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Is Your Water Heater Making High-Pitched Noise? Here’s What To Do

Has your peaceful home suddenly become disrupted by a high-pitched noise bellowing from your water heater? Worry not! Water heater problems are a common household problem.

For your learning, this article will offer insight into why your water heater may be making noise and offer advice for correcting this troublesome situation. So, read on and reclaim that peaceful ambiance for your home!

Understanding water heater noises

Water heaters are a necessity, providing homes with hot water that’s essential to our daily activities, whether it be for a shower or for the dishes. Therefore, proper maintenance is crucial to ensure longevity and optimal performance.

With heaters, some noises are perfectly normal, while others could signal trouble brewing and the need for water heater repair. Let’s delve into understanding these sounds a bit better.

Common noises from your water heater

Certain noises are routinely produced by your water heater, offering no real cause for concern. 

Your water heater works hard to provide hot water whenever it is needed—as such, the humming or sizzling sounds are simply part of its normal process in providing your home with hot water.

High-pitched whistles and their causes

A high-pitched whistling or screeching noise from your water heater could signify an issue that requires your attention.

This is usually caused by a partially closed valve, which forces water through a smaller opening. This creates a whistling sound, similar to when you blow air through a small hole in a balloon.

Another potential cause is sediment build-up in your water tank, causing it to boil and steam, resulting in high-pitched whistles. 

Don’t panic—these issues are easily fixable by consulting with an experienced professional.

Troubleshooting a water heater making high-pitched noise

Let’s go over some practical steps to address the high-pitched noise emanating from your water heater.

If you’re unfamiliar with the various parts of your unit, consider getting in touch with a professional, who will have the knowledge to diagnose any issues.

Step 1: Check for loose components

Start by inspecting the various components of your water heater. Loose elements can vibrate when water passes through, causing a high-pitched sound. 

Check the heating element, pipes, and valves to ensure that they’re all tightly secured.

If you find any loose parts, tighten them with an appropriate tool. They should be snug rather than extremely tight.

Step 2: Clear the sediment build-up

Next, let’s deal with the potential sediment build-up in your tank. 

Over time, minerals from the water can accumulate at the bottom of your tank, causing water to boil and produce that annoying whistle. 

To resolve this, simply drain the tank and flush it using clean water. This will wash away the sediment, and, fingers crossed, your peace and quiet will be restored.

Step 3: Inspect the pressure relief valve (PRV)

Lastly, a malfunctioning PRV might be the culprit behind your whistling water heater. 

The PRV is designed to release excess pressure from the water tank to prevent it from exploding (now that’s a noise we definitely don’t want!). However, if the PRV is faulty, it can cause a high-pitched noise. 

We recommend contacting a professional to inspect and repair or replace the PRV for your safety, as handling it incorrectly could be dangerous.

When to call a professional

While many water heater issues can be resolved with a little elbow grease and a handy wrench, there are certain instances where seeking professional help is not only recommended for your convenience but also highly advisable. Here are a few signs of when it’s best to call in the pros:

  • Persistent noise: If a high-pitched noise persists after inspecting all components, clearing sediment, and inspecting the PRV, it could signal more complex issues that require professional help
  • Insufficient hot water: If the temperature of your water is no longer hot enough and you hear high-pitched noises, a professional can assess whether both issues are linked and provide solutions to address either one
  • Water leaks: A water leak combined with unusual noises could be an indicator of an emergency that requires professional assistance quickly. Water damage is potentially costly and dangerous if left unaddressed promptly

It’s important to remember that while DIY solutions may work for minor issues, professional expertise is the best way to ensure long-term unit durability and functionality. 

Don’t hesitate to contact a trusted professional if you’re unsure or uncomfortable handling any aspect of water heater maintenance.

Experiencing water heater issues? Contact the pros!

Consistency and reliability in water heater performance are vital to home comfort, so understanding common unit noises is of utmost importance. High-pitched whistling sounds may indicate loose components, sediment accumulation, or an underperforming PRV valve.

Some issues can be handled at home, but professional assistance from a plumber may be required for various problems.

Professional plumbing services are an investment worth making for the lifespan and performance of your water heater. If you’re a homeowner in the city of Missoula or Western Montana and have any inquiries or require expert assistance with any plumbing fixture, don’t hesitate to reach out to Plumb-Tech—we offer flexible and reliable service with 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

Contact us today through our website’s contact form or by giving us a telephone call!

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