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A noisy water heater is more than just annoying. Your water heater making a variety of noises could be an indication of a serious problem. Sometimes it’s nothing serious, but identifying the noises can still give you a clue if your unit needs maintenance or replacement. Here are some common sounds you may hear.
Rumbling, popping, and crackling
If you notice that your water heater is crackling or rumbling, there could be excess sediment in the tank. Rust, calcium, and other debris collect and build up over time. This traps water, making a crackling sound when it’s heated. As the sediment builds up in the tank, you’ll hear a rumbling sound and an increase in the noise. Have a technician clean or replace the element.
Most common with electric water heaters, a humming sound may be caused by the space between the looped tubes. This may occur when elements in the heater have been replaced. Salt Lake City water heater experts from Allhoursplumbingslc.com say you may need to tighten the elements one-eighth to one-quarter of a turn.
Heat traps cause tapping sounds, which often occur when the nipples on top of the heater trap a lot of heat. The nipples can be removed and replaced with standard dielectric nipples.
Hammering or knocking
If you hear sound like someone is beating on your wall with a hammer, this may be caused by water rushing through the pipes and being shut down. When the water stops suddenly, water tries to push back up the pipe. Hammering is not a water heater noise. If left unfixed for a long time, it can lead to pipes bursting and causing a flood.
If you’re still not sure about the cause of the sounds associated with your water heater, it’s best to get help. With regular maintenance, your heater will be more efficient.