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W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Does Your Water Heater Sound Like It’s Haunted?

Scared woman covering mouth with hands

October is known to many as the “spooky season.” However, most homeowners want to keep the scares limited to fun activities. When your home appliances begin to act like they’re haunted, it can be alarming. If your water heater is beginning to make alarming, unusual sounds, that’s a sign that you need to schedule service. 

You may even need a water heater replacement in Vinton, VA. The only way to know is to schedule a service appointment with our team so we can assess your water heater needs. You can keep reading to learn more about unusual sounds that water heaters can make and what they mean.


Hissing sounds can come from a pressure release valve. If you have a gas water heater, it can also be caused by a gas leak. Both problems are equally concerning. If too much pressure is building up inside your water heater and the pressure is strong enough for the pressure release valve to hiss, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed. 

Our team can check out your water heater and find out why the pressure is so high. Once we troubleshoot the problem, we can fix it and hopefully prevent it from happening again in the future. Other times hissing can mean that you have a gas leak. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed right away if that is the problem since gas can cause fire hazards, as well as negatively impact your family’s health.

Whistling or Screeching 

The sound can also be attributed to the pressure release valve that is attached to your water heater. However, whistling or screeching is also common if you have thermostat problems that need to be addressed. You also want to have the other valves on your water heater checked to make sure they are all secure and without any issues. 


If you hear a popping or kettling sound coming from your water heater, hard water is likely the cause. If your home has hard water, then that means it has high mineral content. If you pour a glass of water, you’re not going to see these minerals. But as time passes, these very tiny particles can build up inside your water heater tank and block the heating element from adequately heating water for your home. 

When a heating element turns on in the water heater, a popping or kettling noise can result as these minerals move around inside the tank. Our team can flush out the water heater to eliminate the mineral buildup. However, if you don’t address the hard water coming into your home you’ll need to be sure and get the tank flushed once a year to prevent the buildup from getting too thick. 


If you have parts that are loose inside of your water heater, they may vibrate during operation. Since this is under the water, the result may be a humming sound. Our team can check both inside and outside of your water heater to make sure that all of the components are secure. Loose components can lead to leaks and even damage to your water heater when left unaddressed. 

We can help you make the best choice for water heater service. Rely on the experts at W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning and schedule an appointment today.

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