plumber Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa plumbing, water heater repair Santa Rosa

What Is That Noise From Your Water Heater

Water heaters are a necessity in every household. They provide hot water for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. In addition to this, water heaters are also used for heating the water that comes out of the faucet.

According to a report published by the US Energy Information Administration, an average US household utilizes between 50 and 100 gallons of water per day. This means that water heaters are used in every single home in the country on a daily basis.

But do you know the sound of your water heater?

It’s a question that most of us never have to ask ourselves. It’s not something we really think about until there’s a problem with the heater, and then it becomes the only thing you can think about. 

If you’ve ever had a noisy water heater, then you already know how much of a problem it can be. Not only does it make your home feel less than relaxing, but it also makes it hard to sleep, leading to other issues. A noisy heater is usually caused by many things. 

In this article, water heater repair and replacement experts in Santa Rosa will help you understand some common Water Heater Sounds, their causes, and what you can do when your hot water heater making noise.

So, let’s get started.

Is it normal for the hot water heater making noise when water is off?

No, it’s not normal for your hot water heater to make a noise when the water is off. If you hear a clanging or banging sound, it could be a sign of a few different problems. If you hear unusual sounds from your hot water heater when the water supply is shut off, it could indicate a potential problem. Here are a few possible causes for the water heater making noise:

Sediment buildup

Over time, sediment can accumulate at the bottom of the hot water tank. When the water is turned off, the sediment may harden and cause the heating element or burner to pop or crackle.

Thermal expansion

When the water heater heats up, the metal tank expands. If the pressure relief valve is faulty or there is excessive pressure in the system, the expanding metal may cause banging or knocking noises.

Loose components

Vibrations and water flow can loosen various components within the hot water heater, such as pipes, valves, or heating elements. These loose parts can rattle and create noise even when the water supply is turned off.

Common Water Heater Sounds You Should Know and Their Causes

Are you one of the millions of Americans who are suffering from a noisy water heater?

If so, then it’s time to educate yourself about the different sounds your water heater makes. A noisy water heater can be a sign that something is wrong with it, and if you don’t know what those sounds mean, you could make the situation worse by trying to fix it yourself.

Here are seven common water heater sounds and what they mean:

Popping or crackling

If your water heater making a popping noise, it is a sign that your water heater is going through a phase of normal wear and tear. The sound may start with a few pops and then become louder before eventually fading away. The cause of this noise is the expansion of the water in your tank as it heats up.

It’s nothing to worry about, and if you’re concerned about it, consider investing in an expansion tank to prevent damage caused by the pressure that builds up during these phases.


A rumbling noise is caused by sediment building up in your tank, which can lead to corrosion. If this happens once, it may not be anything serious; but if it keeps happening, you’ll need to call a professional plumber in Santa Rosa to clean out the tank.

Hissing or sizzling

This is probably the most common sound we have heard from homeowners in Santa Rosa: their water heater making hissing noise. It happens when the pilot light ignites at the beginning of a heating cycle and stays on for several minutes until the temperature reaches a certain point. You’ll also hear this if your hot water has been turned off for an extended period of time and then turned back on again—it’s just the pilot light relighting itself!

Banging or knocking

This happens when there isn’t enough pressure in your system to push hot water through the pipes to where you need it. It may be caused by something as simple as an insufficiently sized pipe or a loose fitting somewhere along the line—but more often than not, it’s just because you aren’t using enough hot water at one time! If this happens often enough, it could be a sign of bigger problems with your system.

Whistling or high-pitched noise

Your water heater may be whistling if it’s not getting enough airflow. This can happen if you’ve blocked the vent pipe or if your house has a buildup of dust and debris that’s blocking the vent hood.

Screeching or squealing

If your water heater is screeching or squealing, it could mean that the burner assembly needs to be replaced. To avoid this problem, check your burner regularly for rust and corrosion and replace it as soon as you see signs of damage.

