Why is My Hot Water Heater Whistling?

Why is My Hot Water Heater Whistling?

It’s easy to forget about the inner workings of your home - equipment and plumbing tucked away behind the walls, in the garage, or maybe your basement. Your water heater is one major necessity. It is a big plumbing job, but we often don’t think about it - until it starts malfunctioning. One common complaint we hear is the water heater is producing a whistling sound. If you are noticing your water heater whistling, there could be a few causes.

4 Reasons Your Water Heater is Whistling

1. The Tank is Cracked

Since it’s easy to overlook the maintenance and upkeep of your water heater, it might suffer a crack without your knowledge. Cracks usually occur due to rust. The result is air can escape (or enter) the gap, causing a whistling sound.

2. The Inlet and Outlet Connections Are Worn

Your water heater tank includes two connections. One lets cold water in, and the other lets hot water out. Wear and tear can hurt the quality of these connections, particularly the one for the hot water (have you ever noticed that a leaking faucet almost always seems to occur on the hot water side? same concept here). This is why you might notice whistling only when you’re running hot water.

3. The Drain Valve is Loose

You might have noticed that over time, sediment begins to settle at the bottom of your water heater tank. You may have also noticed there’s a valve available so you can drain that sediment. Sometimes, that valve can come loose. Similar to the worn out connections, this can let air slip by, which then creates the whistling sound you’re hearing.

Side note: we recommend flushing your water heater at least once a year. This can help reduce water heater noise.

water heater tpr valve drain valve

4. The Temperature Pressure Relief (TPR) Valve is Doing its Job

There’s a safety feature used in your water heater, it’s called the temperature pressure relief valve. This valve’s job is to open up and allow pressure to escape, should too much of it ever build up in the tank. While there is pressure inside, your tank shouldn’t build to this potentially dangerous level. However, if your tank reaches a dangerous level of pressure, the TPR valve will then kick into gear to keep your home safe from a serious threat.

The good news is this valve is doing its job, and that’s what’s making a whistling sound. However, you should still look into why the pressure is building up so much in your water heater tank. Possible reasons include:

  • The temperature is set too high.
  • The thermostat isn’t working properly.
  • Too much sediment has built up at the bottom.
  • Water is entering too quickly.

Whatever the cause may be, if your water heater is making a whistling noise, it is a sign that it needs attention. The good news is that it’s easy to protect your home from water damage by calling Pure Plumbing! Our experienced Las Vegas plumbers can help you find the best solution for you home. Call (702) 710-7388 to schedule an appointment!

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