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Was That a Ghost or Is the Water Heater Acting Up Again?

Beware of These Common (but Haunting) Water Heater Sounds

It might not be a necessity to have an air conditioner in San Francisco, but living without a water heater poses a threat to homeowner health. Without hot water, there is no way for homeowners to effectively clean anything in the home, including dishes, clothes, and even themselves! That is why it is so important to know what the initial signs are of a water heater acting up. More specifically, there are three common noises that every water heater makes when it starts to break down and need repairs. 

When these noises occur, the sooner the resident calls a professional plumber, the better. To learn more about these three noises and their effect on water heaters, continue reading below. 

What It Means To Hear Popping

Over time, every home’s water heater is bound to need some repairs. This is especially true if the water heater is in a home with hard water. The effects of hard water don’t just mess with a person’s body, it affects their water heater as well. 

When water has calcium and magnesium in it, it’s considered hard water. As the hard water leaves the water heater, it leaves some sediment behind. Slowly, over time the sediment builds inside the tank. It all falls to the bottom of the tank and hardens, which causes blockages. 

As the water heats up inside the tank, it now has to break through this layer of sediment. The popping sound the homeowner hears is the sound of water boiling through this layer of hardened sediment. 

As a result, this means that the water heater is overworked, which leads to higher utility bills and the need for repairs. One way to avoid this is to have the water heater professionally maintained every year. Doing so will control the sediment build-up and simultaneously extend the life of the water heater.

What It Means To Hear Screeching

water heater

Perhaps the most intense noise to come from a water heater is a loud screeching sound. When this sound occurs it is most likely caused by a water flow restriction somewhere in the system. Granted, most of the time the answer to this unusual noise is simply a valve that isn’t open all the way. When the inlet valve is partially closed, it causes a restriction in the flow of water which leads to the water heater drying out in some areas. As a result, the homeowner hears the screeching sound. 

That said, there are other reasons for flow restrictions. Some of these reasons include: 

  • Build-up in pipes from hard water
  • A kinked water line
  • A leak
  • A broken valve 

If this noise is heard, it is vital to call a professional as soon as possible. A screeching sound is never something a homeowner wants to hear from their water heater because it is indicative of more dangerous problems in the future if it isn’t promptly repaired. 

What It Means To Hear Crackling

A crackling sound is one that is only heard if the homeowner has a gas-powered water heater. Condensation occurs because after the water heater is used, the tank begins to cool down. Once the tank reaches dew-point temperatures, condensation begins to build and some forms on the gas burner as a result. 

fixing a water heater

This sound can be essentially harmless, however, it can also lead to a pilot light outage. To avoid a pilot light outage and expensive repairs, there are a few things the homeowner can do. 

Tips for reducing condensation include: 

  • Invest in a dehumidifier 
  • Open windows or buy a fan to circulate the air
  • Call a professional to have the water heater routinely maintained

About Magic Plumbing

Local homeowners can trust the professionals at Magic Plumbing with any and all of their San Francisco, CA water heater repair and plumbing needs. They always provide prompt service and fix the problem the first time because they understand how frustrating plumbing issues can be. Give them a call today for professional service at a competitive price.