Do Water Heaters Make Noise


Having a water heater in your home is super-convenient. However, you can’t help but wonder if it has a downside since it is a complex machine. Do water heaters make noise?

Unfortunately, water heaters indeed produce sounds. Some are tolerable while others are outright annoying. More importantly, these sounds can represent underlying issues.

There are four types of sounds you could eventually hear from your water heater. We’re talking about humming, ticking, popping, and sizzling sounds. Most of them are normal for heavy-duty machines. However, in some cases, they can be a symptom of something more serious.

Learn more about why water heaters make noise!

Humming sounds can represent a loose tube.

Usually, electric water heaters use a looped tube as their heating element. The tube is installed vertically in the tank.

To be honest, the humming noise is normal since vibrations happen when water flows through the tube. To prove it, when you turn off the water flow, the noise stops.

However, there are instances where the humming sounds become louder than necessary. The simplest solution for that is tightening the looped tube even for just a little bit.

Ticking sounds are normal because of the valves.

A lot of water heaters have a check type valve or heat trap to support water flow. The valve keeps the water from flowing in a specific direction. This is useful for conserving energy.

As the valve functions, it is only normal that you could hear ticking or tapping sounds. If you’re really particular about the noise, you may use other types of valves. However, you need to know more about your water heater before making a purchase.

Popping sounds can be caused by mineral deposits.

Since water heaters can last for several years, they’ll eventually accumulate a lot of mineral deposits. These minerals can actually trap water or disturb its flow. The result is a popping, gurgling or cracking noise – a strong sign that the water struggles to flow out of the deposits.

Sizzling sounds can be a symptom of leakage.

If ever you’d hear a hissing noise from your water heater, you really need to check it pronto. When water drops on the burner, it sizzles. This is more likely to happen during a leak.

However, since a water heater can also condensate due to temperature changes, the sizzling noise doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong. If the water comes from the surface, not directly inside the heater, then you have nothing to worry about.

In Conclusion

Do water heaters make noise?

If you’d hear humming, ticking, popping or sizzling sounds from your water heater, don’t immediately assume that something’s wrong. These sounds are usually normal. However, since underlying problems are possible as well, you need to do some inspection.