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Water heater noise is common and can be annoying if its installed
in or near your living space.
Noisy water heaters are described as humming, singing, screaming
rumpling, crackling, popping, ticking, tapping, hissing, sizzling,
knocking, pounding, and hammering.
Some unusual descriptions I’ve heard are – sounds like a cat screaming,
finger nails on tin, chair dragging across the floor, bacon frying and
some I can’t repeat.
If water heater noise is keeping you up at night, or has you worried,
read on to see what steps to take.
An electric water heater noise you may hear is humming.The heating
element has a looped tube. If the space between the tube is vertical
to the tank it may cause a humming noise.
This sometime occurs after the elements have been replaced and
on a new water heater.
It will not cause damage to the element or the tank. However, if you
want to stop the humming, tighten the element one eighth to one
Gas water heater rumbling is caused by excess sediment in the tank.
Calcium or lime deposits, rust, and other debris build up over time.
Water becomes trapped under these deposits and makes a popping
or cracking sound when its heated. As the amount of sediment builds
up in the tank you will began to hear a rumbling sound. As the amount
of sediment builds so does the noise increase.
Rumbling is normal in a water heater that has not been flushed or
cleaned on a regular basis. It will not blow up. It is annoying if it
is located inside your home.
To solve this problem the tank needs to be flushed and cleaned or
treated with a deliming solution.
Electric water heater elements will make a cracking, sizzling, popping
hissing or sizzling sound when they become covered with sediment.
An element can be removed and cleaned with a wire brush or vinegar
if the noise is disturbing. May reduce element life over time but
will not cause any other problems.
Most water heaters have steel tanks. Steel expands and contracts
when its heated or cooled. This can cause popping or cracking.
Plumbing pipe can be also expand and contracts creating noise.
This happens when water under pressure is forced through or
around an object.
Most common problem is a shut off valve not open fully. This
could be the shut off valve at the water heater or under a sink.
Open valve completely.
Heat traps can cause a ticking or tapping sound. Heat traps are
built into the nipples on top of the water heater where the plumbing
connects to the tank.
The ticking is normal. Heat traps are not necessary. Remove and
replace with standard die-electric nipples.
Plumbing can also have a ticking or tapping sound when its cooling
off. This is also normal.
Water Hammer – Knocking/Pounding
If it sounds like someone is beating on your wall with a hammer, you
have what is called “water hammer”.
Water hammer is not a water heater noise. It is caused by water rushing
through the pipes and being shut off quickly. The water stops abruptly
and tries to push back up the pipe. This causes the pipe to bang the
Water hammer should be fixed as soon as possible. Its not likely to damage
the walls but will burst the pipe and cause a flood.
The most common causes are dishwashers and washing machines with
automatic valves that shut the water off fast. Shutting any faucet off fast
can cause water hammer. Toilet valves can cause water hammer.
Determine where the problem is and install a “Water Hammer Arrestor”
between the appliance or faucet and the water pipe.
Water hammer arrestors can be had specifically for washing machines,
under sinks or to fit any size water pipe.
Got a toilet with a weak flush? Here are four common slow-flush plumbing problems and their easy-to-fix DIY solutions.
Your problem may simply be a need for the float to ride higher in the tank, allowing the water level to increase.
In order for the toilet tank to drain, the flapper needs to lift up a reasonable distance.
A clogged toilet can occur when an obstruction forms in the trap, sewer pipe or the vent pipe. While plugged up sewer pipes require a contractor, an inspection and possibly expensive repairs, the other two possibilities are easier to check:
First, fill a bucket or waste can with water and pour one or two gallons quickly into the affected toilet.
Next, try the vent pipe. The vent pipe is a pipe that measures about 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 inches) in diameter and protrudes from your roof by about 30 cm (a foot).
Any time you venture onto your roof, use extreme caution and do not take any risks, especially if you have not tried doing this before.
Occasionally, you may find your toilet’s rim feed holes get clogged with calcium and/or other minerals, thus weakening the flush. In that case, a good dose or two of toilet bowl cleaner should help get rid of the buildup. Simply follow these steps:
If these things fail and you’ve tried everything else you can think of, then it’s probably a good idea to find a plumber for a better diagnosis and a professional solution!
Start with some “elbow grease”. Before getting into expensive or potentially toxic cleaning products, try using these scrubbing techniques first.
Use baking soda. If you’re dealing with older stains or large areas of heavy hard water build-up, you will need more than just elbow grease. Baking soda is a very effective non-liquid home remedy that’s all-natural and probably already in your pantry.
Brush on some toothpaste. Many home cleaners use toothpaste as an alternative to baking soda.
Use commercial paste cleaners. There are several commercial cleaning products for hard water stains that come in a paste formula.
