Why Water Heaters Making Noise? May 2021

Why are my water heaters making noise?

Some noises can be sounds like a hum, pop, or rumble. To help you trim some time troubleshooting, you can use this article to find reasons for your noisy water heater.

Water heaters have different types of noises you may hear from the system and depending on what you may hear sounds you are hearing can help you decide whether you are going to need to do some maintenance or repairs/replacement. If you are handy, you may want to take that task on yourself and if not you will want to seek out a licensed plumber.

What are the different types of water heaters?

5 Main Types of Water Heater
  • Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater. This style of water heater is the most popular and probably the one you are most familiar with or seen
  • Tankless Water Heater (On-Demand Water Heater)
  • Heat Pump Water Heater (Hybrid Water Heater)
  • Solar Powered Water Heater
  • Condensing Water Heater

Water Heater Types

The most common reason for water heaters making noise is sediment collecting in the bottom of the heater. The noise is caused when the hot water bubbles up through the sediment at the bottom of the tank. When this occurs, it causes a popping sound.

Some other reasons for the cause of that noise from your water heater are:

  1. Poor water flow
  2. Frequent Changes in Water Pressure
  3. Leaky and condensed tanks
  4. Source of the water supply
  5. The condition of the heating element

Let’s take a closer look at what is happening with each of these common issues.

  1. Sediment Buildup 

Why Water Heaters Making Noise? May 2021 1

If you have a storage-tank water heater, sediment buildup is something you can’t ignore. During the water heating process, naturally occurring minerals like calcium and magnesium form into sediment particles that settle to the tank bottom.  Fluctuating water temperatures from too hot to lukewarm.
How do you prevent sediment build-up?
Regular flushing of your water heater through the drain valve can help prevent sediment build-up and other future problems. This is important to prevent rust, corrosion, and also improves the efficiency of the water heater.
2. Poor Water Flow (Sizzling Noise) 
Some of the more common reasons for low hot water pressure could include hard water scales and mineral deposits inside the plumbing lines. Eventually, the buildup can become so bad, it will cause the water pressure to drop since the water flow is being restricted. Sediment and scale buildup inside the water heater.
3. Frequent Changes in Water Pressure (Ticking Noise)
Water Heater NipplesIf your piping has a constant change in the pressure then the noise you will hear is a ticking sound. There are usually the nipples that a water heater has that connect it to the pipes. These nipples come with a feature for storing heat and making your heater work better. If you hear the ticking from this item you have to swap for a model without a heat trap.
4. Leaky or Condensed Tanks (Sizzling Noise) 
If you hear a sizzling sound particularly when you turn off the burner then you may have a leak and to resolve this issue you will need to seek services from your local plumber.
5. Source of Water Supply (Popping)

Water Heater SupplyTypically popping sounds relate to the condition of the water heater itself.  If your heater contains aluminum anode rods, it will react with water that has a high ph level. Such a reaction occurs in homes that use chlorinated water.

When the chemicals combine, a gel covers the bottom of the tank and rod. You will have to remove this residue and change the existing anode to a model made with magnesium.


Water Heater Maintenance

The cure for most sounds associated with your water heater is found in regular care and maintenance. Since minerals in your water lead to sediments in your water heater, installing a water softener in your primary water line will reduce buildup and associated noises.

Similarly, flushing the tank with a deliming solution annually will prevent heavy build-up in the tank and serve to keep the elements cleaner as well. Anyone can become a responsible water heater owner with a bit of easy maintenance.

I hope this information has been helpful in explaining the wind mitigation inspection cost. If you have additional questions and want to get in contact with GGR Home Inspections please send us a note, text, or call.


Ron Gladden

Hi and thanks for visiting our blog. I enjoy sharing information that can provide value to others. The intent of the blog is to help current and new homeowners learn more about their homes and share suggestions to help improve homeowners, business owners, and contractors' homes and businesses. It's my hope that the information you find here will provide you the value you were seeking. Reach out to me anytime, and we will do our best to help.