How To Fix A Water Heater That Gurgles? In 2 Easy Steps!

Leave your worries aside as we will tell you how to fix a water heater that gurgles. You can quickly resolve the issue yourself without giving dollars to a licensed plumber. 

Generally, if you don’t care for the water heater, it will start cracking or causes weird noises. That’s why water heaters, just like other electric appliances, need regular maintenance.

how to fix a water heater that gurgles

The gurgling sound of the heater usually refers to faulty functioning. This statement seems true from some angles. Let’s try to find the actual answer. And don’t worry, we will also provide the solution. So, scroll down and get the solution to fix your water heater! 


Why Does Heater Gurgles?

Heater gurgling usually occurs when the metal body of the heater starts to rust after prolonged use. Moreover, it can also happen when the hard water’s sediments of calcium and magnesium accumulate inside the heater. These sediments then build up and make a rust lining inside the tank. This lining restricts the flow when the water disperses from the tank top. The water has to fight with the buildup to get out of the table to which the heater produces gurgling sounds. 


How Can We Avoid The Gurgling? 

The simplest and easiest solution to avoid gurgling is installing a water softener device. This device removes the calcium and magnesium from hard water, ultimately breaking mineral buildup and gurgling. Moreover, it would help flush the heater tank once a year for its extraordinarily long life. You should pay special attention to the maintenance if the water contains a large quantity of lime in your area. It would help replace the anode rod that restricts the buildup (mineral + bacteria). 


Steps To Fix A Water Heater That Gurgles

Here you will get to know how to fix a water heater that gurgles. The process is simple and is a vital part of heater maintenance. Let’s dive into the detailed guide!


Step #1. Turn off the power supply

Locate the thermostat at the bottom of a gas heater and turn it off. Alternatively, turn off the breaker that supplies your electric water heater power. Also, shut off the gas supply in case of a gas heater.  Wait for some time to let the hot water cool down for safety. Now you need to stop the cold water supply by shutting off the valve from the top of the heater. Then attach a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom. 


Step #2. Drain the water

Use a screwdriver to open the valve after ensuring that the hose is directed outwards. Drain all the water out of the tank. The water may be rusty or transparent white. But sediment must be present in the water, although it is not visible. You have to open and close the cold water valve a couple of times to ensure that all the minerals have been disposed of in the water heater. Now you have to complete the drain valve, remove the garden hose and restore power to the heater. And you are all done!


Another Easy Fix

We have a simple solution for you if you don’t want to get into the lengthy process of waiting and draining. The resolution says soak vinegar or lye in the heater tank, and they will dissolve the minerals like calcium and magnesium. The heater will stop gurgling due to unrestricted water flow.


Other Factors That Cause The Heater To Gurgle

Along with sediment, sand and gravel also restricts the water flow and thus contribute to gurgling sounds. But, calcium is the number one sediment agent, especially if the tank is always in contact with hot water due to high demand. 


What Are The Dangers Of Sediment?

  • Besides gurgling, mineral buildup can cause damage to the heating element, thermostat, and electric resistance. 
  • The heater will use more gas, causing a rise in bills.
  • Sediment causes the tank to crack, thus leading to leakage.


Ways To Fix A Water Heater According To The Noise It Makes

The heater produces a lot of other noises other than gurgling. We have described some of the sounds and the fixing method below. Here is a guide about what to do when your water heater is making noises:


Bang sound

If you hear a sudden bang from the heater, it is due to the water hammer. The heater made this sound when the water came back in empty pipes. A pressure-reduction valve can solve this issue.


Ticking sound

The change in pressure is the main reason behind the ticking noise. Installation of earthquake straps can settle this issue. 


Whistle sound

Tight the loose fittings on the inlet, outlet, and T&P valves if the heater whistles like a police warden. The air will stop leaking, and you will get relaxed.


Tick/tap sounds

Inlet and outlet valves produce sounds like ticking and tapping due to trapped heat or check valve. Consider installing the regular nipples with dielectric nipples or unions (dielectric). 


It’s A Wrap!

We are sure that you will have a good day after knowing how to fix a water heater that gurgles. Keep coming back to get treated with more easy fixes like this. Click on these links to read related articles; know how to replace heating element in water heater and how to reset water heater.

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