Water heaters can make several types of noises from time to time. Some of these noises are normal, and you should not worry about them. However, some noises can give early warnings of components that need repair or replacement. Learning to differentiate these sounds, therefore, is key to the optimal performance of your water heater.
Types of Sounds You May Hear
Crackling, Popping, and Rumbling Sounds
These sounds are common with older units. Notably, sediments can collect around the elements of the heater and the tubes. You may notice rumbling sounds produced by these sediments being stirred by the water flow inside the tank.
This sound may originate from parts of your electric water heater. Ideally, water flows around the elements and causes vibrations which are characterized by a humming noise.
As the internal pipes heat, they vibrate and knock on the walls producing a knocking or hammering sound. If you also abruptly turn off the water leaving the tank, it causes pipes to move and bang against interior walls and studs.
Singing/Screaming and Screeching Sounds
Screaming sounds are caused by water that is forced through a small opening. It is common with valves that are not opened fully at the water heater or other outlets like the sink.
Most heaters feature a heat trap or check valve that prevents water from flowing in the wrong direction. These valves usually produce a ticking or light tapping.
4 Common Reasons Why Your Water Heater Makes Noises
The following are four things that can cause your water heater to make noises:
The sediments lying at the bottom of your tank will move with rising temperatures to produce a humming noise resembling that of a coffee maker. The debris can make your tank overheat and leak or burst.
Accumulation of Mineral Deposits
If you reside in places with hard water, your heater tank can accumulate mineral deposits with time. These minerals, such as magnesium and calcium carbonate, cause sounds when heated.
Poor Water Flow
A sizzling sound from your heater may signal that water that doesn’t flow into its tank as intended. This problem originates from faulty valves in the unit.
The Pipes in Your Building
The pipes in your system can also produce annoying noises. As the warm and cold water passes through the pipes, they adjust the tubes’ diameter, which results in a ticking sound.
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