Does your water heater make humming, buzzing, screeching or popping sounds? Maybe you’ve become immune to the noises, but you shouldn’t just ignore them. These sounds could be a sign of a more serious problem with your water heater. Get to the bottom of the issue by investigating it yourself first. The solution could be something you could do on your own.
An Overload of Sediments Could Cause Sounds in Water Heaters
If you hear popping noises when the water heater is in use, it could be due to mineral deposits that have formed on the bottom of the water heater tank. It’s normal for every water heater to collect sediment (mineral deposits) over time. Flushing the water heater at least once a year should keep the build-up of sediment at bay. However, when you don’t flush the water out at all, the build-up of sediment could affect the efficiency of the water tank.
How Too Much Sediment Can Cause Problems
It’s not a good idea to overlook a build-up of sediments as it can affect your bills and the water heater’s performance in the long run. This is what can happen:
- The heat transfer to the water slows down, causing the water heater to overheat
- Overheating deteriorates the lining and weakens the steel tank. This could lead to leaks
- Displace water in the tank. You won’t have as much hot water available
- Lowers the water heater’s efficiency, which in turn increases your bills
If flushing the water heater doesn’t stop the popping sounds, then replacing it altogether may have to be your next step.
Check the Pressure & Temperature
Pay attention to the sound that’s coming from the water heater. If it’s a high pitched noise, that could be a sign that there’s too much pressure in the tank. Take a look at the temperature and pressure relief valve. It’s supposed to automatically release water or steam if the tank ever overheats or contains too much pressure.
Sizzling Sounds Could be Due to Condensation or Leakage
Sizzling noises in your gas water heater could be due to condensation or a leak. When condensation forms inside the vent, you’ll hear the sizzling sounds when the water drops hit the hot surface. When the heater has reached the temperature of 115°F, condensation shouldn’t be an issue anymore. If it’s a leaking problem, then you might have to fix, tighten or replace the leaking element.
The Different Water Heater Options
If your water heater is past its life expectancy and the damages are beyond repair, you should look into a new water heater installation. A typical lifespan of a water heater is between 8-12 years. If yours is older and doesn’t work when you need it to, then you should probably replace it. A strong sign that it has to be replaced is when there’s dripping underneath the tank; you’ll see rusty water.
You could purchase or rent the same unit. Depending on your needs, an upgrade is a possibility too. You’ll have a couple of options such as a installing a tankless water heater. They’re smaller than traditional ones and slash energy bills greatly. The initial costs to buy and install is more expensive than a regular water heater, but a tankless water heater’s lifespan is double that of a standard one.
Call for Professional Help if Necessary
Before you tackle on the job of installing a new water heater, you should ensure you’ve got all the tools that are required, physical strength (or a helping hand) and the time to get the job done. You’ll need quite a few tools like pliers, a hacksaw and adjustable wrenches when installing a water heater. Contact installation professionals if you’re hesitant about doing this yourself. Once you’ve got a new water heater up and running, then you can benefit from hot water when you need it and lower energy bills. Those sizzling and popping sounds won’t be an issue anymore, either.