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Water Heater Making Noise

Water Heater Making Noise: Causes & What to Do

Our water heaters are heroes.

I wouldn’t take a cold shower. Instead, I prefer to wake up, drink my glass of water, and head to the shower to enjoy the steaming feel of relaxation.

I bet you wouldn’t like to take a cold shower in the morning before going to work. Today, we’ll address why your water heater is making noise (causes) and what to do.

Hire a Professional to Fix Water Heater Problems!

Hire a Professional to Fix Water Heater Problems

Water heaters are dangerous fixtures, and to fix issues like the water heater leaking from the bottom, leaking from the top, or not working, you should contact a professional plumbing company.

Avoid DIY repairs since even experienced DIYers could cause problems like potential floods.

6 Common Water Heater Sounds

When your water heater makes noises, it wants to talk to you. The most common water heater sounds are humming, hammering, rumbling, hissing, ticking, and whistling, related to sediment buildup. If you have hard water with calcium and magnesium, you should install filters to avoid damaging your tank.

1. Humming

Common Water Heater Sounds: Humming

We had an urgent call from one of our clients. He wrote: “This evening, my water heater started making a thunderous humming sound that can be heard throughout the house.”

What does a humming sound mean in a water heater?

Humming indicates loose parts within your system, such as the heating element. In this case, you should hire a good local plumber to tighten the components and make the necessary repairs.

2. Hammering

A hammering sound inside your water heater tank means water pressure slams against the tank’s inner walls or abruptly changes direction.

Also, when water crashes into the shut-off valves too quickly, it produces a hammering sound.

Although this is not a concerning issue, the sound is annoying.

Sediment buildup can also cause knocking or hammering sounds, as steam bubbles can’t reach the top of the tank.

3. Rumbling

Common Water Heater Sounds: Rumbling

Banging and rumbling are among the most common water heater sounds.

Before addressing this noise, we must define the “water heater element.”

A water heater element is a specific tool or a part within the cylindrical unit of the heater that provides warmth to the water inside a tank or container. It is a metallic rod, either straight or in a spiral shape, directly immersed in the liquid.

Typically, these noises can be attributed to limescale and sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank. If you have hard water, you will get calcium and magnesium buildup at the bottom of the tank.

So when you hear the rumbling noise, the water heater element is trying to heat all the water with the sediment. And this causes that rumbling noise. It sounds like our stomachs when hungry, but many times louder.

All tanks have a “water heater anode rod” to avoid sediment buildup and tank corrosion. The metallic pole is made of magnesium or aluminum. It is often called a sacrificial anode since this metallic pole attracts hard water particles like limestone, iron, calcium, and magnesium, corroding the rod instead of the tank.

Not all particles will attach to the anode rod. Some will start accumulating in the bottom of the tank. That is why we recommend installing filters to avoid damaging your water heater.

4. Hissing Noise

If the water heater is making a hissing noise, this is a clear indicator that tank insulation is letting cool air inside. As a result, condensation can cause a hissing noise when the water tank heats.

Also, this sound is caused when the lower part of the heating element is covered by sediment.

Yet the bad news about sediment in the bottom of the tank is that the lower heating element will take more energy and struggle to heat the water. As a result, your energy bill will be higher.

5. Ticking, Cracking

Common Water Heater Sounds: Ticking, Cracking

Cracking, ticking, or a similar noise is because of thermal expansion. When things get hot, they get bigger; when they get cold, they get smaller.

For instance, if someone takes an hour-long shower, the hot water will be gone from the tank. So, the tank contracts and makes a cracking sound. And you’ll hear the same sound when the tank expands when the water is hot.

And that is normal. You shouldn’t worry about it.

6. Whistling

A screaming whistling noise is also a predicament of sediment buildup in the bottom of your water heater. The water trapped during heating then tries to escape through the sediment layer, creating the whistle sound like a tea kettle.

What to Do When Your Water Heater Is Making Noises?

You can flush the water heater once or twice a year for most sediment-related sounds. Flush the tank if it is making the following noises:

  • Hammering
  • Rumbling
  • Hissing
  • Whistling

How to Flush Your Water Heater the Right Way?

We recommend flushing your water heater every year to help keep that sediment from building up inside the water heater.

Take a look at this awesome video of an expert plumber FLUSHING A Water Heater The RIGHT WAY

But if the noises continue, you should discard sediment buildup as the cause. Then, you should call a professional local plumber to fix the problem.

Fix It Quick Plumbing INC can repair your water heater quickly. Click your nearby city to book your service.

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