shy of being as old as I am


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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Adams View Post
    The electrical service had a tag on it dated 1973, but that doesn't mean the furnace has never been replaced.
    How old does it look? Does it "look" 25, 30, 40 years old?

    "The electrical service had a tag on it dated 1973" - the electrical service to the furnace? Was the tag "on" the furnace or on the conductors leading to the furnace?

    It's a Rheem 3404-125GB, serial number XK69JN3B004 2287
    If it "looks" 40 years old, it could be ... November 1969.

    Since the "2287" is off by itself, I first thought maybe it was the sequential build number... but now I'm wondering if it's the date code.

    Every place I look for Rheem serial number decoder rings says that the 4 digits after the "F" in the number are the date code. However, my serial has no "F".
    As I recall, the newer ones had a letter followed by four numbers which were typically in front of the serial number. The letter indicated the plant at which the unit was manufactured and the four numbers which followed were the week and the year, but ... like you said, there is no letter in front of those four numbers, so ...

    ... So I went back to the way some used to identify their units: the first sequence is some of the serial numbers used to be letter for the plant it was manufactured at, another letter for the month of manufacture, and two numbers for the year of manufacture - thus my 11/1969 mentioned above.

    If it does not look 40 years old (how old is the house?, does it look original to the house?), then I would go to the four separate numbers, and state in the report that the age of the unit could not be determined, but that the unit is old and is likely in need of replacement.

    (Here comes the debate about replacing something which is "old" but which is "working", and this is typically brought up by people who so broadly define "working" to include units which are totally rusted out but the fan blade is turning under its own power and they can see the bubbles in the refrigerant line 'sight' chamber moving so they know the compressor is moving the refrigerant, therefore the unit is 'working'. )

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Jerry,

    To answer your questions,

    I'm not a very good judge on how old things "look". I thought my WH was maybe 10 yrs old, but it's actually 20...

    The tag was actually dated 1971, but it's on the thermostat wiring, not the electric service... my bad. I upgraded the electrical service when I moved into the house 5 years ago.

    The house is from the early 1900's, and originally had a coal stove to heat the house. The furnace was added later, and they never ducted the upstairs... so it only really heats downstairs, and whatever can get up the stairwell.

    So, for your entertainment, I've attached some pictures of said beast... maybe you can make the age determination from them... I had it checked out and cleaned 3 years ago, and the furnace guy said there was nothing to worry about. The blower motor is only 2 years old, because the old one died on me.

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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Adams View Post
    So, for your entertainment, I've attached some pictures of said beast... maybe you can make the age determination from them
    I'm thinking 1960s to 1970s, that could put it at that 1969 age.

    Do you have some nice photos of those labels? They may show a standard to which they were manufactured, and that gives a clue of age.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I'm thinking 1960s to 1970s, that could put it at that 1969 age.

    Do you have some nice photos of those labels? They may show a standard to which they were manufactured, and that gives a clue of age.
    Here's the best I can get...

    You can also view the high-res versions over on my SmugMug-

    Furnace and Water heater - Noah Adams (nadams)'s Photos

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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I'm thinking 1960s to 1970s, that could put it at that 1969 age.
    That's where I would put that age until I see something different than I've seen so far.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Thanks for your help, Jerry. I realise this is not a forum meant for homeowners, but I figured you'd be the best to ask, since you see furnaces all day long...

    BTW- I enjoy seeing the stuff over in the "Inspection Blues" area... makes me feel a lot better about what I still have to fix in my house.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    I'll place my bets on the '60's. Definitely not from the 80's when units like this became self-igniting with ignition devices. This unit has a pilot light.

    I see a lot of Rheem and GE furnaces that are still running from your time-frame. But, it doesn't much change the fact that your unit is a senior citizen of the HVAC world.

    For, others.... when did most units come with electrical ignition lighters????

    Last edited by Don Burbach; 09-19-2011 at 06:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Burbach View Post
    I'll place my bets on the '60's. Definitely not from the 80's when units like this became self-igniting with ignition devices. This unit has a pilot light.

    I see a lot of Rheem and GE furnaces that are still running from your time-frame. But, it much change the fact that your unit is a senior citizen of the HVAC world.

