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  • Water heater, crazy noises

    I replaced the water heater about 2 to 3 years ago, and now when someone is done taking a shower, and I guess its when the tank is refilling, it sounds like there is big rocks in there banging around. Could this be deposits of rust in it already? If so what can I do??

  • #2
    WELL THIS ONE IS SO EASY MY WIFE WILL GIVE YOU THE ANSWER.
    JOEY STATES: IT'S NOT RUST, IT'S SEDIMENT, MINERAL DEPOSITS. SINCE YOUR HEATER HAS PPROBABLY NEVER BEEN FLUSHED OUT SINCE IT WAS INSTALLED, IT HAS A LAYER OF MINERAL DEPOSITS. THE HOTTER THE WATER THE MORE DEPOSITS.
    NOW MY TURN. WHEN THE HEATER HAS TO HEAT THROUGH THIS CRUD, THE WATER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TANK ACTUALLY BOILS. THE SEDIMENT CREATES A THERMAL BARRIER. THE KNOCKING IS ACTUALLY THE STEAM BOILING AND SURFACING THROUGH THE DEPOSITS.
    THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT IF THE HEATER IS NEW ENOUGH YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO FLUSH IT OUT BY REMOVING THE BOTTOM HOSE BIBB. YOU CAN CREATE A CLEANING WAND AND DROP IT IN FROM THE HOT SIDE. A PIECE OF SOFT 1/2'' COPPER SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE INSERTED THROUGH THE HOT SIDE (REMOVE NIPPLE) AND CONNECTED TO A GARDEN HOSE. YOU CAN PROBE THE BOTTOM OF THE TANK TO HELP BREAK OFF THE CRUD AND THEN FLUSH OUT THROUGH THE REMOVED HOSE BIBB. IF VERY STUBBORN ADD REGULAR VINEGAR TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TANK AND LET SIT FOR A FEW HOURS. THIS WILL HELP LOOSEN THE MINERALS. MAKE SURE YOU PROPERLY FLUSH OUT THE TANK WHEN FINISHED.
    PS. MAKE SURE TO TURN THE THERMOSTAT TO PILOT POSITION.
    GOOD LUCK, RICK AND JOEY (AKA JOSEPHINA THE PLUMBER)

    Comment


    • #3
      tool lover,

      When water is drawn from your tank it is filled at the same time so any noises you hear after you are finished running any water is not the tank refilling.

      Is your w/heater fueled by a gas or electricity?

      It is possible that draining and cleaning the tank will eliminate your problem but there are other sources for this symptom. First and more important than all others combines two very important issues regarding the piping of your tank.

      One: Did you install the temprature and pressure relief valve as directed in your w/heaters installtion manual?

      Two. Do you have a check valve on your water meter or elsewhere on your cold water line? Or do you have a pressure reducing valve to reduce the pressure on your home line?

      If the answer to #1 is no, turn off the fuel source to the water heater and do not use it again until a T&P relief valve is installed properly on your heater.

      If the answer is yes on either of the questions in #2 and you did not install an expansion tank near the cold water inlet to the water heater turn off the fuel source your heater and do not use it again until you have an expansion tank properly installed.

      If the answer is no to 1. AND yes to either one of 2. then the popping you hear could be the ticking of a very powerful bomb. Turn off the fuel source and call a professional plumber.

      Have you noticed your water being hotter than normal when your popping noises started? Do you get any steam when you first turn on a hot water faucet?

      We need to get these questions answered before we go any further. If you are not sure about a check valve on your meter call your water company and ask. They will know or can find out the correct answer for you. But it is important to have the correct answers to solve what could be a deadly problem. Your heater may just need cleaned or it may have become a bomb.
      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

