Why Water Heaters Make Noise? Answers & Solutions

We rely on hot water heaters for many things, from washing white clothes to enjoying a hot shower. But, when you’re having hot water problems, you start wondering why water heater makes noise and how you can fix it. We wrote this post to help you figure out why your water heater is making those weird noises.

Before we get started, please note that water heater problems should be fixed by an HVAC professional like those at Controlled Climates. Even experienced DIYers can make a mistake and end up with a horrible problem like a leaky gas line.

Why does your water heater make noise?

If you’ve started hearing crazy noises from your unit, there are a lot of possible reasons. We’ve listed possible causes by what you’ll hear, so you can know why water heater makes noise.

Popping noises

When limescale and sediment accumulate in the tank, bubbles will often form under the sediment layer, then pop as the water heats up. Sometimes, this problem can be solved by adding a descaler to your tank and breaking up the mineral layers. However, you might also need to call Controlled Climates to flush out your tank and drain out the sediment. 

Popping sounds can also be heard when there’s too much alkaline around an aluminum anode rod in the tank. To remedy this problem, an HVAC technician will replace the aluminum rod with a magnesium rod.

Rumbling noise

Rumbling is another sound that you may hear when there’s sediment build-up in your tank. As heated water rises, it pushes these deposits upward and to the sides of the tank. This causes the rumbling sound. Flushing your hot water tank will remedy this problem, but you should hire an HVAC professional if you don’t know what to do.

Sizzling or crackling

Occasionally, electric water heaters will make a crackling or hissing sound if the heating element is surrounded by sediment build-up. In a gas water heater, you might hear a crackling sound if there is a lot of moisture build-up. If you start hearing regular hissing or crackling noises, you should call Controlled Climates! Our HVAC pros will check for signs of trouble like a blocked heating element or a puddle of water near your unit.


In an electric hot water heater, hissing sounds are heard when sediment accumulates at the tank’s base. You can fix this by draining and flushing the water heater, or hiring Controlled Climates to do it for you. 

When you hear a sizzling sound from a gas-powered hot water heater, it means that there’s internal condensation. This condensation is likely dripping onto the water heater’s internal burners. If this is happening, you must call an HVAC company like Controlled Climates to fix this internal leak for you.


Hearing ticking from your hot water heater can remind us of movie bomb scenes. But, you most likely don’t have that level of danger. Instead, water heater ticking sounds happen when there are sudden water pressure changes. You can usually fix this by adjusting the pressure valve on your water heater. But, if you keep hearing the ticking noise, you might need to put more straps around the water heater. This way, it doesn’t move around as much.


If your hot water heater is whistling, you’ve got loose valves. Once you adjust the pressure valves on your tank, this should stop. You should also check the water tank manufacturer’s manual, so you can adjust the temperature valves and outlet valves. If you can’t do this on your own, give us a call! We’re glad to help you understand why water heater makes noise!

Banging noises

If you’re hearing banging noises from your water heater, there’s a good chance it’s something called a “water hammer.” A water hammer occurs when your water supply is turned off then on again quickly. The hammering sound comes from the sudden rush of water through your plumbing pipes. You can call an HVAC company like Controlled Climates to help you get rid of this noise. Often, we’ll also help you adjust the pressure valve on your tank to help solve this problem.

Call Controlled Climates For Hot Water Heater Help!

For decades, Controlled Climates’ HVAC technicians have helped homeowners and business owners repair their water heater problems. As part of our HVAC service offerings, we also provide maintenance for water heater systems (both tank and tankless) and air conditioner systems. We’re dedicated to helping you stay comfortable and cozy in all seasons. Call us today!