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Landry Mechanical Inc Plumbing HVAC & Electric Blog

Strange Water Heater Noises: What They Mean

Water heaters are essential for our day-to-day lives. Whenever we take a warm shower or a hot bath, whenever we clean our clothes, and whenever we wash our dishes to keep our kitchens sanitary, it’s all thanks to having continuous hot water from our water heaters.

However, water heaters are rarely perfect, especially after years of dutiful service to your home. They can run into some peculiar problems, many of which involve strange or uncomfortable noises. From banging sounds to hissing or dripping sounds, if you’re detecting these kinds of noises, then you’ve likely got a serious issue with your water heater that needs to be repaired.

We’ll go over what these noises mean and why they’re so serious. But it’s up to you to consult with a professional for water heater repair in Marlborough, MA. Our team can get your system fixed and running smoothly in no time.

3 Common Sounds to Be Aware Of

We can’t possibly talk about all of the sounds a water heater would make. We’d be here all day. And, if your water heater is making a sound that you’re unfamiliar with, you can always call our team to have a professional diagnose the issue.

For now, we want to talk about 3 of the most common noises that customers hear from their systems. Note that each of these sounds represents a problem that needs to be fixed.


A banging sound is pretty common and is unmistakable. It’s loud, frustrating, and sometimes even scary. But what does this sound mean when you hear it inside of your water heater?

A banging water heater is usually undergoing some problems with sediment buildup. Sediment accumulation in a water heater can react in poor ways with the heating components to create excess pressure or complications that cause a banging sound.

Sometimes, the sediment can even build up in thin pipes which restricts the water flow and increases the pressure of your water, making it bang against the plumbing system when it shouldn’t.

Hissing or Dripping

Hissing is a complex sound. It can usually mean one of two things is happening to your water heater. Either the hiss is a water leak that’s starting to cause mayhem in your basement, or it’s an electrical problem. Electrical components don’t mix well with water, so when they’re sprinkled with dripping water or are accidentally touched with water droplets, they can short out and make a hissing or crackling noise.

Similarly, dripping represents a water leak and is never really an electrical problem. But it can turn into an electrical issue if those water droplets make contact with electrical components.


Whistling is a serious problem when it happens in your water heater. This is what we call kettling since it sounds like a boiling kettle. If your water heater is whistling, it’s likely that your system is undergoing some problems with pressure and the water is either too hot or too high pressure to be sustained properly in the unit. A professional will know how to deal with this, and will likely check your pressure release valve to ensure that the system isn’t overly pressurized.

Contact Landry Mechanical Inc Plumbing HVAC & Electric to schedule a water heater repair today. We take comfort in YOUR comfort.

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