    For, others.... when did most units come with electrical ignition lighters????
    Why do only furnaces get electric ignition? My WH from 1991 has a pilot, as does the WH I'm going to buy to replace it...


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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Burbach View Post
    I'll place my bets on the '60's. Definitely not from the 80's when units like this became self-igniting with ignition devices. This unit has a pilot light.

    I see a lot of Rheem and GE furnaces that are still running from your time-frame. But, it much change the fact that your unit is a senior citizen of the HVAC world.

    For, others.... when did most units come with electrical ignition lighters????
    From DOE info:
    "Efficiency Standards History: The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA) established the initial minimum efficiency standards for furnaces and boilers, in terms of the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). Effective on January 1, 1992, it set the standards at a minimum value of 78 percent for most furnaces, 75 percent for gas steam boilers, 80 percent for other boilers, and 75 percent for mobile home furnaces."

    Standing pilot gas furnaces such as the one pictured above were typically rated at 60% to 65% efficiency without a motorized vent damper and up to 70% with the motorized damper.

    This is my first post here. I currently work as a commercial HVAC and refrigeration estimator for a Baltimore / DC area contractor. From 1983 to 2007 I worked as a salesman / manager / warranty administrator / technical specialist for two of the largest HVAC/R wholesalers in the area. Some of the products we handled were manufactured by Rheem. The 2287 portion of the serial number is definitely the date code, indicating that the furnace was manufactured during the 22nd week of 1987.

    Scott


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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bennett View Post
    This is my first post here.
    Welcome aboard.

    The 2287 portion of the serial number is definitely the date code, indicating that the furnace was manufactured during the 22nd week of 1987.
    Rheem was still using labels like that, with stamped in numbers like that, in 1987? Are you sure? (I'm not sure, but that type of label looks like it is from the 1960s or earlier, at least the early 1970s or earlier??)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bennett View Post
    Standing pilot gas furnaces such as the one pictured above were typically rated at 60% to 65% efficiency without a motorized vent damper and up to 70% with the motorized damper.

    This is my first post here. I currently work as a commercial HVAC and refrigeration estimator for a Baltimore / DC area contractor. From 1983 to 2007 I worked as a salesman / manager / warranty administrator / technical specialist for two of the largest HVAC/R wholesalers in the area. Some of the products we handled were manufactured by Rheem. The 2287 portion of the serial number is definitely the date code, indicating that the furnace was manufactured during the 22nd week of 1987.

    Scott
    Sorry, but you are absolutely wrong about a Rheem Furnace made prior to 1973, and this was!

    The method of four digits which follow an "F" as to date for a Rheem furnace didn't begin until the Air Conditioning and Heating Division was established as a split off from the Rheem Home Products Group, and that didn't happen until late 73 or early 74.

    Jerry Peck had the year correct, it is 1969. He was off slightly on the month of production certification - it was September, the 9th month.

    A little history about the former Rheem entity,
    At the time this furnace was manufactured Rheem was still a California corporation, not the Delaware corporation it is today, a few controlling interest owners later.

    This furnace was manufactured at the Kalamazoo, Michigan Plant. It was manufactured during the time that ALL the Air Conditioning and Heating OPERATIONS were directed (not necessarily manufactured at, but in this case it was) from Kalamazoo, and this furnace hapened to be manufactured there as well. At the time this furance was manufactured it was under the "Home Products Group" and before the creation of the Air Conditioning and Heating Division was established. (The period was approximately late 1962 or early 1963 up to approximately 1973. When the Division was established, about that same time the NEW Fort Smith, Arkansas plant was finished being built and production began there soon afterwards, operations transfered to the Newly built facilities right away. When Fort Smith production was "on line" Kalamazoo production stopped soon after.

    In the early 60s furnace production at other plants was being shut down, acquistions and mergers at least three plants in other locations (IIRC 2 were in California and I can't remember where the third plant was at the moment) were closed (that will teach them to strike, even for a week!) and a MN plant acquired, prior to this furnace having been built.

    Rheem acquired the Kalamazoo location when they acquired Ruud in 59. As they closed other production points they increased their labor force in Kalamazoo. Rheem had water heater plant in Chicago area - Ruud production at same Chicago area facility soon followed their acquisition.

