4 Common Hot Water Heater Noises and How to Make Them Stop

Believe it or not, the water heater is one of the most frequently used appliances in the home. Because of its heavy workload, it is important to keep an eye (or ear) on how the water heater is functioning. While it is not uncommon for a water heater to make noise, sounds such as humming, knocking, screeching, or tapping should be addressed to rule out the need for repairs or replacement parts.

Here are 4 of the most common water heater noises, and how to make them stop: 

1. The sound: humming

Humming noises coming from your water heater are more than just annoying. They can be an indication that components within the unit are coming loose. Humming sounds are most likely caused by vibrations occurring within the hot water unit – a simple fix if caught soon enough. 

The solution: With your water heater off, you can inspect and tighten the necessary elements to stop the source of the vibrations. Always use extreme caution when working on water heater units, as the water inside is obviously very hot and can be hazardous.

2. The sound: knocking and hammering

A knocking or hammering noise is typically caused when water is crashing into shutoff valves too quickly. Often referred to as “water hammering,” this phenomenon can be quite loud but it is usually not a major cause for concern. 

The solution: Head to your local hardware store and purchase a water hammer arrestor. These are typically easy to install and should fix the knocking sound right away. 

3. The sound: screaming or screeching

If your water heater is making a screaming sound while in use, the problem likely lies in the check valves in the water lines. When check valves cannot fully open, the water is forced to squeeze through, building pressure and causing a high-pitched noise. 

The solution: Get your check valves inspected to ensure they can open and close completely. We recommend calling in the professionals to tackle this project.

4. The sound: tapping

Tapping is another indication that your check valves might need to be adjusted or replaced, or you might have a larger issue with sediment buildup within your water tank. 

The solution: Enlisting the help of a professional plumber is recommended to inspect the water heater’s heating elements or burner, check valves, and to drain the water tank to remove sediment if necessary. 

Water heater repair in New Haven and Fairfield County 

If you hear a humming, knocking, screaming, or tapping sound coming from your water heater, don’t plug your ears and assume the issue will go away on its own. Contact Rick’s Plumbing for a water heater inspection and repair. Call us today at (203) 874-6629.