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  • Troubleshoot this noise

    This is not a QUIZ. It does not involve flora or fauna. It is plumbing related. I did finally find the source on the 2nd trip out. Here goes:

    Customer called, they hear a noise, possibly over their bedroom, it sounds like combustion or popping. A 75 gallon A.O.Smith gas water heater, 12 yrs old is located in the attic over their bedroom, (the diptube had been replaced in 99). A full bath is located behind a wall adjacent to the water heater.
    They say there is no rhyme or reason in regards to the timing of the noise.
    I have the customer stand in the bedroom while I go in the attic and turn the water heater burner on and off. It ignites without hesitation and they say that's not the noise. I run hot water for several minutes thinking it may be pipe expansion, but no noise.
    I noticed the temp was turned up above normal so I turned it down to what should have been around 135-140 degrees. (I know, I know)

    Customer calls a couple of weeks later. The water is not hot enough to suit them. They say the water at the kitchen sink (pretty far from the tank) is only luke warm. They say they can take a shower with only the hot water on. But, the noise has abated somewhat. They can still hear it but not as often.

    I check the temps. 128 degrees at the kitchen (after about 45 second wait).
    133 at the master tub and at the separate shower (very short wait). I couldn't hold my hand under either one for very long.

    Your diagnosis?
    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

  • #2
    Re: Troubleshoot this noise

    3 guesses.

    1)Condensate on the burner.

    2)Sediment in the tank.

    3)Aluminum Hydroxide Gas due to ph levels. Drain. Flush bottom good. Change anode to magnesium.

    J.C. (Still on your side treeman)
    Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 04-09-2008, 10:26 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Troubleshoot this noise

      Dang, your good!
      "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Troubleshoot this noise

        Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
        This is not a QUIZ. It does not involve flora or fauna. It is plumbing related. I did finally find the source on the 2nd trip out. Here goes:

        Customer called, they hear a noise, possibly over their bedroom, it sounds like combustion or popping. A 75 gallon A.O.Smith gas water heater, 12 yrs old is located in the attic over their bedroom, (the diptube had been replaced in 99). A full bath is located behind a wall adjacent to the water heater.
        They say there is no rhyme or reason in regards to the timing of the noise.
        I have the customer stand in the bedroom while I go in the attic and turn the water heater burner on and off. It ignites without hesitation and they say that's not the noise. I run hot water for several minutes thinking it may be pipe expansion, but no noise.
        I noticed the temp was turned up above normal so I turned it down to what should have been around 135-140 degrees. (I know, I know)

        Customer calls a couple of weeks later. The water is not hot enough to suit them. They say the water at the kitchen sink (pretty far from the tank) is only luke warm. They say they can take a shower with only the hot water on. But, the noise has abated somewhat. They can still hear it but not as often.

        I check the temps. 128 degrees at the kitchen (after about 45 second wait).
        133 at the master tub and at the separate shower (very short wait). I couldn't hold my hand under either one for very long.

        Your diagnosis?
        I think JC Plumbing has you covered on the water heater, but as for the shower, is it a Moen? I've had a few customers where they would lose hot water in the shower pretty quick and that is the reason they turned up their hot water heater. After replacing the Moen cartridge, everything was good to go!

        Also, if people take showers at the same time, that could be the reason why the water heater was turned up. One customer had the temperature dial MAXED OUT and it was a brand new 75 gallon water heater. They have 3 kids that play hockey, so maybe that's why LOL!
        YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

        Plumbing Reviews

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        • #5
          Re: Troubleshoot this noise

          [quote=HouseOfAtlas;135373]I think JC Plumbing has you covered on the water heater, but as for the shower, is it a Moen? quote]


          Yeah, JC is right, of course. It was sediment in the tank that wouldn't start popping until the tank had run for awhile. The customer didn't hear it as often after I turned the temp down because it wasn't coming on as often.

