Here at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Pompton Lakes, we perform water heater maintenance and repair all year round and know all too well how water heater noises are common and can cause an annoyance if installed in or close to your living space. Often, water heaters are described as singing, humming, screaming, whistling, and pounding. Below, you’ll find some information on what it means if your water heater is making some of these common noises.
Why does my water heater make a loud humming noise?
The blower motor is the most common source of buzzing and humming noises. It could simply be because the motor doesn’t have enough lubrication, but it can also be a signal that motor failure is imminent. If the humming noise is more prevalent when the motor is slowing down, there could be an amperage problem with the motor. This commonly occurs when filters are left uncleaned, allowing debris and dirt to get inside the unit and cause damage to components. Call a professional asap to schedule a maintenance visit if this noise is persistent.
Why does my water heater make a high pitched noise?
A high pitched noise coming from your water heater can be a signal of high incoming water pressure. This type of problem should be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. Water heaters have a temperature/pressure safety valve installed. This valve is supposed to open and release water when temperatures get too high, or there is too much pressure inside the tank. If this valve failed to open and the water becomes over-pressurized, this problem needs to be addressed. Excess pressure over the long term can lead to cracks, leaks, and occasional burst water heaters.
Is water heater whistling dangerous?
Yes, water heater whistling is potentially dangerous. If you fail to get your water heater inspected and identify the source of the whistling, the heater could explode if the problem is to do with increased pressure. Although explosions are rare, they do occur from time to time. A whistling tank requires immediate attention. Switch off the appliance, check that all connections are tight, and look for any rust present that could signify a cracked tank. If everything looks good, but the water heater carries on whistling, the tank is probably overheating. Overheating will cause the TPR valve to open and release the pressure inside. This can be dangerous over time, so call a plumbing professional to be on the safe side.