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  • Writer's pictureHartzell Marketing Team

How To Know Your Water Heater Needs Maintenance

Updated: Feb 17

Having warm water flowing from your tap is essential for your home in Rushville, IN. Warm showers and clean dishes are easy to take for granted until they suddenly disappear from your life. A weird noise coming from the water heater can be a warning sign of a problem. Knowing the cause behind different sounds can help you diagnose and fix the problem before it causes a lot of damage.

A man fixing a hot water tank.

Tankless Water Heater Issues Many homeowners choose tankless water heaters to save space. There are many issues that can cause a tankless heater to make noise: Calcium deposits Burner issues Dirty fan Combustion leak If your tankless heater is making an unusual noise, particularly when it's activated or winds down, you may just need a water softener. For persistent noise, have a certified technician inspect it to find the problem and fix it.

Sediment in the Tank Regardless of how many precautions you take, sediment buildup is a normal occurrence with water heaters. Deposits on the heating element can cause a popping sound to occur when water flows through it. A rumbling noise may happen when sediment gets trapped in the tank itself.

A water heater flush is typically necessary every six months. If your water has a particularly high mineral content, you may have to flush it more frequently. This simple preventative maintenance can keep sediment from building up too much and causing damage to the heater.

Faulty or Loose Components A malfunctioning valve somewhere along the path of the water flow can result in a high-pitched screeching noise. This is the outcome of water rushing through an opening that's not wide enough to accommodate the pressure. If the water heater valve seems OK, check the one that allows passage to the faucet in use to see if that's where the problem lies.

A humming sound often indicates that water is flowing around the vertical heating element in the tank and making it move around. This is not a dire problem, but it could get louder as the element is shaken loose. Tighten the element so that it doesn't shift when the water comes into contact with it.

Sudden Change in Water Usage A rush of water or sudden absence of it can jolt the pipes, causing them to bang against the walls or joints surrounding them. This usually happens when the washing machine is in use or a toilet is flushed. The knocking sound may seem like it's coming from the water heater, but it's really just the pipes making contact with the structure that encloses them. Over time, it can cause wall or pipe damage, so it's a good idea to have a water hammer arrestor installed.

Your water heater can make a lot of sounds, and all of them tell you something different about what's going on. Damage from a leak can be repaired by water restoration experts, but it's better if you can prevent this problem in the first place. Regular inspection and maintenance of your heater help you stay on top of it.

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