Is your water heater making a popping noise similar to how it sounds when your microwave is cooking popcorn?
That popping noise probably means there’s sediment at the bottom of your water heater tank.
The solution? Simple—the tank just needs flushing.
You can either flush the tank yourself or call a professional plumber to do it for you.
You may be wondering, “How serious of a problem is this noise?”
Well, right now, this noise just means your water heater is running inefficiently, raising your heating bill as a result. But—over time—sediment buildup could cause damage to the water heater.
We’ll explain in more detail:
Sediment is just loose minerals that settle to the bottom of water. So where does the sediment come from? From the water itself! Florida’s water is full of minerals, making our water “hard” (as opposed to “soft” and mineral-less).
It’s not bad for the water to have minerals, though. Your body needs them. But your water heater does not.
Once sediment gets into the water heater, it settles to the bottom of the tank, causing your water heater to work inefficiently—and can cause damage to the tank if it overheats.
The popping noise is steam bubbles escaping the sediment. It’s just like how boiling water in a covered pot on the stove starts pushing up the pot’s top.
Your water heater’s heating element is at the bottom of the tank, right where the sediment has settled and mixed with water.
Some of the water under the sediment starts boiling and tries to escape the sediment layer, making the popping noise as a result.
The problem with this: your water heater is struggling to heat the water properly, meaning it runs longer. Your water heater’s tank can even overheat, deteriorating the tank’s protective inner lining as a result.
To understand how to flush your water heater, you need to understand what certain parts are called and where they’re located. Use this anatomy of a water heater as a reference.
Now follow these steps to flush the tank:
You should flush your water heater like this once a year.
If doing the above steps sounds bothersome, you can always hire a professional plumber to help.
Posted in: Troubleshooting