Why is My Water Heater So Noisy?

GriffinPlumbingYour Nipomo Plumbers

Noisy water heater

Are you hearing popping, crackling, screeching, rumbling, clicking, ticking, sizzling or tapping from your water heater? The good news is, you don’t need to call Ghostbusters! But you may want to call your friendly Nipomo plumbers at Griffin Plumbing to make sure the noises haunting you aren’t anything that could cause scary or expensive problems in the future.

Gas or Electric Water Heaters With Tanks

Different types of water heaters make different sounds. Gas or electric tank style water heaters will often pop or rumble. This is usually caused by sediment or scale that has built up in the tank from the minerals in the water itself but may be caused by rust or other debris that makes its way into the tank from the water delivery system. In electric water heaters, minerals can also accumulate on the heating element, causing water to get trapped under it. Humming might be coming from a loose heating element.

Those noises aren’t from anything bad happening at that moment, but they are warning signs that something bad could happen in the future. Too much sediment can damage the water heater, reducing its life or causing leaks. There are ways to reduce this buildup by adding supplemental parts or performing regular maintenance. Your plumbing technician can help you decide which method is appropriate for your situation.

Your plumbing technician can also determine if screeching is due to partially open valves on the water heater, and if ticking or tapping noises are from the heat trap or nipple, and make corrections. Pounding noises may be coming from the pipes in the walls as hot water moves through them and causes vibration, not from the water heater itself

If you hear sizzling, that can indicate a leak or water flow problem, so be sure to get that checked out.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters make their own noises. Some of these are normal. Switches and relays click. Fan motors power on and off and burners will start and stop. But minerals can also build up on heat exchangers and other damage can happen. If anything you hear is unusual or excessive, it’s time to get it inspected by a plumbing pro.

Water heaters are one appliance that are easy to ignore until they stop working. (Then they suddenly seem really important!) Griffin Plumbing can help your water heater live a longer, more productive life through proper care and maintenance. So don’t be afraid to pick up the phone if yours is making spooky noises. Who you gonna call? Griffin Plumbing, of course, at (805) 934-1949, or reach out to us online.