Why is My Water Heater Making Noise?

Aug 13 2016

Water Heater is Making Noise Do you hear a popping or rumbling sound coming from your water heater? The main cause of this problem is when the water tank has sediment or scale buildup. This problem is often worse in areas that experience a lot of minerals in their water from hard water. The easiest way to solve the noise problem is by draining and flushing out your water heater.

If you don’t flush out your water tank, the efficiency of your water heater will drop and will deteriorate in the long-run. Once the tank deteriorates for long enough it will cause a leak, resulting in having to replace the whole unit.

Why the Popping Noise?

The popping noise that you hear is from the water boiling beneath the sediment that has built-up in your water heater. What happens is, the sediment drops to the bottom of the tank where the gas burner is. That gas burner starts heating water trapped underneath the sediment, causing it to percolate like coffee and creating the noise as a result.

Is the Noise Harmful?

While the noise itself is harmless, but too much sediment in your water heater can create issues. The two main issues that happen as a result of the buildup are:

  1. Eventually cause a leak: Sediment slows heat transfer from the gas burner to the water. This can cause the water heater to overheat, damage the inner lining and weaken the steel tank, leading to a leak.
  2. Damage the electric heating element: Do you have an electric water heater? If so, the sediment can cover the electric heating element, causing it to burn out.

It’s important to take the next step and drain then flush out your water heater. Need more information on how to do this or would prefer to put it in the hands of professionals? Contact Superior Water and Air at 208-343-7683.