Haunting Water Heater Sounds That May Mean Something Worse Than a Ghost
Any strange sound in the house can be mistaken for a ghost, but the fact is that water heaters make noises. Some of these noises are a part of normal operation, and some mean that the appliance is in need of repairs. Read on to discover what sounds are normal and what sounds foreshadow a broken water heater.
Creepy Popping Sounds
Some homeowners describe this as a sizzling or rumbling sound, but it’s typically a popping sound that signals excess sediment buildup in the tank. All water has sediment in it, and there’s not much anyone can do to keep it out of their water heater. Over time, it will build up, and it may then start to cause problems. Unfortunately, two different issues can cause popping sounds.
In older models, too much sediment buildup can cause the water heater to rupture or explode. This isn’t a threat with newer models, but sediment buildup can cause other problems. Homeowners who live in areas with particularly hard water should pay close attention to their water heaters or have them cleaned and flushed regularly to eliminate the sediment.
This typically only happens in electric water heaters. What causes the popping sound is sediment buildup around the lower electrical heating element. This is fixed by draining the tank, removing the element, and cleaning out the sediment. In some instances, if the sediment has been allowed to build up enough, it may be practical to replace the relatively inexpensive element.
Scary Screeching Sounds
One of the scariest sounds a water heater can make is screeching. Of all the sounds, it sounds the most like a ghost roaming the halls. Fortunately, this is usually caused by a simple water flow restriction. When a valve is not open all the way, the water pressure can cause this strange noise as the liquid flows through the small hole. Check the valves of the water heater to make sure they’re open.
Frightening Crackling Sounds
Crackling sounds generally come from gas-powered heaters. The crackling is indicative of condensation on the gas burner and is not anything to worry about. Those homeowners who hear cracking sounds from an electric water heater may need to look for sediment in the tank.
Sometimes, as water tries to flow through the layers of sediment in the tank, it can make a crackling sound. The best fix for this is to use a deliming solution to break up the sediment and then drain the tank. Of course, contacting a plumber is a good idea for any water heater problems homeowners come across.
Electric water heaters have been known to make a humming sound, which is a normal result of water flowing past the electric heating element. Some water heaters have heat traps installed to keep water from flowing the wrong way. These traps can sometimes make tapping or ticking noises, which are a part of normal operation.
About American Eagle Plumbing
Family-owned and operated American Eagle Plumbing has been serving Round Rock, TX, with pride since 2009. They provide fast, reliable water heating service with an emphasis on customer service and workmanship. Their numerous Angie’s List Super Service Awards and five-star reviews indicate the quality of their work.