Turn off the water to the tub faucet by closing the valves in the wall (accessed through a panel behind the wall on which the faucet is mounted) or by turning off the home’s water main near the water meter.
Pull the cap off the top of the faucet handle and unscrew the Allen-head screw under it. If your faucet doesn’t have a cap, it will have a set screw on the side of the handle. Find the screw and remove it with an Allen wrench.
Take the handle off the faucet head and look for a small retainer clip around the edge of the cartridge underneath. Use a pair of pliers to remove this clip. If there is a bonnet cap or washer, loosen and remove this either by hand or with a pair of pliers.
Slide the cartridge out of the faucet head and install a new cartridge in place of the old one. Press it to the back of the faucet head and then fit the clip around it to secure it, or reinstall the washer to hold it in place.
Put the handle back on the stem of the cartridge and fasten it with the set screw to hold it in place. Turn on the water and test the faucet.
First, make sure you have a proper P-trap installed under the sink. This trap holds water and provides a seal against sewer gases getting up into the bathroom. Without a P-trap, gases will leak in constantly, and will be displaced by water down the drain which can force the gases up into the bathroom even if normally it’s not detectable.
Also make sure there is a proper vent for the sink. Even with a P-trap, if there’s nowhere for back-flowing gases to go, they’ll bubble up past the trap. (And even if you don’t have a vent, that might be OK.)
To diagnose this, plug the sink and begin filling it; you shouldn’t get any musty smell at first because there’s no air movement. Once the water level hits the overflow drain, you will start smelling the musty smell for a while because the water is displacing the gas, which wants to rise above the water and so will move up into the bathroom. If this is the problem, you can ameliorate it with some foaming pipe snake; pour it down the overflow drain and it will clean out any caked-on gunk which contributes to the smell, and which may be trapping the water. The real fix is to make sure there’s no “damming” effect of construction defects at the bottom of the overflow drain (a lip of porcelain, issues where the overflow meets the metal drain downpipe, etc).
Does it smell when you turn on the tap and catch the water in a bowl (so it doesn’t go down the drain)?
If this doesn’t work, it’s something in the basin, drain, trap, or overflow drain. KeithS has some good answers above, but I also recommend the following:
– Spray bleach down the drain and overflow drain to kill anything nasty in there. You can bleach the basin too for cleanliness.
A gate valve for a property usually has to be closed if plumbing repairs or maintenance are needed inside the building. In some instances, particularly if the main control valve is a gate type valve, the valve may not close completely. In many cases a gate valve repair or replacement may be needed. But many times other remedies are available.
A gate valve not closing completely is typically due to sediment that has built up inside the body of the valve. The sediment becomes lodged between the gate that lowers, and the inside of the valve body itself. Ball type valves do not suffer from this problem, as they operate on a different principal than a gate that raises and lowers inside of the valve body .
The typical reaction when a gate valve will not close fully is to exert addition force on the handle. Using force to close a valve is absolutely the wrong response. Brute force can cause permanent damage to the valve and a loss of water supply to the building.
The simplicity of the air gap not only makes for an elegantly effective device, it also means there are fewer opportunities for malfunction. But that isn’t to say things can’t go wrong:
Drip, drip, drip. Whether in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room a leaky faucet can be one of the most frustrating issues.
This simple small leak can cost you about $20 per year. A more significant faucet leak can produce 30 to hundreds of gallons of wastewater per day. The average costs of these fast dripping faucets will end up costing you $60 to $200 per year!
Every home has a water line that delivers fresh water and every home is going to have a leak in their water line at some time.
This line may come from the city meter or from a well, or even from a community water system. This line is called a “water service”. Your water service may be made of copper, Galvanized steel (as seen above), Polyethylene, or PVC.
The effective lifespan of these different materials vary greatly. Our plumbers are trained to locate the area of the leak and determine if repair or replacement is necessary. Should you choose to replace the line (most commonly selected option), we can get this job done in quickly so you have the least amount of inconvenience possible. Also, we have the ability to install the new line with minimal disruption to your landscape.
Even past your main water line, pipes leak – we can handle it.
Our licensed plumbers have years of experience to draw from in finding and repairing leaks inside your home. Most of the time only a small hole is required pinpoint the source and repair the problem. Our licensed plumbers can repair all types of pipes in any location of your home.
Older homes will need to be repaired. Our licensed and professional plumbers can carefully plan the new system for you and keep demolition of your walls and ceilings to a minimum. Quite often we can install piping in existing chases or hollow areas, and reuse the existing holes. With new plumbing pipes, you not only increase the value of your home, but it becomes a joy to bathe and cook with bountiful amounts of fresh clean water.
Whatever option you choose, you can be sure that the job will be done quickly, professionally and correctly at a price that you approve up front!