Water Heater Noise: What’s That Sound?

water heater noise what's that sound

Do you ever hear strange noises coming from your water heater? You’re not alone. Many homeowners experience the same issue, and it can be quite alarming. As someone who has also dealt with noisy water heaters, I understand how frustrating it can be to try and figure out what’s causing those weird sounds.

In fact, did you know that a noisy water heater is often a sign of an underlying problem that needs to be addressed? But don’t worry, we’ve done our research and have some practical solutions to help you troubleshoot and fix these issues. In this article, we’ll explore common water heater noises, their potential causes, and provide tips on how to address them. So if you want to enjoy a quieter hot water system in your home, keep reading!

Key Takeaways

  • Loud noises from your water heater can mean there’s sediment building up. Flush the tank to fix this problem.
  • If you hear banging, humming, or screeching, it might be something wrong with the heating element or pressure in the system. Checking these parts can help stop the noise.
  • Water leaks and strange sounds could be signs of corrosion inside your water heater. Look out for rusty water or wet spots near your heater.
  • Keeping your water heater in good shape is important. Regular checks and cleaning can make it last longer and work better.
  • When you keep hearing odd noises even after trying to fix them, you should get a professional plumber to take a look. They know how to safely sort out the issue.

Why is it important to address water heater noises?

We know hearing noises from our water heater can be worrying. It’s a sign that something might not be right. Ignoring the sounds could lead to bigger problems like leaks or damage inside the tank.

Our hot water system works hard and it’s normal for it to make some noise, but loud or strange sounds are often clues that maintenance is needed.

Addressing these noises early helps us avoid costly repairs down the track. Taking care of sediment buildup, corrosion, and worn-out parts keeps our heating system running well. We want our appliance to last as long as possible and work safely in our homes.

Now let’s explore common water heater noises and what they mean for our plumbing systems.

Common Water Heater Noises and Their Causes

If you’ve ever heard a banging or rumbling sound coming from your water heater, it could be due to sediment buildup in the tank. A humming noise may indicate that there is not enough water flow through the system, while knocking or hammering sounds could be a

sign of water pressure issues.

Banging or rumbling

We often hear a loud bang or rumble from our water heaters. This sound usually

Common Water Heater Noises and Their Causes

happens when sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank. As water heats, it bubbles up through this layer of minerals and debris, causing these noises. It’s like a kettle boiling over on the stove.

Sediment buildup doesn’t just make noise; it can also harm your hot water system. The extra work to heat water can wear out your heater faster. It’s smart to tackle this issue early on.

Regular flushing of the tank helps remove the gunk and keeps things running smoothly.


If you’ve ever noticed a low, steady hum coming from your water heater, it could be due to a faulty heating element. Sediment buildup on the element can cause it to overheat and produce the humming sound.

It’s essential to address this issue promptly to prevent further damage and potential failure of the heating mechanism.

To fix the humming noise, turn off your water heater and allow it to cool down before checking for sediment buildup. Once cooled, carefully clean or replace the heating element if necessary, following manufacturer guidelines for safe removal and installation.

Knocking or hammering

Knocking or hammering noises from your water heater could indicate sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank, causing overheating and steam bubbles. This can lead to mini-explosions known as “kettling” that create the knocking sound.

Flushing the tank can help remove sediment, preventing further damage to your hot water system and ensuring it operates quietly.

If you’ve noticed a knocking or hammering sound coming from your water heater, consider flushing the tank to remove sediment buildup. Regular maintenance is crucial in preventing these noises and maintaining efficient hot water supply for your home.

Screeching or whistling

After addressing knocking or hammering sounds, it’s crucial to also pay attention to screeching or whistling noises from your water heater. These high-pitched sounds can indicate excessive pressure in the system, often caused by a faulty pressure relief valve or sediment buildup in the tank.

Ignoring these noises could lead to potential safety hazards and reduced efficiency of your hot water system.

If you hear screeching or whistling coming from your water heater, it’s essential to act promptly. Check the pressure relief valve for leaks and ensure it is functioning correctly.

Hissing or crackling

If you hear hissing or crackling from your water heater, it could be due to sediment buildup in the tank. Over time, minerals and other debris can settle at the bottom and cause overheating, leading to these noises.

To address this issue, consider flushing the tank as part of your regular maintenance routine. Flushing helps remove sediment and prevents further buildup, ensuring smooth operation of your hot water system.

When dealing with a noisy water heater that’s hissing or crackling, it’s important not to ignore it as it may lead to more severe problems such as reduced efficiency and potential damage to the tank.