What to Do with Your Noisy Water Heater?

The water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home. It heats the water that comes out of your faucets, showers, and baths. The problem with this is that it can sometimes make loud noises. This can be very annoying, especially when you are trying to sleep or concentrate on something else. 

Here are some tips on what to do when your water heater makes loud noises:

Flush the tank

Sediment buildup is a common cause of water heater noise. Flushing the tank can help remove the sediment and improve the heater’s efficiency. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional water heater repair plumber to flush the tank safely.

Check the temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve)

A malfunctioning TPR valve can cause hissing, whistling, or high-pitched noises. Test the valve by lifting the lever slightly and allowing it to snap back into place. If water continues to flow or the valve doesn’t seal properly, replace it.

Insulate the pipes

Noisy pipes can contribute to the overall noise from the water heater. Insulating the hot and cold water pipes can help reduce vibrations and minimize sound transmission.

Secure loose components

Vibrations from water flow can loosen pipes, valves, or heating elements, resulting in rattling or vibrating noises. Check and tighten any loose components to eliminate the noise.

Consider installing water hammer arrestors.

Water hammer, which causes banging or knocking sounds, can be mitigated by installing water hammer arrestors. These devices absorb the shock and prevent the sudden pressure changes that lead to the noise.

Consult a professional

If the noise persists or you’re unsure about how to address the problem, it’s best to consult a professional water heater repair and replacement plumber or technician. They can diagnose the specific issue with your water heater and recommend appropriate repairs or maintenance.

DIY Vs. Professional Water Heater Replacement

When your water heater makes noise, it’s a major sign of water heater replacement. 

But do you need clarification about what to choose between DIY and professional water heater replacement? 

Don’t worry. Here’s a comparison table highlighting the key factors to consider when deciding between a DIY water heater replacement and hiring a professional:

AspectDIY ReplacementProfessional Replacement
CostGenerally lower cost as you avoid labor chargesHigher costs due to professional fees and labor
Expertise requiredA moderate level of plumbing and electrical knowledge is necessaryExtensive knowledge and experience in water heater installation and safety regulations required
SafetyRisk of potential hazards if not done correctlyProfessional technicians prioritize safety and adhere to industry standards.
Time and convenienceRequires personal time and effort for research and installationProfessionals handle the entire process, saving you time and providing convenience
Warranty implicationsWarranty may be affected if installation is not done correctlyProfessionals often provide warranty coverage on their workmanship
Code ComplianceYou are responsible for ensuring compliance with local codesProfessionals are knowledgeable about building codes and ensure compliance
Potential mistakesHigher likelihood of errors or improper installationProfessionals have experience and training to avoid mistakes
Complex installationsSimple replacements may be manageable, but complex setups may require professional expertise.Professionals can handle complex installations and unique requirements.

It’s Best to Call A Professional Water Heater Replacement Expert in Santa Rosa, CA!

The water heater in your Santa Rosa, CA, home is one of the most important appliances in your home. It’s also one of the most expensive to replace.

If you have a faulty or broken water heater, don’t put off calling Holman Plumbing! We are a full-service plumbing company specializing in tankless and traditional tank water heater installations, repair, replacement, and maintenance. We’ve been helping homeowners like you get back on track with their daily routines for over many years now, and we’d love to help you too!

We offer same-day Water Heater Services in Santa Rosa so you can return to your normal routine ASAP. Our technicians are licensed and insured and use only the highest quality parts and materials, so you’ll never have to worry about anything but enjoying your hot shower again.

We know that when things go wrong with your water heater, they can really throw a wrench into things. But we also know that when they’re working properly, they keep things running smoothly so that everything keeps running smoothly. That’s why we always strive to fix any problems immediately so that our customers can get back to their normal lives as fast as possible.

Call us at (707) 347-8958 so we can send one of our expert technicians ASAP to get your hot water back up and running again—so you can get back to living life without worries about how much time is left in the day.

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