Reasons You May Have A Whistling Water Heater

Posted on: 28 September 2018

If a home's water heater is running without problems, it should be silent and running without problems. However, a whistling noise may draw you to this appliance to figure out what is going on with it. Here are some reasons why your water heater may be whistling.

A Bad TPR Valve

Your water heater has a TPR valve, which controls the relief of temperature and pressure in the tank. It's found on the top side of the water heater, and is slightly open to allow pressure to escape the tank if it gets too high. This allows air to leave the tank to prevent it from exploding or bursting unexpectedly. As a result of air leaving the tank, the valve may create a whistling sound that you can hear throughout your home. Whistling for only a brief moment is not anything to be concerned about, since it is the tank doing the job it's supposed to do by releasing pressure.

A Loose Drain Valve

Your water heater as an additional valve along the bottom side of the metal tank, and its purpose is for draining the water and sediment from the tank if it gets bad. If you use this valve and is it not completely closed, air can leave from the valve and create that familiar whistling sound. Water may also be leaving the tank as well, so look for drops of water around the tank to confirm your suspicions. Tighten the drain valve so there are no leaks, and see if the whistling continues. This may need to be done with a wrench if there is not a handle on the valve. Just be sure to turn the valve in a counter-clockwise direction to give the valve a better seal.

A Cracked Water Heater

While the TPR valve is designed to slowly let air out of the tank when there is too much pressure, the air may be leaking out in other ways that is not related to the valve. Any sort of crack in the tank is going to cause air to escape the tank in a similar manner. If the hole is the right size, it can result in a whistling sound that cannot be prevented by tightening a value. You may actually have to replace the water heater to fix this problem. A crack can only spread further, so consider this an opportunity to replace the appliance before a bigger problem is caused.

Contact a water heater repair service for more help.