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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Is My Water Heater Trying to Communicate?

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of a water heater Learn the language of your water heater.

Do You Speak the Language of Water Heaters?

This appliance makes a lot of noises, some good and some bad. Read the tips below to differentiate between the two and understand what your water heater in Brentwood, CA, is trying to tell you.

Translation: Working Correctly or Experiencing a Minor Problem

Even when this important piece of equipment is functioning correctly, it may not be completely quiet. Different sounds have different meanings. Learn how to understand the noises below:

• There are several benign sounds that you may hear. If you hear a tapping or ticking sound, it is likely the valve stopping the water from moving through the pipes in the wrong direction. Tankless water heaters have an on/off switch that commonly makes a clicking sound.

• Some noises indicate a minor problem. Knocking sounds are from pipes heating and subsequently banging in the walls. This is a minor problem because it could cause wall damage, not damage to the appliance. Screeching sounds occur when water squeezes through a partially closed opening, therefore make sure the valves are all completely open. Humming sounds caused from vibration are easily amended by tightening the element.

Translation: Requires Maintenance

Usually, routine maintenance is enough to quiet your water heater. The following noises indicate that a water heater flush may be overdue:

• Sediment builds up in the device over time. When in use, the stirring of the debris causes a crackling, rumbling or popping sound.
• Draining and removing lime from the tank should solve the problem. If your tank is old and the noises continue, replace the unit to prevent a flood and resultant water damage. If water damage occurs, contact a water restoration specialist as soon as possible.

Learn the language of your water heater in Brentwood, CA, to distinguish normal operating noises from those of a failing unit, and everything in between. You can then react appropriately and extend the life of this invaluable appliance.

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