Unexpected sounds coming from a home appliance can lead us to panic mode before properly diagnosing the situation. By better understanding what your appliances are telling you, your anxiety will be relieved.This basic knowledge also prepares you for plumbing maintenance that keeps your home appliances running efficiently.
If you hear a knocking sound in the water heater, it could be a buildup of sediment. Water has calcium carbonate in it, which is beneficial for drinking water.
However, these minerals can lead to sediment buildup in appliances that use the same water. When water enters the appliance, sediment settles at the bottom of the tank. This leads to decreased heating efficiency and plumbing problems in the pipes.
If sediment sits in your tank for too long, it'll cause damage to the unit's foundation. It’s possible that the sediment gets re-circulated through your home’s plumbing anatomy, causing extensive damage to the pipes going throughout your home.
So, what do you do?
It’s important to address this plumbing problem as quickly as possible, because the longer sediment is stuck in the water heater, the more damage is done. The best way to handle sediment buildup is flushing the unit. This removes sediment from your tank.
It’s recommended to flush the unit at least annually. This allows a professional flush the plumbing system and diagnose the plumbing anatomy for potential plumbing problems. However, you can also flush the system yourself.
How to flush your water heater yourself?
If you choose to flush the system yourself, use caution. These are dangerous appliances, and you can easily burn yourself. Wear protective equipment, such as heat protected gloves and eye protection.
- Turn off the water heater, and reduce the temperature.
- After the temperature is reduced, shut off the cold water valve to prevent water from continuing to enter the tank.
- Now that the prep work is done, give the unit 30 to 45 minutes to cool down.
- After the heater has cooled, locate the drain valve.
- Once you find the drain valve, connect one end of the hose to the valve and the other to a large bucket or drain.
- Turn on a sink during this process, so the water in the piping doesn’t create a vacuum.
- Open the drain valve slowly, and then release the pressure relief valve. This allows water to flow through the hose. Keep in mind that sediment may not immediately begin flowing.
- Once you turn the cold water valve back on, the remaining sediment should be jarred loose.
- After all of the sediment has been removed, close the drain valve and allow the tank to refill.
- Once the tank is sealed and refilled, turn the temperature back to normal and the unit back on.
This practice should be done by a professional or yourself at least annually. This allows the heater to operate as efficiently as possible and keeps you from paying unnecessary high heating costs.
If you don’t have time to flush the heating system yourself, Warner Service offers service options, so you don’t have to worry.
If you'd like to take control of your home's plumbing needs, download Warner’s Plumbing Troubleshooting Checklist. It diagnoses common plumbing problems before calling a professional, which potentially saves you money: