noises water heater mean

What Noises From Your Water Heater Mean, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the noises you might hear from your water heater indicating potential issues. Unusual sounds are often some of the first signs you’ll get that your water heater is experiencing problems, and having a basic understanding of what these noises might be indicating can go a long way.

At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we offer high-quality water heater repair services for anyone whose water heater is acting up at any point in the year. In today’s part two, we’ll go over a few additional noises you might be hearing coming from your water heater or nearby areas, and what these could be telling you about your unit.

Screeching or Whistling

While high-pitched screeching or whistling noises might sound alarming and worry you, they’re actually usually indicating one of the lowest-impact issues in water heaters – and one of the easiest to fix. Many such noises are caused by a partly closed control valve at the water heater inlet, and remedying this just involves opening the valve entirely.

In other cases, the size of your exhaust flue might be causing a strange sound frequency. This is a simple fix for one of our plumbers, who will resize the exhaust system to get rid of this noise.

Sizzling or Hissing

Sizzling, hissing or cracking sounds, when coming from an electric water heater model, are generally signs of mineral buildups in the tank. Heating electrodes in these models often hiss when they heat up if they are infused with sediment. This will require a draining and cleaning of the heating element.

If you hear a sizzling noise from a gas-powered water heater, on the other hand, this is likely due to an issue with your tank’s condensation. Condensation forms when water is heated, but a leak within the tank may cause this water to drip down onto the burners, leading to the sizzling noise you hear. If you notice water around the unit in addition to these sounds, call our plumbers for repairs.

Ticking, Clicking or Tapping

Ticking, clicking or tapping noises from the water heater are generally due to pressure changes, and in many cases they are actually completely normal. They often come from the heat trap in the water supply piping downstream form the actual water heater.

In some cases, though, replacing nipples or allowing for larger openings in this area will be a prudent move. There could also be issues where these noises are coming from your pipes rather than your heater itself – this could be due to expansion and contraction as water warms or cools, and you may need to tighten some pipe straps to limit this.

For more on the noises that could be indicating issues with your hot water heater, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.