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Peatson's Heating and Air Conditioning Ltd. Blog

Strange Water Heater Noises and What They Mean

You count on your home comfort systems for many things. You depend on your furnace to keep your home warm in the winter and your air conditioner to keep you cool in the summer.

Your hot water heater is your source of running water 365 days out of the year. These systems work quietly to the point that we hardly notice them in our homes. It’s when they start to make some noise that you know they’re struggling to do their jobs.

Although it can be easy for a homeowner to ignore these unusual sounds, doing so is a bad idea. Especially when it’s your water heater making a ruckus. Because you depend so much on your water heater, it’s important to stay on top of potential problems. 

Be on the alert for any of these noises that indicate it’s time to call for water heater repair. You don’t want to find yourself without water for even a day. Nor do you want to have to call for water heater replacement Mississauga, ON because you didn’t heed its warning signs.

Popping, Rumbling, and Kettling Noises

  • What it sounds like: A rumbling noise is a deep, continuous, steady noise that sounds like a lull before a storm. A kettling noise is similar to the sound water makes as it heats up in a kettle. A popping noise is self-explanatory.
  • What’s causing them: These usually mean your water heater has developed an excess of sediment or dissolved minerals inside the tank. When water becomes trapped beneath this bottom layer of sediment, it percolates through the sediment and passes through air pockets, resulting in the noises mentioned above. 
  • What’s the solution: A professional plumber can flush your water heater to rid it of this problematic sediment. 
  • What’s the worst-case scenario: Allowing sediment to build up in your water heater can cause a multitude of problems. It can cause the water heater to overheat, damaging its internal parts, and reducing the overall lifespan of your water heater.

Screeching and Screaming Sounds

  • What it sounds like: These high-pitched noises sound like horror movie sound effects.
  • What’s causing them: These sounds usually indicate an issue with water pressure. The pressure relief valve could be faulty.
  • What’s the solution: A plumber can replace this valve.
  • What’s the worst-case scenario: Letting a problem caused by high pressure go unchecked could result in your water heater leaking, cracking, or potentially exploding.


  • What it sounds like: This sounds like bacon frying or water overflowing from a pot and hitting the stove’s surface. 
  • What’s causing it: The sound occurs when leaking water drips onto the burner which means it’s probably a leak. A leak could also result in no hot water and water pooling on the floor. 
  • What’s the solution: Leaks are serious and you may need a water heater replacement.
  • What’s the worst-case scenario: It goes without saying that when leaks get worse it could lead to flooding and water damage in your home.

Contact Peatson’s Heating and Air Conditioning Ltd. to learn more about your water heater options!

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