owner and team member Chris Palmer
Request Service
Schedule Now
Spokane, WA

Why Is My Water Heater Making Noises? 

Know The Signs Of Necessary Water Heater Repair

Hearing annoying sounds around your home is bad enough, but it’s far worse when they’re coming from something as valuable as your water heater. Many homeowners get the wrong idea when their water heater is making noise — and are equally unsure of how to respond.

The expert plumbers at Raptor Rooter & Plumbing are well-versed in the ways our water heaters tell us what’s wrong. Listening to what your unit “says” can save you a lot of stress and money, and that’s exactly what Raptor Rooter is here to help you do.

What Noises Do Water Heaters Make?

It’s common for water heaters to make the occasional noise — they are machines, after all. But not all noises are harmless, and some can even suggest serious problems with your unit. By knowing the difference, you can minimize the risk of needing a costly water heater repair.

Popping Sounds

Popping or crackling sounds coming from your water heater are often caused by sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank. Over time, minerals and debris can accumulate, creating a layer that traps water underneath.

When the water heats up, it bubbles and pops as it tries to escape through the sediment.

While the presence of sediment is natural, ignoring it can lead to bigger problems down the line. It will reduce your unit’s efficiency and rob you of precious hot water.

Rumbling Or Banging Sounds

If you hear either banging or rumbling noises, they are typically a sign of overheating or excessive pressure within the water heater tank. This can occur when the heating element becomes covered in sediment, causing it to work harder to heat the water.

The buildup of pressure can lead to the tank expanding and contracting, resulting in loud noises and the nickname “water hammer.” In the worst cases, this can cause your pipes to burst, so these noises should never be overlooked.

Hissing Sounds

Hissing sounds may indicate a leak in the water heater tank or plumbing connections. If water is leaking onto the heating element or other hot components, it can produce steam and hissing noises as it evaporates. This could be a sign of a serious problem that requires immediate attention.

Like other common noises, hissing can also be a sign of sediment buildup. When it’s unclear what the exact cause is, the input of a certified plumber from Raptor Rooter & Plumbing is invaluable.

Screeching Sounds

Screeching or whining noises may be caused by a malfunctioning heating element or worn-out bearings in the circulation pump. If the heating element is failing, it may produce high-pitched sounds as it struggles to heat the water.

Similarly, a faulty circulation pump can emit squealing noises when in operation. In both cases, professional repairs will likely be required.

Humming Sounds

Water heater humming sounds can indicate several potential issues, including a malfunctioning heating element or a bad electrical connection. If the heating element is damaged or deteriorating, it may produce a low humming noise as it operates.

Additionally, loose electrical connections or faulty wiring can cause vibrations and humming sounds within the unit.

How Should I Respond To Water Heater Noises?

Just because some sounds might seem harmless doesn’t mean they should be left alone. To keep your unit and yourself safe, respond quickly and accordingly no matter what noise your water heater is making.

Call A Professional Plumber

If you notice any unusual noises coming from your water heater, it’s recommended to schedule a professional inspection as soon as possible. Both neglecting the problem and trying to address it yourself could lead to costly damages and even harm to your household.

Our experienced technicians at Raptor Rooter & Plumbing can assess the situation, diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate repairs or replacements. The help of qualified plumbers keeps you and your unit safe while the problem is resolved.

Flush The Water Heater

When sediment buildup is likely to blame for your water heater’s racket, flushing the unit can sometimes resolve the issue. This involves draining the tank to remove accumulated sediment and debris, restoring proper performance and reducing the noise.

For the best results, remember to flush your water heater once or twice a year, even better if a certified technician does it.

Adjust Temperature Settings

In some cases, adjusting the temperature settings on your water heater can help alleviate noise problems. Lowering the temperature slightly can reduce the risk of overheating and pressure buildup, minimizing the likelihood of loud banging or rumbling noises.

Avoid dramatic changes to the settings, however, as in some cases this may make the problems worse.

Drive Water Heater Noises Extinct With Raptor

At Raptor Rooter & Plumbing, we value the importance of your water heater — addressing its problems promptly prevents damage and helps ensure your comfort at home. When you hear unusual sounds coming from your water heater, don’t hesitate to contact us for professional assistance.

Our team of skilled technicians is dedicated to providing reliable plumbing solutions in Spokane and surrounding areas. Call us today to experience the difference Raptor makes.

Raptor Rooter is rated 4.8 based on 639 reviews online