Why Does My Water Heater Keep Popping?

When it comes to questions we hear on a regular basis as Markham plumbers, this one ranks very near the top for frequency. If you have a tanked water heater that is more than a few years old, the odds that you have experienced this situation in your home is pretty good. The odds run even higher if you are on a well or other water supply which contains a significant amount of minerals or other dissolved sediment.

As the water sits in your tank and heats, these minerals and come out of the water and begin to settle in the bottom of you tank. With time, the amount of sediment can increase to significant amounts and form deposits on the inside walls of the tank, predominantly on the bottom as gravity pulls it down.

Now, if you ask any Markham plumber they will tell you that your water heater depends on the heat conductivity of the tank walls to transfer the energy and heat your water. The sediment buildup changes your tank’s ability to transfer the heat when the burner kicks on which leads to uneven heating of the tank and therefore the water within. It is this uneven heating which leads to the popping and other noises you hear when you turn on the water.

So, what can be done to stop the noise or even prevent it from happening in the first place? Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done. You can hire a Markham plumber to have your tank drained, pulling all the water and as much of the sediment as possible from your system. However, this is only a temporary fix as the drain plug can easily become blocked and not all the sediment will flow out anyway. If the noise is enough of an annoyance that you feel it’s worth trying, you may receive some temporary relief from the process, but you shouldn’t expect miracles. It only takes one piece of sediment to make a pop.