Why Is My Water Heater Making Noise?
If your water heater is making strange noises, it's essential to find out why and address the problem as soon as possible. Is it something you can fix, or something to call a plumber about, or are you best off ignoring it? A water heater that is making noise can be a sign of several different problems, all of which should be addressed by a professional technician. In this blog post, Oak Plumbing will discuss the most common reasons water heaters make noise and what you can do about it.
Most water heater issues should only be tackled by a professional. Water heater noise can signify a severe problem, such as a gas leak. Even lesser issues can cause breaching, scalding, or flooding. If you smell gas or see water leaking from your water heater, shut off the gas to the home and give us a call for a safety inspection. Leaking gas is no joke!
Under normal circumstances, natural gas is safe and does not pose a threat to you. However, a natural gas leak is extremely dangerous. Because gas is flammable, a gas leak can easily cause a fire. If allowed to build up for long enough, gas can accumulate to cause a devastating explosion. Even if leaking gas doesn’t catch fire, you can suffer carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas leak that is just as serious as a fire or explosion.
Your water heater is making rumbling, crackling, or popping noises
If your water heater is making noises that sound like rumbling, crackling, or popping, it could be due to sediment build-up. Over time, minerals in the water can settle at the bottom of the water heater tank form a layer of sediment. When this happens, the water heater has to work harder to heat the water, which can cause the sediment to harden and form a crust. The water heater will make noises as it tries to heat the water through this crust.
What happens inside the water heater over time is the heat that the heater creates causes hard water faster. The calcium and other hard minerals in the water crystallise faster due to the heat. The minerals stick to the sides of the tank and break off, falling to the bottom of the tank. These mineral deposits then build up at the bottom. The water heater now has to work harder since it must heat through the hard scale build-up. The sound is the water boiling through scale and moving it around.
If you have an electric water heater, the popping noise could also be caused by electrical shorts due to the sediment. If your water heater is making these noises, you should flush the water heater to remove the sediment. You can do this by attaching a water hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and draining out all of the water.
You need to make sure you are draining all of the water out of the tank. You will need to open the T&P valve on the heater to relieve the pressure. It can take up to 45 min to drain the heater. Then, once the heater is drained, you will want to leave the hose attached and draining while it fills. This will stir up the sediment and allow for more to be removed. It is best the have a full port drain valve on the heater. This is an upgrade but one that will extend the life the heater exponentially.
Once all of the water is drained, close the valve and turn on the water supply. Let the water run into the tank until it is full. This will flush out any sediment that was in the tank. If your water heater is still making noises after flushing it, then you may need to replace it. Water heaters typically last around 15 years, so if yours is older than that, it may be time for a new one. If you have a warranty on your water heater, now would be a good time to use it. Otherwise, you can contact a plumber to help you install a new water heater.
Your water heater is making a humming noise
If your water heater is making a humming noise, it could be because there is sediment in the tank. When water heats up, it expands and can cause sediments to build up in the bottom of the tank. This can create a humming noise as the water tries to get through the sediment.
The best way to fix this problem is to flush out the water heater. This will remove the sediment and should stop the humming noise. You can do this yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. A humming water heater could also indicate that your water heater element is loose. The water flow around the element makes a sound like humming. If this is the case, you'll need to either tighten or replace the element.
Humming in a gas water heater can also be due to the gas supply pressure being too high or too low. Both can cause a big problem. Please give us a call to have a safety inspection and flush of the heater.
Your water heater is making a hammering noise
This could be caused by water that's entered the system and is now expanding and contracting as it heats up. This can cause water pipes to bang against each other or the water heater itself. The best way to fix this problem is to have a professional come out and take a look at your water heater. They may need to replace some parts or add an expansion tank to your water heater. Also check the incoming pressure to the house. Having too much pressure can easily cause a leak. Even after using all the hot water that is in the tank, the heater will do its job and heat more. This heat will create more pressure making it more likely to cause a leak.
If you have a gas water heater, it's not uncommon for the pilot light to make a hissing noise. This is usually nothing to worry about and is just the sound of gas passing through the pilot light. However, if the noise is accompanied by a smell of gas, you should evacuate your home immediately and call your gas company. There could be a gas leak, which is very dangerous.
If you have an electric water heater, it's possible that the heating element is making noise as it heats up the water. This is usually not a cause for concern, but if the noise is loud or persistent, you should contact a plumber to have the water heater checked out.
Another possible cause of water heater noise is sediment build-up. Over time, hard water can leave deposits of calcium and other minerals in the bottom of the water heater tank. When the water is heated, this sediment can make a knocking or rumbling noise. This is usually not a serious problem, but it can be if the sediment build-up is severe enough to cause the water heater to overheat.
Your water heater is making a hissing noise
If your water heater is making a hissing noise, it could be due to water leaking from the tank. This is usually caused by a faulty valve or a crack in the tank. If you see water around the base of the water heater, you should turn off the water and contact a plumber as soon as possible.
Another possible reason for a water heater to make a hissing noise is if the pressure relief valve is letting out water. This usually happens when the water in the tank is too hot or if there is too much pressure. Anything over 80 PSI is too much and should be regulated with a pressure regulator. If you think this might be the case, you should turn off the water and let the tank cool down before turning it back on.
Your water heater is making a screeching noise
If your water heater is making a screeching noise, it could be because the water in the tank is too hot. This can happen if the thermostat is set too high. You should turn off the water and let the tank cool down before turning it back on.
Another possible reason for a water heater to make a screeching noise is if the anode rod is corroded. Anode rods are used to protect the water heater tank from corrosion. If the anode rod is corroded, it will need to be replaced. If you're not sure what's causing your water heater to make a noise, it's best to call a plumber for help. They will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.
Your water heater is making a ticking noise
There are several possible causes for this. One is that the water heater is too old and needs to be replaced. Another possibility is that the water heater's thermostat is set too high and the water is getting too hot. This can happen if the thermostat is set too high. You should turn off the water heater and call a plumber to have it checked out. If you have an electric water heater, the coils could be the problem. If they're not working properly, they can make a ticking noise. This is usually an indication that they need to be replaced.
Your water heater is making a sizzling noise
Another possibility is that water is leaking from the tank. This can happen if the water heater's thermostat is set too high and the water is getting too hot. This can also happen if there's a hole in the tank. If you think this might be the problem, you should turn off the water heater and call a plumber.
Got a water heating that's making strange noises? Call Oak Plumbing!
Oak Plumbing has a customer service culture, dedication to the community, and a mission to bring service back to the plumbing industry. The Oak Plumbing team utilizes the latest plumbing technologies while at the same time maintaining our sense of family values when servicing your home. All of our technicians are 100% certified by our in-house Master Plumber, background-checked, and drug-tested for your family’s safety. Recognized for our outstanding services and fantastic customer care, we are proud that you can find a high percentage of five-star reviews and excellent referrals from our existing customers. So don't wait until it's too late -contact Oak Plumbing today!