    In 73 when the Fort Smith facility was built the Airconditioning and Heating Division of Rheem was established from the Home Products Group, so then was the Water Heater division established.

    City Investment Group took controlling interest of Rheem about 1968. Eventually Rheem was restructured and became a Delaware corporation; that Water Heater Division moved to the SE US around 1990 or 91, the Chicago Plant was closed, the Mexico plant got on-line, and as I recall, for a time at least, the Ontario, Canada plant remained in production.

    Lets decode the OLD Rheem serial number from the Kalamazoo plant:

    ...XK69JN3B004 2287
    X = heat exhanger (as opposed to air handler for example)
    K = Kalamazoo
    69 = Year of manufacture, 1969
    J = 9th month September
    N = Natural Gas
    3B004 = style -- (foggy here, might be 3 burners...and blower or frame size...its been a while)
    2287 - production number assigned as tested and inspected.

    September 1969, not that it matters much, its highly inefficient and very old. It would not have been unusual for a furnace to have been tested and produced in September 1969 in Kalamazoo and not to have been ultimately installed in a home in Pennsylvania until sometime in 1971.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-19-2011 at 11:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    So I have a similar furnace, looks identical to the one in the pictures on this tread. The model and serial number are... M#: 3204-W100EB S#: XE67NN3B006 1482". I don't really know how to decode this using your system. The year would be 1967 or 1982 depending on who has is right here. any thoughts? Thanks


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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Adams View Post
    I have an older Rheem furnace that I'm trying to narrow down how old it is. The electrical service had a tag on it dated 1973, but that doesn't mean the furnace has never been replaced.

    It's a Rheem 3404-125GB, serial number XK69JN3B004 2287

    Since the "2287" is off by itself, I first thought maybe it was the sequential build number... but now I'm wondering if it's the date code.

    Every place I look for Rheem serial number decoder rings says that the 4 digits after the "F" in the number are the date code. However, my serial has no "F".

    Any insight would be appreciated!
    The Carrier Bluebook lists the Rheem MN 3404-125G as being manufactured between 1969 and 1971. Just looking at the photos it looks like a 1960s or 70s model.


  17. #17
    Jason Love's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    The Carrier Bluebook lists the Rheem MN 3404-125G as being manufactured between 1969 and 1971. Just looking at the photos it looks like a 1960s or 70s model.
    Any chance that book has info on my very very old RHEEM?
    Model: 3201 84
    Serial: 47 WO RCN

    It's even older than the 60's model above. Just trying to get a date on it.

    front.jpglimitcontrol.jpgSerial.jpg

    Last edited by Jason Love; 11-14-2013 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Pictures

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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Jason Love,

    That's tough to say.

    My best guess would be between 1947 and 1955, as the corporate HQ were moved to NY in 1956.

    Its what Rheen Mfg. Co. marketed as a gas-fired "winter air conditioner".

    I tried to attach (but they were too big) some catalog pages from their 1952 Catalog and a 1952 ad featuring your 2 iron burner 84000 btu.

    Noted the high-boy 84,000 btu input model was 3200-84.

    Color match, data plate match, can't make out the decal on your top front. If as dark tan/bronze I'd put it right about at 1952-ish.

    Looks like your limit control may be original perhaps the markings on same can pin it down further - I can't make out the markings.

    I wish you had better pictures. The PM you sent me had unusable links to your web based photo-sharing site.


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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    I know this thread is quite old, but my Preston's Guide shows it as 1969 - 1971. This was the original post. I could not find a 3201 that Jason was asking about.


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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Love View Post
    Any chance that book has info on my very very old RHEEM?
    Model: 3201 84
    Serial: 47 WO RCN

    It's even older than the 60's model above. Just trying to get a date on it.

    front.jpg limitcontrol.jpg Serial.jpg
    Trying again to upload. That SN has a zero not an 'o'.

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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    From what I read here, can I assume that Model #3404 125EB, Serial #L66NN3B004 3168
    would be from Nov 1966

    Furnace sure looks that old!

    Thank you.


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    Default Re: Decoding older Rheem furnace Serial # - looking for manuf date

    My Rheem Furnace Model # 3204-80, Serial 1 9 WROC.

    Can't find any repair parts info.
    Any suggestions?


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