Unusual Water Heater Sounds and What They Mean

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water heater tank Elk River, MN

Is your water heater on the fritz but you just can’t figure out what’s wrong with it? Malfunctioning water heaters can sometimes make rather unusual sounds–often indicative of serious problems. As the go-to company for water heater repair in Elk River, MN, we at Rol Air Plumbing & Heating have heard them all.

Below are the common sounds water heaters make and what they mean.

Rumbling or Banging

When your heater makes a banging and rumbling sound, it likely has excess sediment build-up. The sediment in the water heater reacts with the heating element creating mini-explosions. Get regular water heater maintenance services to help drain the tanks and check if you have a water hammer.

Screeching or Whistling

Sometimes, the water heater produces a high-pitched screeching or whistling sound. It usually indicates loose valves letting out air that needs to be adjusted. When clients call us because of this, we check and adjust the valves in the tanks and if a water heater replacement is in order.


The popping sounds indicate excess sediment caused by the alkali in the water reacting with the heating element, causing rusting. Unlike banging which requires flushing out the tank, we may replace the heater’s anode rod or install a water purification system if you live in an area with hard water.

A water heater is perhaps the most overworked appliance and is often left alone to do its job. If it starts making unusual noises, make sure to call Rol Air Plumbing & Heating to discover the underlying condition. Schedule an appointment with our team today!

Contact Rol Air Plumbing & Heating

We aim to leave all of our customers highly satisfied. If you want to have your plumbing repair done by some of the best plumbers in the Twin Cities, call Rol Air Plumbing & Heating today!

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