          Regarding the shower, it is a two handle Broadway. I think they were used to the super-scauling hot water instead of just scaulding hot water.
          "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Troubleshoot this noise

            On a 12 yr old tank, my guess is the inner lining of the tank is going.
            Popping & crackling sounds are a sign of that, small cracks & crevices in the lining cause water to boil within them and make that kind of noise.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Troubleshoot this noise

              Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
              On a 12 yr old tank, my guess is the inner lining of the tank is going.
              Popping & crackling sounds are a sign of that, small cracks & crevices in the lining cause water to boil within them and make that kind of noise.

              exactly

              another factor is water will boil at higher temperatures when you have higher pressures. since the heater is old and has lots of caked on sediment that will not flush out. the burner has to super heat the bottom of the tank to heat through the sediment to heat the water. in the mean time the sediment gets super hot. as long as the pressure is elevated the water boils at a higher temperature.

              when a faucet is open, the pressure drops and the superheated sediment will boil the trapped water at this lower temperature.

              12 years with a high btu heater working at high temperatures is a leaker waiting to happen. i would start to think about a replacement if the heater will cause damage to the area it's installed. (attic over bedroom)

              rick.
              phoebe it is

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              • #8
                Re: Troubleshoot this noise

                Sediment. This is from AO Smith's FAQ:
                http://hotwater.custhelp.com/cgi-bin...i=&p_topview=1

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Troubleshoot this noise

                  Thanks for all the very helpful information. I will tell this customer it's time to replace before disaster occurs.

                  By the way Masterplumb, where did you get that picture of my mother-in-law on your header?
                  It reminds me of a couple of quotes...
                  "He loves nature, in spite of what it did to him" Forrest Tucker
                  "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork" Mae West
                  Last edited by SlimTim; 04-11-2008, 09:41 PM.
                  "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Troubleshoot this noise

                    uglypeople.com

                    Look how happy the guy is though! He has no money, no roof over his head, no teeth, no family, and he still smiles like that? Life is good

                    There are alot of funny pictures there

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Troubleshoot this noise

                      Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                      This is not a QUIZ. It does not involve flora or fauna. It is plumbing related. I did finally find the source on the 2nd trip out. Here goes:

                      Customer called, they hear a noise, possibly over their bedroom, it sounds like combustion or popping. A 75 gallon A.O.Smith gas water heater, 12 yrs old is located in the attic over their bedroom, (the diptube had been replaced in 99). A full bath is located behind a wall adjacent to the water heater.
                      They say there is no rhyme or reason in regards to the timing of the noise.
                      I have the customer stand in the bedroom while I go in the attic and turn the water heater burner on and off. It ignites without hesitation and they say that's not the noise. I run hot water for several minutes thinking it may be pipe expansion, but no noise.
                      I noticed the temp was turned up above normal so I turned it down to what should have been around 135-140 degrees. (I know, I know)

                      Customer calls a couple of weeks later. The water is not hot enough to suit them. They say the water at the kitchen sink (pretty far from the tank) is only luke warm. They say they can take a shower with only the hot water on. But, the noise has abated somewhat. They can still hear it but not as often.

                      I check the temps. 128 degrees at the kitchen (after about 45 second wait).
                      133 at the master tub and at the separate shower (very short wait). I couldn't hold my hand under either one for very long.

                      Your diagnosis?
                      I wanted to comment on this thread a little further. Some water heaters use aluminum based anode rods that can cause this noise which the thread states. I don't like them.

                      I had someone close to me develop Alzheimers. If you've never experienced it, trust me when I say it's devastating. High traces of aluminum are found in neuritic plaques that envelope the brain in Alzheimers victims.

                      I have no hard evidence to show anodes are the case, but I'm compelled to avoid anything that involves possible intake of aluminum by humans. So, I make an effort to avoid aluminum based anode rods. Just thought I'd pass this on for others to investigate or think about.

                      J.C. in N.C.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Troubleshoot this noise

                        Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                        I wanted to comment on this thread a little further. Some water heaters use aluminum based anode rods that can cause this noise which the thread states. I don't like them.

                        I had someone close to me develop Alzheimers. If you've never experienced it, trust me when I say it's devastating. High traces of aluminum are found in neuritic plaques that envelope the brain in Alzheimers victims.

                        I have no hard evidence to show anodes are the case, but I'm compelled to avoid anything that involves possible intake of aluminum by humans. So, I make an effort to avoid aluminum based anode rods. Just thought I'd pass this on for others to investigate or think about.

                        J.C. in N.C.
                        That's interesting and something only a plumber (who maybe should have been a bio-researcher) would think of.
                        I wonder if a showerhead filter would remove diffused aluminum. I've read most chlorine is absorbed through the skin during a shower.
                        "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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