HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

What To Do When Your Water Heater Goes Bump In The Night

Your water heater is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. Unfortunately, it is also one appliance that is often overlooked when it comes to regular maintenance. Water heaters are generally tucked away in a closet or basement. This makes it easy to forget about your water heater until a serious problem occurs.

If you hear your water heater making some strange sounds, it's trying to tell you that it needs some attention. Deciphering what each sound means will allow you to better maintain your water heater in the future.


One of the sounds that you might hear coming from your water heater is a popping sound. The most common cause of these popping noises is a buildup of minerals inside the water heater's tank.

A water heater needs to be flushed regularly to prevent sediment and minerals from coating the bottom of the tank. This mineral coating can block the transfer of heat from the heating element to the water in the tank, causing your water heater to have to work harder than it should.

Contact a plumber for help cleaning out your tank if you hear any popping sounds coming from your water heater in the future.


Another sound that might emanate from a water heater is a hissing sound. Although hissing can sound quite serious, this is another noise that indicates you have a sediment problem inside your water heater.

The heating electrodes inside the tank can become coated with hardened sediment and mineral buildup over time. This coating causes the electrodes to generate a hissing sound when heating up.

You may have to replace the electrodes if the sediment layer is too thick, but a plumber can help you determine if a thorough cleaning or an electrode replacement is required to stop any hissing coming from your water heater.


The most troubling noise that your water heater can make is a banging sound. This type of noise is typically caused when the gas or oil fuel source powering your water heater reignites after the burner has started.

A buildup of fuel can ensue, creating a dangerous situation in your home. If you don't want your water heater to explode and put the safety of your family at risk, never ignore a banging sound coming from the appliance. An experienced plumber can replace the water heater and repair the fuel line to restore the safety of your appliance.

If you notice any of these sounds coming from your water heater, contact a local plumbing contractor