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  • Water Heater Problem?

    We moved into our home 6 years ago. It has a US Craftmaster 12 year, self-cleaning, 50 gallon, gas water heater.

    We've had no problems until about 6 months ago when it started making "popping" noises. They are most prevalent after we shower or use hot water. But, we hear occasional "pops" and "cracks" at other times as well. I talked with a plumber at a local gas appliance store and he said nothing was wrong since we have ample hot water, but that I should drain the tank yearly to remove any accumulated sedement/calcification. So, I followed the instructions he gave me as well as those in the water heater's manual and drained it. It had no effect on the noise.

    When I take a shower, it seems as if the water cools a bit after about 2 minutes, but we still have plenty of hot water.

    I'm aware that cold water pouring into a hot tank will cause contraction of the tank and could cause noises, but we heard nothing for 5 1/2 years.

    Does anyone have a probable explannation or comments?

    Steve

  • #2
    Re: Water Heater Problem?

    Steve, the popping noise is most likely caused by a buildup of mineral deposits on the bottom of your water heater. I've heard a couple of explanations. One is: There's water under the sediment bed that flashes to steam (expanding 1280 x its original volume) so the sediment lifts. The steam hits the cooler water in the tank and condenses back to water. Thus an implosion of sorts. The sediment then settles back down.

    I have a 50 gallon water heater I installed a couple years after I moved in. I didn't bother to install a water softener for the first 12 years I lived here. So my water heater does the same thing as yours. I've listened to the popping, knocking, and bumping noises with it for a decade. When the water heater is replaced I shouldn't have the problem anymore because of the water softener. I was interested to see if the knocking would go away as the mineral sediment should go back into solution since the water is soft. To date that hasn't happened.

    At this point it's unlikely you could get the sediment out through the drain using a hose. Unless you regularly drain your water heater it's a waste of time imo.

    Personally I wouldn't worry about it untill it fails. At that point I would make sure you have a functioning water softener if you don't want a reccurance.
    Time flies like an arrow.

    Fruit flies like a banana.

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    • #3
      Re: Water Heater Problem?

      Thanks Geno,

      That makes me feel better and certainly alleviates other concerns from my wife!!!!!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Water Heater Problem?

        FWIW, I've heard the same noise on brand new water heaters.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Water Heater Problem?

          After draining the tank I always remove the boiler drain and pipe in a 3/4" x 6" long nipple with a full port ball valve. Then I take a stiff wire like a coat hanger and poke around inside the tank to break up the hardened deposits and then turn the water on to the tank just enough to create a flow out of the ball valve while I am poking away at the build up.
          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Water Heater Problem?

            Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
            After draining the tank I always remove the boiler drain and pipe in a 3/4" x 6" long nipple with a full port ball valve. Then I take a stiff wire like a coat hanger and poke around inside the tank to break up the hardened deposits and then turn the water on to the tank just enough to create a flow out of the ball valve while I am poking away at the build up.
            Ron, I've used the technique you describe myself but if I won't even do it for myself on a regular basis, what homeowner is? So I rarely describe the procedure to a customer unless they are expressly interested in what they can do to lengthen the life of the heater. (I also tell them to run as low a temp as they can tolerate to extend the life of the heater.)

            Your advice is, as usual, good.
            Time flies like an arrow.

            Fruit flies like a banana.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Water Heater Problem?

              Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
              Ron, I've used the technique you describe myself but if I won't even do it for myself on a regular basis, what homeowner is? So I rarely describe the procedure to a customer unless they are expressly interested in what they can do to lengthen the life of the heater. (I also tell them to run as low a temp as they can tolerate to extend the life of the heater.)

              Your advice is, as usual, good.
              Did you notice I left some advance stuff out of my advice ?
              Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
              A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
              Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
              Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

              Comment

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