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What causes our water heater to make loud rumbling noises?

As a homeowner, you may have experienced those unsettling, loud rumbling noises emanating from your water heater. These unsettling sounds can be quite concerning, but before you rush into DIY solutions or call for professional help, it’s crucial to understand what’s causing these noises in the first place. At Schrader Plumbing, we specialize in diagnosing and resolving all types of plumbing issues, including water heater troubles. In this blog, we’ll shed light on the common reasons behind your water heater’s rumbling sounds, ensuring you make informed decisions to keep your plumbing system in top shape.

  1. Sediment Build-Up

One of the most frequent culprits behind those loud rumbling noises in your water heater is sediment build-up. Over time, minerals like calcium and magnesium present in your water supply settle at the bottom of your tank. As the water heater heats the water, these sediments harden and create a layer at the bottom. This layer of sediment eventually causes your water heater to make rumbling or popping sounds.

How to Address It:

  • Professional Flush: To resolve sediment build-up, it’s essential to have a professional plumber flush your water heater regularly. This process involves draining the tank and removing the accumulated sediment.
  1. Overheating

When your water heater’s temperature is set too high, it can lead to overheating and the subsequent formation of steam bubbles. These bubbles rise through the sediment layer at the bottom of the tank, causing the rumbling noises you hear.

How to Address It:

  • Adjust Temperature: Consult a professional plumber to ensure your water heater is set at the optimal temperature to prevent overheating and noise issues.
  1. Expansion and Contraction

Your water heater tank is constructed with metal, and as water is heated, it expands. When the heating cycle ends, the tank cools down, causing contraction. This natural process can result in creaking or popping noises.

How to Address It:

  • No Immediate Action Required: Expansion and contraction sounds are usually harmless and don’t indicate a significant problem with your water heater. However, it’s always a good idea to have a plumber inspect the unit if you’re concerned.
  1. Water Hammer

Water hammer occurs when the flow of water suddenly stops or changes direction, causing a shockwave through your plumbing system. This can lead to banging or rumbling sounds in your water heater or pipes.

How to Address It:

  • Install Water Hammer Arrestors: A plumber can install water hammer arrestors or air chambers in your plumbing system to absorb the shockwaves, reducing the noise.

Loud rumbling noises coming from your water heater can be unsettling, but understanding the root causes is the first step toward resolving the issue. At Schrader Plumbing, we’re here to help you diagnose and fix any water heater problems you may encounter. Whether it’s sediment build-up, overheating, or other issues causing those sounds, our professional plumbers have the expertise to keep your plumbing system running smoothly. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert advice and service, ensuring your water heater remains in top condition for years to come.

Categories: Water Heaters,
By: Michelle Kurcina

Last modified:

Last Modified: November 9, 2023 at 4:11 pm