There are many different types of water heater noises. Some are harmless, some might mean trouble. Click here to learn more!

Is your water heater suddenly making noise? If so, you might be concerned this means costly repairs are in your future. Water heater noises can develop for a variety of reasons, ranging from harmless to needing immediate attention.

Being able to identify what is causing noises from your water heater will let you pinpoint issues and address them before they become catastrophic.

Common Water Heater Noises

We compiled a list of common reasons for water heater noises so you can stop worrying and start addressing any problems.

1. Rumbling

You might be hearing a rumbling noise from inside the water heater. This will typically happen as the temperature rises within the tank. This is caused by a build-up of sediments and mineral deposits inside the tank.

You can address this issue by draining the tank. Using a deliming solution can help clear out the sediments. Even a simple additive like vinegar can remove mineral deposits. 

2. Popping

Popping noises can be caused by limescale, an issue prevalent in areas with hard water. Calcium and Magnesium can enter the water tank and turn into limescale when the temperature rises in the tank. 

This unpleasant water heater noise can also be caused by sediment collecting at the bottom of the tank. Steam bubbles formed under the sediment will burst and cause popping sounds.

This issue can also be remedied by draining and flushing the tank.

3. Ticking

As water leaves the heater through pipes and plumbing’s they expand or contract depending on the water’s temperature. This expansion or contraction can cause rubbing against your home’s framing.

To address this issue, follow the sound to its exact source. It might seem like it is coming from a noisy water heater, but it might be a pipe nearby. Then tighten any loose straps for a quick fix. You may need to install spacers to prevent pipes from moving.

4. Sizzling

This is most common in gas-powered water heaters. Condensation could be forming and dripping down onto the burners. This typically means there is a leak within the tank.

This issue will most likely need the assistance of a trained professional. You can check the area around your heater for signs of leaking water, but we recommend seeking water heater services for assistance.

5. Screeching 

If the valves that control the water flow become constricted, you might hear what sounds like screeching.

This could be from the temperature and pressure relief valve. If the pressure becomes too high in the water heater this valve releases some of the pressure.

It could also be caused by the inlet valve not fully opening.

The best thing to do in this instance would be to turn off the power to your heater and contact a plumber. 

6. Banging or Hammering

This is commonly caused by the water being abruptly shut off causing it to flow backward. This can potentially lead to pipe bursts, which can cause major problems around your home.

This issue can create enough internal pressure for the water heater to expand and deform. If you are hearing banging or hammering sounds, turn off the power to your water heater and contact a trained professional. 

Flowing Water

Water heater noises can cause stress, worry, and frustration when they suddenly appear. Knowing what causes the various sounds and how to respond to them can save you time and money.

To learn more about identifying common household problems, visit our blog page.