How To Repair A Noisy Water Heater
REPAIR > WATER HEATER > UNUSUAL NOISE

How to Fix Unusual Water Heater Noise

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About this repair:

  • Rated as EASY
  • 6 repair stories
  • 2 step by step videos

Heater Element

Although quite uncommon your water heater may make some unusual noises. On residential electric hot water heaters, most unusual noise can be attributed to mineral deposits inside the tank. If the water supply contains minerals like calcium or lime, these will eventually form a coating on the heater elements. When this happens, moisture can get trapped beneath the coating and will boil when the element is heating. This can cause a hissing, popping or cracking noise that may be irritating. If you have hard water or minerals in your water supply and experience this unusual noise, you may wish to remove the heating elements to clean or replace them. You will have to drain the tank before removing the elements. Turn off the power and remove the access covers on the side of the tank, and then remove the wires from the element terminals. Close the inlet water valve and then connect a hose to the drain valve to expel the water. Open the drain valve and a hot water faucet until the water level is below the opening for the element. Use the proper size socket or an element wrench to remove the old element. Make sure that the gasket on the new element is intact and that you tighten the element securely. Reattach the wires to the terminals and then close the drain valve tightly. Turn on the inlet water supply and allow the tank to fill completely while checking for leaks and then install the access covers before turning on the power.

Gas Water Heater

It is uncommon, but sometimes your water heater may make some unusual noises. On gas-fired hot water heaters, most unusual noises can be attributed to mineral deposits or sediment build-up inside the tank. If the water supply contains minerals like calcium or lime, these will eventually form a coating on the bottom of the tank. When this happens, moisture can get trapped beneath the coating and will boil when the burner is heating. This can cause a rumbling, popping or cracking noise that may be irritating. If you have hard water, sediment, or minerals in your water supply and experience this unusual noise, you may wish to flush the tank to remove some of the build-up. Set the gas valve to off or pilot only and then close the inlet water valve. Connect a hose to the drain valve to expel the water and then open the drain valve and a hot water faucet until the tank is empty. You may wish to then open and close the inlet water valve a few times to loosen any remaining sediment and then flush until the water runs clear. Close the drain valve and allow the tank to fill before turning the gas valve back on.

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