Contact Us 24/7 for Fast and Reliable Plumbing Services

Ask John Noisy Water Heater Main Image
Ask John Noisy Water Heater Main Image

Why Is My Water Heater Making Loud Noises?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Find Out Why Your Water Heater Is Making Loud Noises

You walked past your water heater and noticed it was making loud noises. Sometimes, you hear the water heater making a hissing noise. Other times it bangs. You also hear it making popping or whistling sounds. They’re annoying and scary, and you’re worried it means something seriously dangerous. Before you worry yourself to death, know that water heater noises are common.

The question is, “What causes the water heater to make loud noises?” Rest assured. It’s not haunted. There are perfectly logical reasons why it’s making strange sounds, and that is what this blog is all about. Read on to discover the most common causes of water heater noises and what you can do about them.

Tighten Noisy Water Heater Loose Pipe
Loose pipes can cause your water heater to make noise.

Is It Normal for My Water Heater to Make Loud Noises?

First, you have to know that it’s normal for water heaters to make some kind of noise. Water heaters make noise during their normal operation due to the heating and movement of water within the tank. Typically, water heaters make noises such as:

  • Popping or gurgling sounds due to the bubbles that form and rise to the surface when water is heated.
  • Humming or buzzing sounds are caused by the heating element or thermostat cycling on and off to maintain the water temperature.
  • Ticking sounds are heard when metal parts, such as pipes or fittings, expand or contract due to temperature changes.
  • Vibrating sounds occur if the water heater is not properly installed or the tank is not properly secured.

If you are concerned about the noises coming from your water heater, you can consult the manufacturer’s instructions or enlist the help of a licensed professional to ensure the water heater is operating normally and safely. If you hear the water heater making loud noises or weird sounds, it may be due to a problem that needs prompt attention.

Noisy Water Heater Causes
Some common reasons your water heater is making loud noises.

Common Reasons Your Water Is Making Loud Noises

A water heater is an essential household appliance that provides the family with hot water for cleaning, showers, and other household activities. One common issue with water heaters is loud noises, which might mean a potentially bigger problem. This blog post will explore some common causes of loud water heater noises and how to fix them.

Loose Heating Elements

Another cause of loud water heater noises is loose heating elements. If the heating elements become loose, they can vibrate and create a rumbling noise. You will have to tighten the loose heating elements to fix this issue. Start by turning off the power supply to the water heater, so you can safely remove the access panel. Locate the heating elements and tighten them with a wrench. Once you’re done, replace the access panel, and check if you still hear loud noises.

High Water Pressure

High water pressure can also cause a loud rattling or banging noise in your water heater. When the pressure is too high, it can cause the pipes to rattle. It can also cause the water heater tank to expand and contract, creating a loud noise. How can you fix this? Well, you will need a pressure-reducing valve installed.

A pressure-reducing valve is a device installed on the main water line to reduce the water pressure entering your home. It will help prevent noisy pipes and protect your appliances from damage as well. You can try installing it yourself, but it’s best to let a professional handle it for a safe and reliable installation.

Sediment Buildup in the Tank

You want to know the answer to, “Why is my hot water heater making loud noises?” One of the common causes is sediment buildup in the tank. Over time, sediment and minerals accumulate at the bottom of the tank, causing the water heater to make popping or banging noises. You can fix it by draining the tank to remove the sediment buildup.

Water Heater Tank Sediment Accumulation
Aging tanks can experience sediment and mineral damage.

Faulty Expansion Tank

“Why does my water heater keep making noise? It could be due to a faulty expansion tank. An expansion tank is a small tank installed on the cold water line to help regulate water pressure. It also helps prevent the water heater tank from expanding and contracting. If it’s faulty, it could very well be why you keep hearing popping or banging noises from your water heater.

How can you fix this issue? You can do it by replacing the faulty tank. Start by turning off the water supply to your tank and draining the water heater. Once you’re done draining, remove the old expansion tank and install a new one in the same location. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

Leaking Pipes

Leaking pipes can also cause a water heater to make loud noises. When pipes leak, they can create a whistling or hissing noise as the water escapes. You can stop the noises from coming by fixing the leak. You can do this yourself, but we highly recommend letting a professional plumber handle this type of repair.

Air in the Tank

If your water heater is making a bubbling or gurgling noise, it may be due to air in the tank. Air can enter the tank through the cold water inlet, creating a bubbling or gurgling noise as it rises to the top of the tank. Bleeding the air out of the tank is the best solution to resolve this problem. Find the pressure relief valve, open it, and allow water to flow until the air is released.

Loose Pipes

If not leaking pipes, the root cause of the noises could be loose pipes. When pipes are loose or not properly secured, they can vibrate and create a rattling noise. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to fix by simply securing the pipes using pipe brackets or hangers. Install pipe brackets or hangers to keep the pipes secure in place and prevent the water heater from vibrating.

John Turpin, our resident home repair guru, explores some common reasons why your water heater is making loud noises, along with some suggested solutions and DIY tips to fix it.

Faulty Water Heater FAQs

Are loud water heater noises dangerous?

They are not dangerous per se, but loud noises can be a sign of a serious problem that could pose a safety risk. For instance, if the noise is caused by a buildup of pressure in the tank, it could cause the tank to rupture. This makes it crucial to promptly address any unusual noises from your water heater to prevent potential safety issues.

Can I prevent my water heater from producing loud noises?

There are several things you can do to prevent water heater noises. For one, you can flush the tank regularly to remove sediment buildup. It also helps to check the temperature and pressure relief valves and maintain the proper water pressure. Generally, regular maintenance and inspection of your water heater can prevent water heater noises and other problems, ensuring the device’s safe and efficient operation.

Can I remove sediment buildup myself?

Yes, you can remove sediment buildup by yourself by draining the tank. You can do this by turning off the power or gas supply to the water heater and then connecting a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Next, open the valve and allow the water to drain until it runs clear. Ensure you turn off the drain valve and disconnect the hose before turning the power or gas supply back on.

Hire a Local Plumbing Pro

There are several possible reasons behind water heaters making loud noises, such as sediment buildup, loose heating elements, faulty expansion tanks, high water pressure, and more. Identifying the cause of the noise and learning about possible solutions should help ensure your water heater works efficiently and safely. For expert support hire a local plumber.

Get a Quote

Let’s connect you to a top-tier local service professional

Contact Us Today for a Quote

or Call (833) 933-1722

Thank You!

Your project has been sent to a top-tier local service provider who’ll be in touch soon to take the next steps.

or Call (833) 933-1722