A leaking faucet on a domestic water heater with tools and fittings to replace appliance

Popping Sounds From the Hot Water Heater

Though water heaters are supposed to run quietly, after a while you might start to hear popping sounds from yours. These pops may be accompanied by bangs and crackles. They occur when sediment and limescale accumulate at the bottom of the heater. This is especially problematic in places like Waukesha, WI, which has very hard water — water that contains a lot of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals may be good for your health, but they are notoriously bad for water-dependent appliances, including your hot water heater. Sediment is the No. 1 problem that can shorten your water heater’s life.

After a while, the material can accumulate on the tank’s heating element and make it inefficient. As a result, the heater has to work that much harder to heat the water to the desired temperature. When the water boils or steams, it also knocks the sediment around the tank, which results in popping and cracking noises. This is very much like what happens when water steams or boils in a pot and rattles the lid.

What Happens if the Water Heater Is Untreated?

Quieting all those popping and crackling sounds is actually an easy fix. All it takes is draining the hot water tank from time to time. If the tank is brand-new, some manufacturers recommend draining the tank fairly frequently to remove sediment. Problems can arise if the tank isn’t drained and the buildup of sediment and limescale is allowed to continue until the layer becomes deep and hard. They include:

  • A leaking tank
  • Overheating
  • Higher energy bills
  • Less efficient water heater
  • Uneven water heating

Not only does sediment in your hot water tank cause these problems, but it also aids in the growth of bacteria. Though these bacteria are not harmful to human health, they add oxygen to the water, which then damages the lining of the water heater.

Call Jeff’s Custom Care for Water Heater Service

Draining the tank and other proper maintenance can help your water heater last through its eight-to-15-year lifespan. Your heater may have to be replaced if the amount of sediment within it has pretty much destroyed the sacrificial anode rod, and the tank has developed leaks. Our plumbers at Jeff’s Custom Care are skilled in the maintenance, repair, and replacement of hot water heaters.

Residents of Waukesha deserve to have fresh hot water available whenever they need it, whether they have their fun at the Springs Water Park or the UrbanAir Trampoline and Adventure Park. If you hear popping or crackling sounds from your hot water heater, give our plumbers at Jeff’s Custom Care a call today.