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Water Heater 101: Addressing A Noisy Heater

Apr 8, 2020

What is Causing that Noise Coming from My Water Heater?

Your water tank is meant to provide you with hot water for showers, washing dishes, doing your laundry, and whatever else you might need. Understandably, you might find it disturbing to hear strange noises coming from your water heater. If this happens, it could be a signal that something is wrong.

The most common noises that people hear from water heaters are a rumbling noise or a loud bang. If this is happening with your unit,

here is what you need to know so that you can address the issue appropriately.

A common question we get from homeowners is, “why is my water heater making noise?” These noises can be a rumble, a loud bang, a sizzle, or a hum. But, no matter what it is, it probably isn’t pleasant and could indicate a problem with your unit. Unfortunately, the cause could be any number of issues, but we’ve narrowed it down to the most common ones:

Sediment and Mineral Deposits in the Tank

When you hear rumbling sounds from your water heater, this is an indication that debris or sediment has built up in the bottom of the tank. Boiling water can become trapped in the sediment, creating that noise and compromising the efficiency of the tank.
In some cases, draining the tank can help with this issue. If you have an electric water heater, the debris in your tank can also cover the components used to heat the water, namely the heating element. To remedy this situation, you’ll also need to remove these components and either clean or replace them.

Issues with the Heating Element

Most water heaters have a heating element at the top and bottom of the unit. When cold water enters the tank, it moves around and “shakes” the heating element, causing a “humming” noise. You can often fix this issue by tightening the heating element.

Leaky Water Tanks

A leaky tank might make some noise, but this won’t always happen. (You should inspect your water heater frequently to look for potential leaks.) If there is a noise, you’ll likely hear a “sizzling” sound when you turn off the burner.

Poor Water Flow

If you’re hearing a sizzling noise from your water heater, the issue could trace back to poor water flow into the tank. One way to diagnose this is by going to the pressure relief and temperature valve. When there is excess pressure, this device releases water from your tank.
If you hear “sizzling” from this area, switch off your water supply and power. Then, contact your local plumber to review the issue and make some repairs.


(425) 636-7038

When your water heater is “talking back” to you, you might want some help diagnosing and fixing the issue so that you can live and enjoy your hot water in peace. Give us a call, and we’d be happy to help figure out what’s causing those annoying sounds and discuss your options for repair, replacement, and upgrade of your system. And we’ll do it fast!

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