noises water heater mean

What Noises From Your Water Heater Mean, Part 1

Throughout the year, from summer to winter and every season in between, one of the hardest-working appliances in your home and plumbing system is the water heater. It must constantly be available to provide hot water to fixtures around the home, and this means ensuring it’s in good shape and not experiencing any issues that might limit its efficiency or operation.

At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we’re happy to offer a variety of water heater repair and replacement options for anytime your water heater is experiencing issues. We also offer modern tankless water heater options for those looking to upgrade. While there are a few potential signs that might alert you to a problem taking place in your water heater, a variety of possible noises involving the water heater are some of the most common. This multi-part blog series will dig into several of these sounds you might hear, plus the kinds of issues they’re often signaling to you.

Popping Sounds

Some of the most common sounds that may come from a water heater in your home are various popping, cracking, clanking or similar noises. In the majority of cases, this is due to mineral buildups in your water heater, particularly limescale caused by calcium and magnesium carbonate.

In most situations, these minerals have built up for many years. They are now creating a thick layer of sediment at the bottom of your water heater tank, blocking proper heat transfer and limiting your system’s efficiency – in turn raising your bill each month. Luckily, simple water heater maintenance from one of our plumbers will solve this issue quickly.

Rumbling Noises

In cases where you hear a low rumbling sound coming from the tank, this is often due to temperature increases in the tank that correspond with water passing through sediment. The impact between these two causes the noise – the more sediment is present, the louder the noise will be. In many cases, popping and rumbling sounds are heard together or at similar times in a tank due to similar sediment buildup issues.

Banging or Booming

One of the more dangerous potential sounds coming from the water heater is a loud banging or booming, particularly when the unit is just starting itself up. These sounds could indicate an issue where gas or oil is reigniting itself when the unit’s burner starts, which could lead to explosion risk in the area. While the issue could also be a lower-risk concern related to the heater going through unusual levels of thermal expansion, it’s better to be safe than sorry here – immediately turn the unit off and call our plumbers for help.

For more on dealing with noises coming from your home’s water heater, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.