Rheem water heater making popping sounds

The Tank Rheem water heater making popping sounds

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  • #20922
    atl2bom
    Participant

    Hi,

    I have a Rheem natural gas water heater Model # 22V40SF installed in a condo. It was installed in 2009 and is still under warranty. For the last 6 months or so, it has been making a random popping sound sporadically. I spoke with Rheem and they suggested draining the tank – which I’ve done multiple times. I had a plumber come take a look and he diagnosed the thermal expansion tank as not working properly, so we replaced that. The problem still exists. I’ve tried draining multiple times since as well. We checked the water pressure on the drain and it was about 70psi.
    The heater works just fine and has always been set a tad below A setting.

    Any suggestions or thoughts would be extremely helpful. Thanks in advance.

    AJ

    #20923
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    It might be something special, but more likely it’s just sediment buildup — and it doesn’t take much sediment to make a lot of noise.

    Does it do it all the time or just when the heater is running?

    Randy Schuyler

    #20924
    atl2bom
    Participant

    Hi Randy

    Thanks for your reply. The heater makes the sound periodically – some days its quiet some days its constantly doing it, irrespective of the heater running or not. There’s no real pattern to it’s behavior, we’ve tried to notice if it does it more on cold days vs warm days or on days when the heater is running more than usual vs not. But no difference. It’s almost a little eccentric in someways, making the sound randomly on some days and some days not a peep.

    If it is sediment, is there anything that we could try besides draining it?

    Thanks
    AJ

    #20927
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    It’s time for you to read my Sediment page in Water Heater Basics. Just draining doesn’t work very well, but flushing isn’t guaranteed to stop noise, just prevent significant buildup, and as long as you heat hard water, you’ll have more sediment.

    Randy Schuyler

    #20984
    atl2bom
    Participant

    Thanks Randy.

    I had a follow-up question. I had a different plumber come take a look and he said that the expansion tank is installed incorrectly. I’ve attached a picture for your reference. He said expansion tanks should be vertical on the heater and not at an angle.

    Firstly, is that accurate? And if so, could that be a cause for the sound?

    Thanks in advance.

    Attached files

    #20985
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    This hasn’t come up before, but I don’t believe it makes any difference whether it’s horizontal or vertical and it certainly wouldn’t make any noise from that orientation. The only thing we usually advise against is mounting it above the heater on the hot side because they hot water will enter it by convection and the heat will hasten the demise of the rubber diaphragm inside.

    Randy Schuyler

    #20988
    Bec the Tech
    Participant

    Hi,
    Some of the manufacturers don’t allow horizontal installation. You’ll have to check with the manufacturer of the particular expansion tank you have. Randy is right, though, the thermal expansion tank shouldn’t have anything to do with the noise the heater is making.
    Very likely air entrapped under sediment buildup that makes a popping sound when it’s heated and expands and the information page about sediment is an excellent reference.
    Rebecca

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