What’s That Noise? Snapping, Crackling, and Popping Water Heater Sounds Explained
While ideally, your water heater should operate quietly, sometimes, it will make itself known by becoming noisier than before. Water heater sounds may indicate a potential problem that you need to address. However, many noises are common and expected due to the natural operation of the unit.
Ticking or Snapping Sounds from the Check Valve
Some types of water heaters must have check valves to prevent heat loss. Depending on where you live or your building’s requirements, this valve may be a requirement. It prevents heat from the water heater from flowing in the wrong direction out. During normal operation, these check valves may make ticking, tapping, or snapping sounds. The condition is normal if you have a check valve, also known as a heat trap.
Crackling Sounds from Condensation
Crackling noises may indicate normal operation as condensation builds in a tank unit. You should hear these noises after using hot water and when the tank refills with cold water. When the tank is not completely full, water vapor forms, creating condensation inside. When drops of condensation hit a hot part of the unit, such as a heating element, they burn off, creating a crackling sound.
Popping Noises from Mineral Buildup
When you hear popping from your water heater, you may have mineral buildup problems. This issue is especially common in hard water areas, such as Southern California. The minerals burning in the water heater cause popping or cracking sounds. Unlike the crackling sounds from condensation, the popping and cracking sounds from mineral deposits only worsen over time as the deposits grow. Contact a plumber to see if you need a tank flush or repairs. Left unchecked, mineral deposits can impact the heating and pressure inside the water heater, leading to severe problems that could cut the life of the unit short.
Contact Best Service Plumber for Water Heater Help in Southern California