hot water heater is talking to me


Old 06-04-00, 02:14 AM
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My 11 year old gas hot water heater began speaking to us a few months ago. Whenever we use hot water (shower, washers, etc), it starts making banging noises, knocking sort of or maybe popping sounds. It works perfectly, if anything, we have more hot water- how can that be with no change in the thermostat? We have hard water, if that means anything with this issue. We have never done any maintenance with this heater. Should we? Is this problem anything more than an annoyance? Thanks.
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Old 06-04-00, 05:54 AM
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The noises your hearing from the water heater <commonly referred to as purculating> aren't good. It's an indication there is a lot of sediment on the bottom of the tank.

Which means the hard water solid particles have been accumulating on the tanks bottom due to a lack of proper maintainence. The tank should have been flushed at least once yearly.

Since it hasn't been flushed regually, those deposits are acting as a barrier between the transfer of heat to the water. Kind of like charcoal on the bottom of the tank.

The sediment, which then overheats, causes the water to boil inside the tank causing the noises. If left unchecked, it will someday soon cause the tanks bottom to spring a water leak much sooner then normal.

Best bet here is to flush whatever sediment is currently loose and start shopping for a new replacement.

Good Luck,
Natural Gas Energy Technician and Consultant

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