Why Is My Water Heater Tank Making Noises?

Hearing noises coming from any of your household plumbing or heating equipment is never a great sign. But noises coming from your water heater tank do not always indicate an emergency. Sometimes noises are a sign that your water heater needs a basic repair.

If your water heater tank is making noises and you’re concerned, call Plumbing By Jake at (928) 377-5910. We can do a water heater assessment and get to the bottom of what is making all that noise.

Your Water Heater Sounds Like It Is Popping Popcorn

Popping or snapping sounds are relatively common in water heater tanks. Typically, when your water heater is popping, you have surplus sediment or mineral deposits built up on the bottom of the tank.

If you have hard water, this may be the issue. Residue in the tank is usually a problem with older water heaters, as it takes time for debris to build up at the bottom of the tank.

In rare cases, popping noises may be caused by an aluminum anode rod reacting with chlorinated water. The solution may be as simple as replacing the anode rod with a magnesium model. Or it could involve flushing the water heater tank to remove sediment.

Depending on the age of your water heater and the amount of buildup, a repair may not be possible. You may need to replace the entire unit.

If you ignore the popping noises, water could become trapped under the deposits causing steaming and bubbling. With older water heaters, the internal pressure could cause the tank to explode. Don’t take the chance, call Plumbing by Jake right away.

Your Water Heater Is Humming

If your water heater is humming, this is usually a relatively simple fix. More than likely, this is due to a vibrating heating element. Having the heating element tightened should take care of the noise.

Your Water Heater Is Knocking

Like popping noises, knocking noises can also be caused by a buildup of mineral deposits or sediment on the bottom of the water heater tank. The debris moves around in the tank and wears out the lining. As the sediment gets trapped, it clogs areas of the water heater and boils. The bubbling water causes the noises.

Your Water Heater Is Sizzling

If you hear sizzling coming from your water heater, call in the experts. Condensation could be dripping onto the burner or a relief valve may be stuck closed.

However, the most common cause of a sizzling sound emanating from your water heater is a leak. If you don’t see a pool of water, you likely will soon. The sooner we can get there, the better.

Your Water Heater Ticks Like a Clock

If you hear a ticking noise, it’s likely related to your pipes, rather than your water heater. Loose pipe straps or changes in water pressure can cause ticking sounds.

Depending on your water heater model, the solution is typically as simple as a part repair or modification.

Your Water Heater Screeches or Shrieks

When you try to tighten a bolt into a space that’s too small, the bolt screeches in protest. That is exactly what is happening with your water heater. When water is trying to flow into a space it can’t get through, you’ll know.

This is usually a simple fix that entails adjusting the valve that allows water in. Most homeowners are not comfortable with DIY water heater fixes. No worries—we’re here to help!

Your Water Heater Is Grumbling

When you have dirt in your water heater tank, the fixture will rumble as the water passes through the detritus. Residue, sediment, and dirt in the tank do not allow your water heater to operate efficiently.

If your water heater is less than 10 years old, flushing and cleaning the tank may be a solution. However, for older models, a replacement will typically be recommended.

Proper Maintenance of Your Water Heater

Having a skilled technician periodically flush your hot water heater tank can help prevent sediment and debris from building up. It is also a good opportunity for the pros to check over your water heater and ensure minor repairs don’t become major emergencies.

When You Need to Replace the Water Heater

If your current water heater has reached the end of its life, it’s beneficial to consider an energy-efficient model. Nearly 18% of your home’s energy bill is spent on water heating, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

You can realize significant savings with an EnergyStar model. EnergyStar-certified traditional tank water heater models use less energy—up to 50% less energy—and you’ll see the savings with lower energy bills.

Schedule Your Water Heater Service Today

If you hear noises from your water heater tank, call Plumbing By Jake at (928) 377-5910. We’ll assess the situation and make any necessary repairs or help you choose and install a new water heater if needed.

We repair all types of water heaters, regardless of the year or model. All our repairs and installations are backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. And we offer 24-hour emergency service and annual plumbing maintenance plans to help you properly maintain your water heater.