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Get Rid of the Ghost in the Water Heater | C. Woods Company

Sounds That Are Common When Water Heater Service Is Needed

October has always been a month of spooky sounds. But, for homeowners everywhere, the spooky sounds they want to hear are not in their plumbing. Scary sounds can be among the earliest indicators of something wrong with the plumbing, specifically the water heater

Of all the noises that a water heater can make, there are a few that should grab one's attention. Instead of ignoring the haunting sounds and hoping "it's just the wind," learn what the sounds mean and how to repair them. These suggestions from local water heater maintenance specialists can help guide homeowners through the process of diagnosing their water heater. 

Screeching and Hissing Noises

Hissing and screeching noises are two common sounds that alarm homeowners, and with good reason. Both sounds indicate that something is wrong and needs to be fixed, but they each mean something different. 

Hissing noises usually indicate a leak. Leaks can occur in various places in water heaters. Start by looking in the drain pan for standing water and work up from there. Common spots to focus on are:

  • Pressure relief valve that didn't seat
  • Corroded connections at the top of the tank
  • Internal leaks hitting the hot burner

Screeching, on the other hand, is a sign of restricted flow. Hot water lines are particularly susceptible to screeching. When valves aren't open, or scale builds up in pipes, the audible screeching is heard. Check the valves and make sure they are open. If scale is a problem, then a water softener can provide long-term relief from hard water that forms scale. 

Rumbling or Thumpingwater tank

These sounds are probably the most commonly heard sounds that indicate the need for water heater repairs. The noise will sound like boiling water, probably because that is actually what is happening. When tanks aren't drained and flushed periodically, scale and sediment collect at the bottom of the tank. The scale inhibits heat transfer from the burner to the water, so water starts to boil beneath the obstruction, creating the thumping noise. 

In most cases, a good water heater maintenance visit from a plumber will solve the problem. If the scale is too much to be flushed, installation of a new water heater tank may be necessary. 

Humming and Tickingvalves

Humming is a subtle spooky sound that is common to electric water heaters. Electric water heaters are powered by large resistance coils that convert electricity to heat energy. Over time, they may loosen up or split and start humming as they begin a heating cycle. 

A ticking noise is the final noise on the list, and it could be the most frightening. Ticking will likely be accompanied by an increase in utility bills. Special devices on top of water heaters called "heat traps" are installed to prevent heat from escaping from a water heater. When they begin to fail, a ticking noise will be present near the top of the water heater tank. 

About C. Woods Company

C. Woods Company cares for Tyler, TX residents with award-winning service. With quick turnarounds and emergency service, no one has to be stuck with a plumbing emergency. Call today to take advantage of their six decades of experience with plumbing services!