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7 Noises Your Hot Water Heater Can Make: Innocent Or Dangerous?

7 Noises Your Hot Water Heater Can Make: Innocent Or Dangerous?

If your water heater’s been making some strange noises lately, you may be unsure about whether to call for water heater repair. The answer to your question is rather complicated. While some noises signal a dangerous problem, there are a few that need minor adjustment.

Learn to tell the difference with our troubleshooting guide to 7 common water heater noises.

1. Popping

Those pops you’re hearing from your water heater are mini explosions! What’s behind all the racket? Hot water tanks can build up a layer of sediment on the bottom, composed of minerals and sand deposited by the incoming water supply. As the water heats up, steam bubbles may form underneath this sediment. Eventually, these bubbles explode (not the tank).

VERDICT: Having your hot water tank flushed to get rid of the mineral build-up will help. However, if the encrustation is so bad that your tank is leaking, now’s the time to replace your water heater.

2. Sizzling — Electric Water Heaters

Do you hear a sizzling sound from an electric water heater? Once again, mineral deposits are usually the culprit. In this case, sediment could be gradually covering the heating element.

VERDICT: Occasional mild sizzles are likely nothing to worry about (start flushing the tank regularly, though). Should the noise become very loud and/or frequent, you’ll need to turn off the heat and water supply, then cool and drain the tank. A good soak in a commercial descaling solution or natural white vinegar will dissolve the deposit. You might need a stiff brush to get all of it off.

3. Sizzling — All Water Heaters

Another source of that sizzling noise could be a leaky hot water tank, which will be especially noticeable when you turn off the burner. Water on the floor will confirm your suspicions.

VERDICT: A leak from the tank means your water heater is in big trouble. It means that the tank has corroded beyond repair. Talk with us about a new water heater for your home.

4. Banging

Banging comes from the pipes rather than the water heater itself and is appropriately named “water hammer.” It sometimes occurs when the water supply is closed abruptly. This is a dangerous phenomenon since it can result in burst pipes and water heater damage.

VERDICT: Have a professional from Hot Water Ottawa install a water hammer arrestor.

5. Screeching

Screeching might be the result of restricted water flow going into your water heater. The cold water inlet control– a ball or gate valve — may be partly closed.

VERDICT: Check the inlet valve and adjust if necessary so that it is completely open.

6. Ticking

The source of ticking is usually not in your water heater itself but the pipes attached to it due to changes in household water pressure. It can probably be resolved with a couple of minor adjustments.

VERDICT: Turn down the water heater thermostat to decrease pressure. A minimum of 50 degrees Celsius is recommended. Next, tighten the pipe connections.

7. Humming

Humming is another noise produced by electric water heaters. The reason? As cold water flows into the water tank, it shakes the upper heating element.

VERDICT: This type of noise is nothing serious. All that’s needed is to tighten the heating element.

Hot Water Ottawa Will Take Care Of Your Water Heater

Turn to Hot Water Ottawa for any water heater issue. We’ll expertly troubleshoot and repair or replace your hot water heater so that you can enjoy peace of mind.