The water heater may be the most overworked and under-appreciated piece of mechanical equipment in a house. We usually assume it’s doing its job as it should and leave it alone, unless it starts to make weird and scary noises.
To help you avoid a potentially dangerous and expensive plumbing crisis, we’re looking at four frightening sounds your water heater can make and what they mean.
- Popping Sounds
One of the most common sounds a water heater can make is popping. When that happens, it’s usually an indication that your water heater has an excess of mineral deposits and sediment at the bottom. This is especially problematic in areas that have hard water. Mineral deposits (mainly lime and calcium), sand, and any debris that might travel through the water supply can stick to the bottom of your water heater.
Eventually, the buildup of gunk at the bottom may trap water beneath the sediment. Think of a pot of water you have on the stove. If you’re not paying attention, and if the heat is too high, the water will boil, and it will continue to boil until it flows over the sides of the pot. In the case of your water heater, at some point, the pressure from the steam bubbles will cause the water tank to explode if your model is older.
Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to this problem. The best way to prevent sediment from building up is to have the water heater flushed out to remove all of the mineral deposits and sediments. Mr. Plumber’s Certified Experts can flush and fill your water heater once a year to prevent sediment buildup for better performance and increased lifespan.
- Screeching Sounds
Screeching noises are sometimes indicative of water flow restriction. The most likely cause is the inlet control valve on the water heater. A partially closed valve will prevent water from flowing through the pipes.
Easy: check the valve to make sure it’s open! If it’s halfway open, turn the valve so it’s now wide open. If that was the problem, the sizzling should stop.
- Crackling Sounds
If you have a gas-powered water heater, it’s possible there’s condensation on the burner. Although the noise may be annoying, it is not a sign of anything wrong with your water heater. No action required, here.
- Sizzling Sounds
If there is a leak in your water heater, that could cause a sizzling sound. The sizzle occurs when leaking water drips onto the burner. If you don’t have hot water, or if you see water on the floor around your water heater, it’s probably coming from a leak.
Unfortunately, this fix isn’t as easy. A water leak isn’t going to repair itself. Besides the wasted water, you’re wasting energy because the water heater is heating water that no one can use.
Get help from a trusted Atlanta plumber
If your water heater is making any of these strange sounds, call one of the trusted plumbers at Mr. Plumber. We offer free estimates on water heater replacement, so you can sleep well knowing we’ll work hard to get everything back in working order. We serve the entire Atlanta metro area.
But if you want to avoid these sounds in the first place, consider a Mr. Plumber PlumbingCare Maintenance Agreement. You’ll receive benefits that help prevent problems as well as deals on services that will get your equipment up and running in no time if anything were to happen.