Why is my hot water heater making a popping sound?  Pippin Brothers, Lawton, OK
November 16, 2020

Most homeowners wouldn’t think to worry about the plumbing or hot water in their home—until they start hearing a strange noise coming from the basement or garage where their water heater is located! If your electric or gas hot water heater is making a whining noise, a popping noise, or something else you don’t quite recognize, there are a few things to look out for that may indicate it is time to call in an plumbing professional to fix your water heater. 

Compare any of the other water heater symptoms with the corresponding water heater problems, and if you have any questions know that you can always ask one of the truster water heater experts at Pippin Brothers Home Services!

What Causes a Water Heater to Make a Popping Noise?

Symptom: Your water heater is making a vibrating noise, a popping, or a rumbling noise.

Problem: The water heater tank has sediment/scale build up (minerals from hard water).

Sediment and scale are often caused by the minerals and other particles that are present in your water supply. The popping noise comes from water that is boiling underneath the sediment. While the noise itself is harmless, too much sediment can:

  • Eventually cause a leak—Sediment slows heat transfer from the gas burner to the water. This can cause the water heater to overheat, damage the inner lining and weaken the steel tank, leading to a leak.

  • Damage the electric heating element—Do you have an electric water heater? If so, the sediment can cover the electric heating element, causing it to burn out.

If you don’t flush the tank, the water heater’s efficiency will drop and—in the long run—the tank can deteriorate and spring a leak (meaning you’ll need to replace the water heater).

How To Fix It

Solution: It is time to drain and flush the tank.

How to drain and flush the water heater tank in 10 steps. If you don’t want to do this yourself, please contact a professional Lawton, OK area plumber for help!

 Please follow these instructions carefully or you may damage the water heater.

1) Turn off the water heater.

  • Electric water heaters: turn off the water heater at the circuit breaker.

  • Gas water heaters: turn the gas switch to the “pilot” setting.

2) Turn the cold water supply lever to a 90 degree angle. This will stop more water from entering the water heater.

3) Connect a garden hose to the drain valve

4) Place the other end of the hose in an area where you can safely drain hot water (like a basement drain or outside)

5) Open the pressure relief valve and open a hot water faucet somewhere in your home. This will allow the water to come out of the hose.

6) Open the drain valve. Dirty hot water should start coming out of the hose. (Careful! It will be hot.)

7) After the water has been fully drained, it’s time for the “flushing”. If you opened the pressure relief valve, close it before turning the cold water supply on. Turn the cold water supply lever on the “open” and “shut” positions a few times. This should help flush out any remaining sediment in the bottom of the tank.  You’ll know you’re done when you only see clear water.

8) Close the drain valve and disconnect the hose from the valve.

9) Turn the cold water supply lever back in line with the cold water inlet pipe. Wait 10 minutes for the water heater to fill back up. Turn on a hot water faucet to purge any air out of the hot water pipes, and the tank. When you start getting clear water instead of a cloudy air-water mixture, turn the hot water tap off.

10) Turn the water heater back on (or for gas water heaters, turn the gas line back to “on” from the “pilot” setting) to start heating the water.

How to Prevent Sediment/Scale Buildup in your Water Heater

In our four decades of experience helping homeowners throughout Fort Sill, Duncan, and Lawton keep their water heaters running at their best,  we have found that the best way to avoid this common problem is to install a no-salt water conditioner at your home’s water main.

This type of water conditioner treats the water in such a way that it leaves the minerals (which are good for your body) in the water while preventing them from causing scale buildup in the water heater and your pipes.

We’ve already helped provide many of your neighbors, and we are grateful that the community continues to embrace and honor Pippin Brothers Home Services as the most reviewed, highly respected, regularly recommended, and graciously referred company in the Greater Lawton, Fort Sill, and Duncan, Oklahoma area since 1978.  Don’t take our word for it…trust what our online testimonials, Google and Facebook reviews, and Better Business Bureau A+ Rating say about us.  If you reside outside our service area, we hope the information here is useful for you!

Learn more about no-salt water conditioners.

Need help with your water heater today and live in the Lawton, OK area?

Contact Pippin Brothers for a water heater drain and flush.

If your house is uncomfortable, is wasting energy, has plumbing problems or if you want to avoid breakdowns, give Pippin Brothers Home Services a call at 580-215-6491, or get in touch here.

Questions about your hot water heater?

Give the Lawton, OK area experts a call!


Schedule Service