Understanding the Causes and Dangers of Noisy Water Heaters

Unusual sounds from your water heater can be concerning, but not all noises are created equal. While a water heater may make some crackling sounds as it heats up, a loud screeching noise is a cause for concern. Ignoring this noise could lead to serious problems down the line, from costly repairs to potential danger for your household. In this blog, we’ll delve into the reasons why your water heater may be making a screaming sound, the hazards of excessive pressure, and what you can do to repair your water heater. Regular maintenance and timely repairs are essential to ensure your water heater is both energy-efficient and safe for your household. Don’t ignore those unusual sounds – address them promptly and protect your home.

Why Is My Water Heater Screaming?

The most common reason for a noisy water heater is excessive pressure. Every water heater has a safety feature called a pressure relief valve. The valve opens and allows hot water to pass through when the pressure levels exceed a certain point. When the pressure relief valve is functioning correctly, you may not even know it’s activated, except for some standing water at the base of the water heater. However, if the pressure relief valve is stuck or faulty, the pressure will build within the hot water tank, creating the high-pitched noise you hear.
Another cause of a noisy water heater is sediment buildup. When sediment accumulates at the bottom of the water heater, it creates a barrier between the heating element and the water. The heating element then overheats, causing the water to boil, which creates a popping or crackling noise.

Why Excessive Pressure is Dangerous

When a water heater makes a screeching or screaming sound effect, it could indicate a faulty pilot light. The pilot light is a small flame that ignites the gas burner, which heats the water. If the pilot light is dirty, clogged, or not functioning correctly, it can cause the water heater to make unusual sounds. Additionally, a faulty pilot light can lead to the water heater not producing hot water, leaving you without a hot shower or any hot water at all.

If you notice a screeching or screaming sound effect from your water heater, you should turn off the power and water supply and call a professional plumber immediately. They can diagnose and repair the pilot light issue, ensuring that your water heater is working correctly and safely. Regular maintenance of your water heater, including checking the pilot light, can prevent future problems and extend the life of your unit. Don’t ignore the sound effects – address them promptly to avoid any potential issues with your hot water supply.

What You Can Do to Fix the Problem

If your water heater is making a screeching sound, it could be due to a few different issues. One common cause is a faulty pressure relief valve or a tripped circuit breaker. Another possible cause is a malfunctioning pilot light, which can result in cold water.

To address the issue, the first step is to turn off the power supply and water supply to the unit immediately. Next, call a professional plumber with experience in water heater repair to inspect the unit. It is important not to try to fix the problem yourself, as working with a water heater can be dangerous.

Regular maintenance of your water heater, including flushing the tank once a year, can help prevent future problems such as sediment buildup or malfunctioning pilot lights. Regular maintenance can also help identify potential issues before they become major problems, saving you time, money, and hassle in the long run.


A noisy water heater is not something to ignore. If left undiagnosed, it can lead to major problems that could be dangerous and costly. Excessive pressure is the most common cause of a noisy water heater, but sediment buildup can also create a popping or cracking noise. If your water heater is making a screeching sound, turn off the power supply and water supply and call a professional plumber. Regular maintenance of your water heater can prevent future problems and prolong the life of your water heater.

Don’t let your water heater problems go unresolved. Contact Llona’s Plumbing today at (813) 477-1870 and get the expert help you need. Our team of professional plumbers in Tampa will promptly respond to your call and provide efficient solutions within one business day.

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