Why is My Water Heater Popping?


Water heaters typically are popping due to the minerals in hard water which settle together at the bottom of your water heater over time. The minerals make that popping noise when they hit the side of the tank. It is completely normal to have this build up over time if you do not use a water softener. Although this is very normal, it is something to keep an ear open for. If your heater is popping louder than a coffee maker sputtering, you may want to follow these steps to flush your water heater tank of the remaining sediment.


If you do hear these popping noises, it is important to flush your water heater. If you do not, you may be putting your water tank at risk. The sediment can slow down the heat transfer to water, which would cause the water to overheat therefore weakening or damaging the tank. It also displaces the water in the tank, which means you would not have as much hot water readily available to you. Having this sediment in your tank can also increase your heating bills because it lowers the water heater’s efficiency.

It may seem like a daunting task, but flushing your water heater is pretty easy! Follow these steps to learn how:

  1. If you have a gas water heater, flip your water heater control to “pilot”. With an electric water heater you will have to turn off the heater in the circuit breaker.
  2. Turn off the water supply. You can achieve this by pulling the cold water lever, which is typically found above the water heater, or by turning the cold water ball valve clockwise.
  3. Allow the water heater approximately 30 minutes to cool.
  4. Once cool, find the drain valve which is at the bottom of the tank and connect a garden hose to it. Take the other end of the hose to your basement drain (if available). If not, you can bring it to another place that can safely handle the amount of water about to be drained.
  5. Look for the pressure relief valve at the top of the tank and flip it. Then, open the drain valve by rotating the small slot on the valve. You might need to use a pair of adjustable pliers for this.
  6. Completely drain the water from the heater.
  7. Next, you will need to flush out any remaining sediment. You can do so by turning the cold water valve on. You will notice the water will start running clear. When this happens, close the drain valve to fill the tank with the cold water.
  8. When the tank is completely filled again, you can turn it back on.


Have a question or additional tip?  Leave it in the comments below!  If you found this post helpful, be sure to like and share it and subscribe to the 1st Source Servall Blog for more tips and tricks for your appliances!

Written By: Madison Jezioro

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