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Common Causes of a Noisy Water Heater

Do you hear strange noises in your house? It might be your water heater.

A water heater shouldn’t make any noise. If it does, there might be a problem. Don’t worry, because it’s rare for water heaters to make noise, but it can be very annoying and distracting.


Here are the common reasons why your water heater might be making noise.

Mineral Build-up

Popping sounds in your water heater could mean that it has build-up. The build-up can be made up of sand, dirt, and debris. The build-up accumulates at the bottom of the water heater. Then, water will become trapped under the build-up. The trapped water will heat up, develop bubbles, and explode. This is the cause of the popping sound.


Using a water softener can help remove the sediment in the water. Doing this will eliminate the popping sound from your heater. Flushing your water heater regularly will also remove the build-up. This will ensure that your water heater has a longer life.

Extremely High Pressure

A high-pitched sound could mean that there’s too much pressure in your water heater. In this case, water and steam may leak from the heater’s valve, which causes the sound. When you don’t monitor or regulate the temperature of your water heater, the pressure can increase farther than it’s meant to.


You should shut off your heater’s valve when you hear this sound. Then, call an expert plumber that can fix the problem. Only professionals with special equipment and training can properly fix it. Call a reliable water heater service company like Spartan Plumbing.

Expanded Plumbing Pipes

When you hear a ticking sound, it could be your plumbing pipes. Hot water can expand water pipes and contract your heater. This results in the water pipes rubbing against the heater’s framing and loose traps.


Placing plastic spacers on the areas where the pipes are rubbing against the heater can solve this problem. Reducing the temperature can lower the water pressure, which can minimize the noise.

Water Flow Stopping

When the water flow stops abruptly, a hammering or knocking sound may occur. When this happens, the remaining water in the pipes may be moving in reverse. This is a serious problem that can destroy your water heater.


A device called a water hammer arrestor could help prevent this problem. It can absorb sudden shock when the water flow stops.

Loose Electric Element

Your water heater’s electric element can cause a humming sound. Your heater has one heating element on top and the other at the bottom. The top heating element can vibrate, which causes the humming. This is not a serious problem. But, it may be a sign that the heating element could be loose.


If the humming noise is becoming annoying, you can tighten it. Once it’s tightened properly, the humming sound should stop.

Your water heater can create various sounds. Each sound could have a specific cause. It could be a small or a serious problem. Even if it’s only a minor issue, water heaters shouldn’t create such noises. It’s best to check your heater for any damage, depending on the sound you’re hearing.

But the best thing to do is to call a professional plumber. Reliable plumbers should have licenses and the right equipment to fix the problem.

You might think that you could save more money by fixing the problem yourself. However, incorrect repairs may cause more problems for your water heater and plumbing.

Unless you’re a licensed plumber, avoid repairing it yourself. Call a professional from a reputable service company like Spartan Plumbing. If the noise isn’t caused by a water heater problem, they can find and fix the cause of the sound to avoid further damage and annoyance.