      Comment


      • #4
        PLUMBER IS RIGHT ABOUT THESE SCENARIOS. BUT YOU HAVE A NEWER HEATER. I ASSUME THAT YOU HAVN'T TAMPERED WITH ANY OF THE SAFETY DEVICES. THE SCENARIO HE IS DESCRIBING AFFECTS POSSIBLY 1 HEATER IN THE US PER YEAR. YOU WOULD HAVE TO MAKE A SERIOUS EFFORT TO DEFEAT THE BUILT IN NON RESETABLE HIGH LIMIT SAFETY ON A GAS HEATER. ON AN ELECTRIC HEATER YOU WOULD HAVE TO MANUALLY RESET THE HIGH LIMIT BY REMOVING THE ACCESS COVER FOR THE THEMOSTAT.
        NON OF THESE SCENARIOS HAVE YOU MENTIONED IN YOUR POST.
        JOEY AND I COULD BE WRONG, BUT BASED ON THE NEWER HEATER YOU HAVE INSTALLED. I WOULD BET ON MY ORIGINAL DIAGNOSIS.
        LET US BOTH KNOW.
        PLUMBER AS I STATED YOU HAVE MENTIONED MANY WAYS A HEATER COULD BE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS. IN TIHS CASE BASED ON THE LIMITED AMOUNT OF SYMPTONS THAT WERE DISCUSSED, "THE SKY IS NOT FALLING".

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        • #5
          Rick

          Since the heater is only 2 or three years old and tool lover installed it himself these were pertinent questions to ask. If he does not know how a water heater fills itself it would also follow that he may not know what the T&P opening was for or what a T&P valve is or what the T&P valve does and discarded or failed to install one. He may also be unfamiliar with thermal expansion.

          I am not trying to insult anyone, just making sure that all the bases were covered because it IS a serious issue. People do get killed due to improper appliance installations. Explosions happen. You and I take these things to be second nature simply because we have installed so many. It sounds like tool lover may be unfamiliar with most aspects of his heater, and that is how bad things happen.

          If he installed his w/heater without the safty devices I talked about there is a real possibility that an unsafe situation has been created. An exploding w/heater can take out half of a house.

          You said only one tank a year in this country could be affected that way, that may be true ( I think it is slightly more frequent). It is a sure bet that the one a year was created by someone who installed his own heater and does not know how it fills itself. With out a T&P valve all it takes is for the thermostadt to malfunction and you have a very serious and possible deadly situation.

          With out an expansion tank and with a closed system you have a tank that coud rupture causing bodily harm and property damage.

          Some of the first symptoms of either situation would be the tank sounding like it had rocks thrown from within. Sorry Rick but I am not Chicken Little here. If we have more information then we can say don't worry.
          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

          Comment


          • #6
            O.k. here is the deal, I baught my house and it had a home warranty and about 3 months after I took possion of the house the water heater starded to leak. The professionals came and put a new one in,so if they put the right stuff on ? I don't know but, if you wanna explain what the inline stuff looks like I can look to see if it has what its supposed to have.So do you guys and gals really think if I clean it out it will get rid of the noises???

            Comment


            • #7
              TOOL LOVER, JOEY AKA JOSEPHINA THE PLUMBER SAYS YES. PLUMBER RICK SAYS YES, BUT YOU MIGHT NEED HELP IF YOU NEED TO CLEAN IT AS I DESCRIBED EARLIER. (POST) TRY THE SIMPLE FLUSH METHOD. CONNECT A GARDEN HOSE TO THE BOTTOM HOSE BIBB. RUN THE HOSE TO THE BATHTUB, OR LARGE BUCKET. THE PURPOSE IS TO ALLOW THE TUB, BUCKET TO ACT AS A CATCH ALL. THIS WAY YOU CAN SEE IF ANY DIRT IS ACTUALLY COMING OUT.
              NOW GET SOMEONE TO TURN THE HOSE BIBB/ DRAIN VALVE ON FULL BLAST. CAREFUL HOT WATER. DON'T SHUT THE WATER OFF AT THE HEATER. YOU'LL NEVER FLUSH THE TANK. LET IT RUN FOR A FEW MINUTES. YOU'LL KNOW IF IT YOUR GETTING ANYWHERE. THE MORE INVOLVED, THOROUGH WAY I MENTIONED ON MY EARLIER POSTING. THIS ONE WILL PROBABLY REQUIRE HELP.
              ALSO THE TEMPERATURE SHOULD NOT BE SET ABOVE 130. THE HIGHER, THE FASTER IT WILL LIME UP.

              JOEY AND PLUMBER RICK.

              Comment


              • #8
                Now that we know it was professionally installed we can probably assume sight unseen that it was installed properly.

                I agree with Rick and his wife that a simple flush is the first thing to try.

                Is your tank fueled by a gas or electricity?

                [ 05-17-2005, 06:14 PM: Message edited by: plumber ]
                Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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