Potential Issues Caused by Noisy Water Heaters

Noisy water heaters can lead to potential issues such as water leaks, sediment buildup, and corrosion. These issues can cause damage to your home and require costly repairs if

potential issues caused by noisy water heaters

not addressed promptly.

Water leaks

Water leaks can lead to serious damage, so it’s crucial to address them promptly. Check for any pooling water around your

water heater and inspect the connections for signs of moisture. Don’t forget to examine the pressure relief valve and inlet/outlet pipes for any leaks. If you notice any water leaking, turn off the heater and seek professional assistance immediately.

Addressing water leaks promptly is vital as they can cause extensive damage if left unchecked. Carefully inspect your water heater and its connections for any signs of moisture or pooling water.

Sediment buildup

As water heats, minerals and sediment settle at the bottom of the tank. Over time, this buildup can lead to popping or rumbling noises as it traps hot water bubbles.

To prevent sediment buildup in your water heater, flush the tank regularly to remove accumulated debris and maintain its efficiency. This simple maintenance routine can help reduce noise and extend the lifespan of your hot water system.

Regular flushing keeps the tank clear of sediment, ensuring smooth operation.


Corrosion can lead to water leaks and reduced efficiency in your water heater. It occurs when the metal inside the tank deteriorates due to exposure to water and heat over time. Sediment buildup can exacerbate corrosion, leading to potential damage if left unaddressed.

Regular maintenance and flushing the tank can help prevent corrosion, along with replacing worn out parts as needed.

If you notice signs of corrosion such as rusty water or strange noises coming from your hot water system, it’s essential to take action promptly. Corrosion not only affects the performance of your water heater but also poses a risk of leaks and further damage if left unchecked.

How to Address Noisy Water Heaters

Regular maintenance is key to addressing noisy water heaters, including flushing the tank and replacing worn out parts. To learn more about troubleshooting common water heater

noises and preventing noise issues, keep reading our blog.

Regular maintenance

Perform regular maintenance on your

How to Address Noisy Water Heaters

water heater to prevent noise issues. Inspect for loose fittings, leaks, or signs of corrosion. To maintain your system’s efficiency and reduce noise, regularly flush the tank to remove sediment buildup. Remember that regular maintenance can help identify potential issues and extend the lifespan of your hot water system.

Flushing the tank

To prevent sediment buildup and reduce water heater noise, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power or gas supply to the water heater.
  2. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.
  3. Place the other end of the hose in a suitable drain or outside area.
  4. Open a hot water tap in your home to allow air into the system.
  5. Carefully open the drain valve and let the water flow out for about 5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Close the drain valve and disconnect the hose once the water runs clear.
  7. Turn on the power or gas supply, allowing time for the tank to refill and heat up again.

Replacing worn out parts

To address noisy water heaters, here’s how to replace worn-out parts:

  1. Turn off the power and water supply to the heater.
  2. Drain the tank to relieve any pressure.
  3. Identify the worn – out part, such as the heating elements or heating element gasket.
  4. Disconnect and remove the old part carefully.
  5. Install the new part according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Reconnect any wiring or components securely.
  7. Refill the tank, turn on the water supply, and restore power.

Importance of addressing water heater noises

Addressing water heater noises is crucial to prevent potential issues such as water leaks, sediment buildup, and corrosion. By identifying and fixing these noises early on, you can avoid costly repairs and ensure your hot water system operates efficiently.

Regular maintenance and prompt attention to unusual sounds are key in maintaining a smooth-running water heater.

Neglecting water heater noises may lead to more severe problems over time, impacting the lifespan of your unit and causing inconvenience. Being proactive in addressing these sounds will help you maintain a reliable hot water system while ensuring the safety of your household.

Tips for preventing noise issues

  1. Schedule regular maintenance checks to keep the system in prime condition.
  2. Ensure to flush the tank regularly to eliminate sediment build – up.
  3. Replace any worn – out parts promptly to maintain optimal functionality.
  4. Check for water leaks and address them immediately to prevent further damage.
  5. Consider installing water flow restrictors to minimise excess noise in the system.
  6. Educate yourself on normal operating sounds to quickly identify any unusual noises.

When to seek professional help

If you’ve tried the maintenance tips and noise issues persist, it’s time to call a professional. Ignoring these sounds may lead to further damage or could be a sign of an impending failure in your water heater system.

Hiring a licensed plumber ensures that the problem is accurately diagnosed and safely repaired, preventing potential hazards and extending the lifespan of your water heater. Don’t hesitate to seek expert help when faced with persistent or concerning water heater noises.

Remember, addressing water heater noises promptly can save you from costly repairs and inconveniences down the line. Professional assistance guarantees that any underlying issues are tackled effectively, giving you peace of mind about your hot water system’s performance.