Your water heater is an essential part of your home, ensuring that you have reliable, hot water whenever you need it. As every homeowner knows, sometimes, our home comfort systems don’t act the way they should. If you notice your water heater is making a hissing sound, there could be a couple of reasons for this:
1. Condensation is coming into contact with hot surfaces
One of the most common reasons for a hot water heater to make a hissing sound is because condensation is coming into contact with a hot surface. This sound will often occur after a long shower or when the dishwasher is running — any time you use a large amount of hot water — and is a fairly normal occurrence.
When the water level in the hot water heater tank drops, it fills back up with cold water, and this creates condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation rolls down the tank and comes into contact with a hot surface like the area around the burner.
2. Your water heater has a leak
If you’ve noticed a hissing sound that seems to be unrelated to the amount of water you’re using, it’s possible that your water heater has a small leak.
For example, if your water heater hisses constantly, rather than immediately after a shower, you may have a leak.
Another sign of a leak is pooling water underneath your water heater tank, so keep an eye on it. If you suspect a leak, contact your technician.
3. The water heater’s temperature is too high
If you’ve ruled out condensation and leaks, you may want to consider that your water heater’s temperature may be set too high. This is the most common issue when the hissing sound is coming from the temperature and pressure valve — a safety valve that opens automatically when the pressure inside the tank increases. The hotter the water heater, the more pressure builds up. If your water heater is set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, consider lowering it to 120 degrees instead.
4. Your water heater has a buildup of sediment
Water contains many kinds of minerals and, occasionally, these minerals will leave a deposit on the bottom of your water heater tank. This is a common issue in areas with hard water.
As more mineral sediment builds up, water bubbles become trapped, boiled, turn to steam and produce a sizzling noise. You may have an issue with sediment buildup if, in addition to hissing sounds, you also hear rumbling or popping.
If you think you are experiencing problems with your water heater, don’t hesitate to contact Bryan’s Fuel! We’re here to help with all of your home comfort needs.