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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Is Your Water Heater Making Strange Noises?

8/31/2023 (Permalink)

Image of a person fixing a water heater Make regular maintenance on your water heater to avoid damage in your Black Forest, CO, home.

Water heater noises are not unheard of, but they can definitely be not only annoying but also worrisome. Is the noise indicative of a problem with the appliance, or is it just getting older? You should hire professionals to regularly maintain your Black Forest, CO, home's appliances to keep them running at their best. However, there's a good chance at some point in your water heater's life you'll hear it making sounds.

What Is Causing All the Noise?

  1. The Top Heating Element Is Loose

The top heating element on your electric heater could make a humming noise. When cold water flows into the tank, it can cause the heating element to vibrate, which causes humming. This issue can usually be solved simply by tightening the heating element.

  1. Sediment and Minerals Have Accumulated

Mineral deposits and sediment can begin building up in the heater's tank, gradually accumulating over time. The mineral deposits tend to coat the tank's interior while the sediment will settle at the bottom. Mineral buildup is more of an issue in locations with hard water. When the water heats, the minerals traveling within the water will separate and stick to the inside of the tank (i.e., limescale buildup). As the water heats up, steam builds up underneath sediment. The bubbles can make a loud popping noise. A water heater flush should be performed occasionally as part of the maintenance process so that this buildup doesn't get out of control. A rumbling sound can happen due to similar circumstances, indicating that the sediment buildup has become significant.

  1. Water Pressure Is Fluctuating

If you hear a ticking sound, your plumbing could be experiencing pressure fluctuations. It could be coming from one of the water inlet or outlet nipples if they have a heat trap. These types of nipples improve the energy efficiency of a water heater but can cause noises at times.

  1. Water Flow Is Being Blocked

Do you hear your unit making noise when you run the hot water? If you hear a sizzling noise, it could mean that water flow is being restricted.

  1. The Water Source Is Causing Issues

Maybe you hear a popping sound coming from the water heater. In this case, it could be the anode rod if it's made of aluminum. Aluminum can react with a high pH level, causing aluminum hydroxide to form a gel-like material in the tank. If this happens, you'll need to flush the tank and replace the anode rod with one made of magnesium that won't create a reaction.

  1. Condensation and Leaks Are Occurring

If you hear a sound like running water coming from the unit, you may have a pipe leak. You could also get a sizzling sound from the appliance if you have a gas heater with a condensation problem. If you don't catch this issue right away, you may not only need a plumber but also a water damage restoration professional.

Water heater problems can be annoying and possibly even damaging to the unit and your home. Anytime you hear strange noises, be on the safe side and have someone inspect your heater and plumbing.

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