Why Is My Water Heater Making Noise?

Last Updated On November 12, 2022
Why Is My Water Heater Making Noise

When we think of all the reasons a water heater might be making a noise, we might think of it as we would our vehicle. The first thing the mechanic wants to know is what it sounds like. 

We must first understand the specific type of noise to figure out why our water heater is making it. There are quite a few sounds that can come from our water heater when it starts to malfunction.

Whether we have a gas water heater or an electric water heater, we should treat every situation with urgency until proven otherwise. 

What kind of strange noise is your water heater making? Is it a hissing noise, sizzling noise, rumbling noise, humming noise, a banging noise like a hammer, or a popping noise? Is it making a sizzling sound? Any loud noise can be alarming.

Nobody wants a gas leak in their house, so you should always rule this out from the get-go.

What's In This Guide?

      What Are The Different Types Of Water Heater Sounds?

      From popping and whistling to a knocking noise from our water heater, we’ll discuss all these strange sounds and what they might be. 

      Our water heaters have a lot going on inside such a confined space. These elements combined can create a fair amount of issues. We must regularly maintain our water heater tanks.

      Flushing them every few years and replacing the anode rods is necessary. Upgrading to a new anode rod is the best thing we can do to prevent any further issues inside our water heater tanks. 

      Is There A Popping Sound In Your Water Heater?

      If there is a popping sound in your water heater, we don’t want you to panic. This specific sound is one of the most common issues noticed by hot water tank owners. 

      The popping sound is from an extreme amount of sediment buildup inside the water tank. We must flush it immediately if we hear a popping sound in our water heaters, or serious plumbing issues could arise. There are special attachments to help you with this. We really like this one!

      If our pressure relief valve gets stuck, our water heater could explode. If the thermostat on the water heater malfunctions, we could be left with water that is too hot or scalding

      did you know why your water heater is making sounds

      Do You Hear Whistling Water Heater Noises?

      We have a serious problem when we hear a whistling sound from our water heater. 

      Every water heater, even tankless, has a built-in pressure relief valve. As the pressure builds inside the water tank, this valve opens freely to release any excess amounts. If something is wrong with our water heater and the T&P valve isn’t functional, it could cause the pressure to rise to explosive levels

      If the sound we hear is the air escaping from these pressure relief valves, we must have our water heater checked by a professional immediately. This valve acts like a tea kettle spout when it’s finished boiling. 

      We need to inspect the entire water heater unit if we cannot find anything wrong with the pressure relief valve. As we feel around the water heater tank, we might discover the source of the whistling sound. 

      If we find a crack or break in the water heater, we need to have it replaced. This should be clear tho because it will be the source of its leaking. At this point, we should turn our water heater off completely to stop any more pressure from building up. 

      What If Your Hot Water Heater Is Making A Knocking Noise?

      With all the water pressure being forced through our hot water tank every day, it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong. 

      All our plumbing pipes need to be secure, from the water supply lines entering our tank to the hot water lines going out. The pressure could build up in our tank, causing any of these plumbing fixtures to rattle. 

      The tank has an anode rod, a thermostat, a pressure relief valve, and many other components that can go bad. When any of these things fail, the pressure inside the tank is bound to escape.

      In most cases, we can find the source of the sound and even discover DIY plumbing solutions to help us solve the problem at home. 

      Is It Bad If Your Water Heater Is Making Noise?

      Our water heater lets us know when something is wrong, like the motor in our car. When our water heater makes a noise, there’s most likely a problem. 

      Certain noises are more common, like popping sounds. It’s not necessarily a bad sound, but it is our water heating letting us know that it needs attention. 

      Then we have the more urgent sounds, like the whistling water heater. We must find the problem immediately when we hear a whistling sound from our hot water tank. If it’s cracked, we most likely need to replace it

      If the pressure builds up inside the tank and can’t release, it can lead to a very dangerous situation. You should have this checked by a professional immediately. 

      How Do I Stop My Water Heater From Making Noise?

      The water heaters in most homes will last three to five years without any issues. It is a good idea to replace the anode rod every 3 to 5 years. If your home has very hard water, you should check it more frequently. You’ll notice that it smells like eggs, which can be fixed.

      We recommend replacing the cheaper aluminum rods or magnesium with an upgraded powered anode rod. Upgrading the anode rod is the best thing we can do for our water heater tank. 

      It’s also good to flush them often. By adding hydrogen peroxide to our water heaters, we can stir up all the sediment on the bottom of the tank and flush it out more thoroughly. 

      Here is an easy-to-understand video explaining how we can maintain our noisy water heater.

      FAQs On Water Heaters Making Noise

      Why is my water heater making noise?

      Sediment buildup in a water heater tank is usually the reason it will make a noise. From popping to whistling, different noises can be signs of specific problems. No matter what the sound is, we must track it down.

      Is it bad if my water heater is making noise?

      Some sounds that water heaters make are signs they need to be maintained. Some sounds could be signs that our water heater is going to explode. We should treat all sounds coming from our water heater as an emergency.

      How can I stop a noisy water heater?

      The best thing we can do to stop a Noisy water heater is to maintain it regularly. We can flush out the loose sediments and change the anode rod every few years.

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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