What to do if your water tank is making noises?

faucet water

A loud hammering or knocking sound might signal the time for you to worry about the condition of the water tank. Whether it is a fuel-powered or electrically powered device, you could wonder if this thing just blew up!

Such sounds may point towards a severe problem, but then it can be something minor as well. Jumping to conclusions without digging into what’s happening might lead to additional costs. So, make sure you first know the source behind the problem. 

kitchen sink water tap flowingThe main cause of noises is debris:

  • One of the most common things that may lead to noise is the debris. It could be the hardness of water that may lead to the deposition of salts on the walls of the heater if you don’t get it cleaned for a long time. 
  • These deposits might come out of the walls during regular operation, and when it touches/hits other parts of the tanks, it leads to noise. 
  • A sign of this being the case will be if the water doesn’t come out clear. 
  • It might also lead to the accumulation of debris on the surface of the tank.
  • Depending on the material, this debris may cause damage too. In case you have a steel water tank, ensure regular maintenance as a buildup of debris could corrode the tank over time and lead to safety hazards.

Flush out the debris, and the tank will go back to normal.

If the water pressure is fluctuating:

The relief valve is supposed to maintain the pressure (and temperature) of a hot water tank. This comes in action when the system’s liquid, gas or steam level exceed the allowed scale and prevents the system from any damage. When the valve stops to function correctly, this leads to a sizzling sound.

  • Your system might be underpowered; that is why it fails to maintain the desired pressure. Check out you’re the only house affected or if the area is facing a low voltage power input. Make sure to turn off the system to avoid any damage unless the power source gets back to providing the required energy to the tank.
  • A pressure balancing valve keeps the temperature of the water to a safe plus or minus three degrees regardless of the changes happening in the water supply. If this is malfunctioning, it may indicate that you need to see a plumber as it is more of a safety measure for hot water tanks

woman drinking waterIf your tank is making a ticking noise:

  • Loose pipe strap also leads to a ticking noise. Pipe straps hold the pipe that regulates the water that comes out of the tank and then goes to different parts of your house. So, when the water pressure influences the flow of water, this leads to the pipe’s collision with the strap resulting in noise. This can be easily solved by placing something in between the belt and the tube.
  • You may hear a hammering or knocking sound due to a sudden stop in the water flow. To deal with this problem, companies install air cushions in the plumbing lines. The primary purpose of the buffers is to deal with the expanded volume of hot water by pushing it back in, to avoid water wastage.

When these cushions get waterlogged, it leads to knocking or hammering sounds. To deal with the situation, you can drain the tank entirely and turn on the faucets so that the cushions can retain their original state.

If it’s not listed here:

If these problems are not present with your water tank, there might be water leaking from the tank and directly onto the burner assembly. In which case, you may need to see a plumber as this may damage the heater permanently if not addressed. Hot water tanks are a tricky business and so if you do not understand the problem with the help of a manual, then better get a professional.