Why Do Water Heaters Make Noises?
Some water heater noises indicate problems, such as the accumulation of sediment. Other sounds may accompany regular operation. Here are some of the most common causes of noises and ways to silence most of these sounds.
Poor water quality may cause calcite, sand, and magnesium deposits to build up around heating elements. Crackling noises result when water is forced through these deposits. These sounds may become louder as build-up becomes thicker. Rumbling noises occur as sediments are stirred up by water flow. There are several ways to reduce these noises:
- Treat the tank with de-liming solution
- Perform a water heater flush
- Clean or replace the heating element
Sediment forces heating elements to work harder. This may result in premature part failure.
Loose Electric Heating Element
A loose electric heating element may hum or vibrate during operation. Turn off the power to the water heater and tighten the upper or lower element.
Knocking noises in pipes result from sudden stoppages of water flow. Vibrating pipes may be more prone to break and can damage walls over time. Homeowners may want to install one of the following preventative measures:
- Anti-hammer devices
- Shock absorbers
- Pipe straps and blocks or pads
These additions can prevent pipes from making contact with walls. Hot water may also cause knocking noises in cold pipes.
Valves and Switches
Heat trap or check valves may make tapping or ticking noises in the pipes above a heater. These sounds are usually not indicative of a problem, but may be eliminated with a dielectric nipple. Partially-closed valves can cause screeching or singing sounds. Check the position of valves near the heater to stop these noises.
These are some of the most common sources of water heater noises. If this appliance or pipes leak and cause damage at a home in Garner, NC, contact mitigation and restoration experts.