La Crosse, Wisconsin

5 Noises Your Water Heater Shouldn't Make & What's Causing Them August 28, 2020

La Crosse, La Crosse County
5 Noises Your Water Heater Shouldn't Make & What's Causing Them, La Crosse, Wisconsin

As the device that raises your water’s temperature to whatever level you need for bathing, showering, and heating your home, your water heater is essential. That’s why it’s wise to hire an HVAC contractor to maintain or repair it right away if you notice that it’s making odd sounds. To know more about what’s happening and figure out whether you should call a professional, learn some tips about what could be causing the issues.

A Guide to Strange Noises From Water Heaters

1. Sizzling, Screeching, Hissing, or Rumbling

Any of these noises could indicate a couple of different problems. For example, perhaps the water valve is closed, restricting water flow. If so, open it and see if the noise stops. However, call an HVAC contractor right away if water is exiting the valve.

This sound could also mean that sediment has accumulated in the tank, especially if it’s electric. All you need to do is remove the heating element, scrub it with vinegar, and drain the tank before reattaching it. Consider having a plumbing service unclog the drains, too.

2. Crackling

HVAC contractorBesides being another possible sign that sediment has built up in an electric water heater, crackling can suggest that a gas heater has gathered condensation on the burner. You may not like the sound, but it doesn’t mean anything is wrong. It will resolve itself. However, if it’s accompanied by sizzling, there could be a leak, which an HVAC contractor should fix.

3. Vibrating

When cold water infiltrates the upper heating element of an electric water tank, it may vibrate or hum. To stop it, simply use a heating element socket to tighten said element. Fortunately, it doesn’t typically cause any lasting damage.

4. Knocking

Known as water hammer, the alarming sound of knocking happens when the water is suddenly turned off, forcing it back. The momentum makes a shock wave, and the water bangs around the pipes. You may hear around the water heater even though it’s not the source. Since this issue can quickly cause serious damage to the pipes, including leaks, call for HVAC repair immediately.

5. Popping

Like sizzling and rumbling, popping hints at sediment buildup in the tank, though it’s a more common noise than the others, especially for hard water. The sediment often contains a variety of minerals, including calcium, lime, and magnesium carbonate. Sediment filters, water softeners, and drainage can all stop this problem.


To get the assistance or advice of an experienced HVAC contractor regarding any of these noise issues, contact Niebuhr Plumbing & Heating in La Crosse, WI. Having offered honest, reliable, and thorough plumbing services for more than 100 years, their expertise is unparalleled, guaranteeing that you’ll be satisfied with their work and affordable rates. To schedule a visit, call (608) 782-1700 or visit them online to learn more about their services. 

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