4 Common Water Heater Noises and How to Fix Them

When it comes to maintaining a comfortable and safe home, ensuring your water heater functions properly is paramount. Often taken for granted, this essential appliance provides hot water for showers, washing dishes, and more. However, when your water heater starts making unexpected noises, it can signal a need for immediate attention. Here’s how you can identify and fix four common water heater noises.

Understanding Water Heater Noises

Before we dive into the fixes, it’s crucial to understand that some noise from your water heater can be normal. However, certain sounds, such as loud banging, popping, humming, or whining, are not, and these unusual sounds require investigation.

1) The Crackling, Popping or Rumbling Noise

Cause: This sound often indicates sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank. When water is heated, trapped water beneath the sediment turns into steam bubbles, which explode to create these noises.

DIY Fix: Flushing your water heater annually can prevent sediment from reaching problematic levels. To flush, turn off the water heater’s power, connect a hose to the drain valve, and allow the water to flow outdoors until clear.

2) The Screeching or Screaming Sounds

Cause: These noises suggest water flow restriction, typically at the inlet control valve.

DIY Fix: First, ensure the valve is fully open. A partially closed valve can cause water to forcefully pass through a smaller opening, creating a screech. Adjusting this to its correct position usually solves the problem.

3) Humming

Cause: In electric water heaters, this noise could be due to a loose element vibrating in its mounting, especially during heating cycles.

DIY Fix: Turn off the power at the circuit breaker. Then, you can tighten the element with an element wrench. Always ensure the power is disconnected before attempting this fix.

4) The Ticking or Tapping

Cause: Often, pressure fluctuations in the plumbing system or the heating and expansion of metal parts within the water heater can cause this type of noise.

DIY Fix: Check the heat trap nipples or diaphragm-type expansion tank if installed. Installing a water pressure regulator can also minimize these noises by stabilizing pressure levels.

Safety First

The most common water heater noisesWhen performing any DIY water heater maintenance, remember that safety comes first. Always turn off the power supply if you have an electric heater or the gas supply for gas models before beginning any work.

If you’re unsure about any step of the process or if the issue persists after your attempted fix, it might be time to call the professionals.

Time to Call a Professional

If the above steps don’t silence the hum from your water heater, or if you’re uncomfortable performing any DIY fixes, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber.

For instance, at Mister Greenway, we have your back and promise to be on our way in 30 minutes or less. Working with a professional like us can ensure that your water heater repair and replacement job is done safely and efficiently, saving you time and money in the long run.

Preventing Future Water Heater Noises

Regular maintenance, including annual flushing, checking the anode rod, and inspecting valves, can prevent most of the common noises from starting in the first place.

Investing in water quality tests and installing whole-home water filtration systems can also mitigate the buildup of sediment and extend the life of your water heater.

Recommended Products and Tools

For those inclined to take the DIY route, investing in the following tools and products can make water heater maintenance easier:

  • Anode Rods: Replacing your anode rod every five years can prevent sediment buildup.
  • Element Wrench: Essential for tightening loose electric elements.
  • Water Heater Flushing Kit: Facilitates the flushing process, removing sediments efficiently.
  • Water Pressure Regulator: Helps stabilize incoming water pressure.

Getting Right Help

You should not ignore noises from your water heater, as they can indicate issues that could turn into costly repairs or even require a premature unit replacement. By understanding the common causes behind these noises and knowing how to address them, can help you keep you water heater in optimum condition. Remember, regular maintenance is key to a quiet, efficient water heater that serves your home for years to come.

If you find yourself in trouble, remember that Mister Greenway is here to help. We have your back, and you can rest assured that we’ll fix your water heater problems with professionalism and care.