Is Your Water Heater Making Strange Noises?

March 2, 2023


You may hear strange sounds coming from your water heater. These sounds may be hisses, bangs, pops, or whistles. These sounds may be annoying and can become very scary at times. However, it is pretty standard for water heaters to make strange noises. But the question is why is the water heater making noises and what do those noises mean?

When your water heater starts to make strange noises call a professional HVAC contractor to come inspect your water heater and diagnose the problem.

Also Read: 4 Tips To Extend The Life Of Your Water Heater

Common Water Heater Noises And Their Causes


When sediments build up in the tank, your water heater may produce popping sounds. These issues are prevalent in areas with hard water. The sediments create steam bubbles that burst through the sediment when water heats, making a popping sound.

To address the popping noise, you can use a descaling product to remove the sediments forming in your tank. You can also try flushing or draining your tank to remove the sediments. With these small steps, you can quickly reduce the popping sound coming from your water heater to improve the performance of your water heater.


A water hammer, also known as banging, occurs when a sudden change in the direction of water flow creates changes in water pressure. This phenomenon can cause pipes to burst, so it is suggested that you seek professional assistance if you hear a banging sound coming from your water heater.

The professionals will help you find the root cause of the issue and provide a solution to prevent future damage. You should address this issue as soon as possible, as ignoring this problem can lead to severe consequences and expensive repairs.


High-pitched or whistling sounds are caused by water with high pressure being forced to move through a tiny opening. This can be caused if the valve of the water heater is not fully opened. You should listen carefully to the whistling sound to determine where the valve is missing or needs replacing. If the valve is located very close to the water heater, you should leave the job of changing the valve to a professional to prevent the risk of steam burns.


A hissing sound usually comes from an electric water heater. This is typically the cause of sediment building up on the water heater’s lower heating elements. It is recommended to drain or flush the water heater if you hear a hissing sound from the water heater. This can help you to improve the heating system’s performance and avoid potential damage to the water heater.


If you hear a humming sound, it’s most likely mainly due to a loose heating element. A humming sound is produced as the flexible element in the heating system behind vibrates within the water. You can tighten the heating element to remove the humming sound.

What To Do If The Water Heater Makes Such Noises

You must immediately act when you hear the above sounds from your water heater. Although fixing them yourself may feel safe and feasible, calling an HVAC professional is always recommended. It is good to leave any water heater repairs to those with expertise and experience in solving them. If you try to fix the problems by yourself, it may lead to severe consequences leading to costly repairs in the future.

Not only this, there are strong chances of you causing injury to yourself. Taking these matters into your own hands is not advisable, so it is better to stay on the side of caution and safety by calling a professional to handle the situation. The professionals can help you resolve the issue quickly and remove the root cause of the problem.

About Nor-Can Heating & Air

Nor-Can Heating & Air is a professional HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance company. Our team of experienced HVAC contractors can deal with various systems, including water heaters and furnaces.

Looking for professional water heater repair or installation technicians in Edmonton, contact us today.



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