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hot water heater noise

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  • hot water heater noise

    My electric hot water has been making a sound like water running through the pipes all the time for about a month now, I have checked and do not have any water leaks at all but the water running sound continues. Any ideas???

  • #2
    If you shut off the cold water input line does the sound stop? If it does you may have a flow loop through your washing machine or any other single lever control. Touch the cold water pipe at the appliance or tap and if it is warm then water is flowing back

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    • #3
      the cold line is warm, what do I do now?
      Thanks for the help.

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      • #4
        Replace what ever valve is allowing flow through when it is off. If it is the tap you may just need a new cartridge (may have lifetime warranty) if washing machine replace the electronic valve where the water hoses connect. If you dont want to replace the valves you could just shut off the taps after use

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        • #5
          All single lever valves are cold to the touch, the only thing that is warm is the cold entry line into the hot water heater, I can hear it running but nothing seems to be warm, when I run cold water the cold line into the heater cools off rapidly. I am not baffled, Any help?
          thanks
          Trent

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          • #6
            Can you answer wbrooks question?

            "If you shut off the cold water input line does the sound stop? "

            Did the running water sound stop when you isolated the heater (closed the cold water inlet valve)?

            You say the cold water inlet line to the water heater is warm to the touch, how far away from the heater and how hot? Can you keep your hand on it for over 30 seconds? Is the inlet line warm more than 24" away from the heater?

            The line will normally be warm for a short distance due to conduction, when you begin to use hot water and water starts to flow through the heater the line cools off due to the cooler water moving towards the heater.

            If you did close the inlet valve and the running ater sound stopped, open it again and then try closing various valves in the cold water lines through the house one at a time until the running water sound stops again, then you will know tht the suspect device is located somewhere on that branch of the piping.

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            • #7
              The cold line was hot for about 12 inches up stream, I found the thermostat turned up to about the 150 degrees mark, I turned it down to 100 degrees and the sound stopped after running the hot water for about 2 minutes. when I turned the cold water off at the shutoff the noise continued. Could it have been boiling in the tank and that gave the sound of water running? is there anything else I need to check? this is an electric heater with 2 heating elements.

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              • #8
                Thats about the only thing it could be if the noise continued when you shut off the input valve. If that is the case you have other problems since water boils at 212* F. You may need to flush out your tank to get rid of sediment buildup or you may have a buildup on the thermistor that senses the temperature. You may want to check the temperature of the hot water. If you have younguns 150*F is a bit scarry if they turn on the tap 2nd degree burns are only a second away.

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                • #9
                  Trent,
                  The sound you are referring to is the sound of the element heating the water. The sound gets louder as the corrosion collects on the element in the heater.
                  This sound is normal and you should not worry about it.
                  Plumber 122
                  Rochester, NY

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                  • #10
                    Thank you,
                    I turned it down and the sound has stopped. Next question? should I drain the heater or is the corrosion you spoke of a normal thing?

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                    • #11
                      Depends what your water is like. If you have sediment build up it is a good idea to flush the tank. You could try shutting off the tank and open the lower drain valve to collect some water in a pan. If the water is clean no need to go further. If there is debris in the water may as well drain the tank and flush some water through it til its clean. Remember to shut the power off of the elements will likely burn out. If it is an old tank check the dip tube and the cold water down tube while you are at it.

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