Common Problems Water Heater – Making Sound

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In case your Water heater is creating a sound whenever it’s functioning, for example high pitched sound, it’s time to look at some elements/ parts.

Why is the high pitched sound on the electrical heaters is that the lime scale (calcium) formation on the component, or rust. Popping noise is the end result of mineral deposits build up in the tank and it might impact both gas and electrical components.

The sound can come in the debris from the test valve. The answers for the noise problems that are aforementioned have been in component replacement in the event the issue is severe or maintenance like flushing and cleaning.

Crackling, Popping and Rumbling

Sediments collect around the element tubes of a water heater. When the element is off, the caked sediments trap water beneath them, and the water heats until it makes a cracking or popping sound as it is forced through the deposits. This is more common on older units, and the noise increases as the deposit layer thickens. Clean or replace the element.

Common Problems Water Heater


Knocking or Hammering

A knocking sound in your walls is related to pipes heating internally, and is literally known as “water hammering.” When water entering or leaving the tank is abruptly turned off, it can cause the pipes to move, banging against studs or the interior of walls.

This can be caused by a dishwasher or toilet bowl, or by a water pump without a holding tank. The noise is not dangerous to your water heater, but could lead to eventual wall damage if it is not corrected. Install a water hammer arrestor between the offending device and the water heater.


The element in an electric water heater is commonly placed vertical in relation to the tank. Water flowing around the element can cause vibrations in this situation, creating a humming noise. Tighten the element slightly to correct the problem.

Ticking or Tapping

Many water heaters have heat traps or check valves installed in the pipes on top of the heater. These traps are designed to prevent water from flowing in the wrong direction in the pipes, and may make ticking or light tapping sounds. This is normal, but you can replace the heat trap with an ordinary dielectric nipple if it disturbs you. You should also be aware that your plumbing may make similar noises as the hot water in them cools down.

Screaming or Screeching

Screaming sounds are created by water being forced through a small opening. This is usually caused by a valve that is not fully opened, either at the water heater or at a particular outlet such as a sink. Check the valves in you water lines.

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