Why Does My Water Heater Make a High Pitched Noise?

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Every home needs a functioning water heater. This must-have plumbing appliance is a staple for homeowners, offering a great deal of convenience every day. However, you might encounter unusual noises coming from your water heaters.

When this happens, you don’t have to panic. Even the most durable water heaters experience wear and tear. Despite proper care and maintenance, water heaters aren’t immune to malfunction and damage.

Corrosion in the tank, faulty heating system, leaks, and bacterial presence in the tank are among the most common problems you encounter. So, if you’re water heaters are a couple of years or decades old, you might need to have them checked and changed.

But before you do, have you asked this question to yourself: Why Does My Water Heater Make a High Pitched Noise? This guide will share some tips and tricks on identifying the cause and fixing your water heaters.

Noisy Water Heaters: What Could Be the Cause?

Water heater noises are clear warning signs of a deeper problem. This noise can cause a more alarming concern that might eventually lead to costly water heater repairs or, worse, damage your properties. Just like any problem, finding the root cause can be highly frustrating. That’s why we are here to help!

Here are some causes and solutions to hot water heaters making a high-pitched noise:

Sediment Build-up

This is probably the most common reason why your water heater makes noises. When sediments build on the bottom of the tank, it traps the hot water underneath. It can result in a high-pitched popping sound every time you run the water heater.

It would be best if you flushed your water heater regularly to avoid this from happening. By doing so, you keep the sediment build-up to a minimum and ensure that your heaters are functioning well. A water heater making high-pitched noise may significantly decrease the unit’s efficiency. So, flushing once in a while is highly recommended.

But how often should you flush your heaters? According to experts, it’s best to flush your water heaters at least once a year. This prevents and controls mineral deposits that build up over time. You can always call a professional if you’re not quite sure how to flush your heaters.

Significantly High Pressure and Temperature

High water pressure can actually be a bad thing for your heater. When the water pressure is extremely high in the tank, it can create a high-pitched sound even when the heater isn’t used. Always check the temperature and pressure relief valve to determine the right number set for your heaters.

Expanded or Burst Plumbing Pipes

Water pipes can expand and contract over time as hot water comes in contact with them. As a result, you can hear a ticking, pitchy sound coming from your pipes. You might easily confuse this as a sound coming from your heater, but it isn’t. To fix this, you need to locate the expanding pipes and secure them with spacers. It’s also advisable to keep the water temperature down to reduce the pressure and minimize the sound.

Leaking Water Heater

In some cases, you might notice a sizzling sound from your heaters. This sound indicates a leak from your water heaters or pipes. While this can rarely happen, water heater leaks can result in water heater explosions. So if you notice any signs of water heater leaks, it is best to call a professional to fix the issue.

Going DIY: Fixing A Water Heater Making High-Pitched Noises

Before even calling the professionals, you can save yourself some time and money by doing all the basic steps to fix your water heaters. You can start by doing the following:

Why Does My Water Heater Make a High Pitched Noise

Examine the pressure relief valve.

A high-pitched noise can be a result of increased pressure in your heater. If the valve is really hot to touch, you need to turn the temperature down. This seems like an easy but most effective fix.

Inspect the thermostat gauge.

Your water heater’s thermostat serves as a valuable tool in ensuring its proper care and maintenance. If the heater’s thermostat is broken, it might cause problems since you can never know whether the water is at the right temperature or relatively hotter than it is supposed to be.

Flush your water heaters.

Again, this is the easiest trick in the book. Every time you flush your water heater, you get to eliminate sediment build-up that might be the reason for the noise. Aside from flushing your heaters, the most effective way to avoid sediment build-up is to treat your hard water. A chemically balanced water source avoids such build-up. If all these tips don’t stop your water heater from making high-pitched noises, it’s time to call a local plumber.

How to Choose the Right Person for the Job

When you encounter water heater problems and can’t fix them yourself, you must always call a professional. With overwhelming choices available on the market, it is imperative to curate and examine the right team that understands the job and fits your budget. Well, this is easier said than done; that’s why we’ve made a list to help you out.

Do Your Research.

When it comes to finding the right plumbing professionals, you should never settle for the first and only team you’ve consulted. You need to do thorough research online about different service providers and plumbers. Make it a habit to check their customers’ reviews to see whether they have a good track record.

Ask For Credentials.

Plumbing might sound like an easy and straightforward job, but sometimes, it isn’t. Only specialist plumbing professionals can solve problems without causing any further damage to your properties. Aside from that, it’s always a must to work with licensed plumbers only. This saves you a lot of problems in the future.

Get At Least Three Quotes

Once you’re done with your research and rounded up some licensed plumbers, try to ask for their quotes. You can start comparing these quotes and check the services they offer. More than anything, don’t go for the cheapest or most expensive service. Choose the team that provides both values for money and quality results.


Whenever your water heater is making high-pitched noises, always be alert. Whether the problem is severe or minor, you need to act on it fast. If you are not comfortable fixing this yourself, you can always call a trusted plumber like SPS Plumbing.

Here at SPS Plumbing, we guarantee top-quality service at cost-effective rates. Over the years, we have worked with dozens of households for all kinds of plumbing needs. To know more about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 408-622-8183 (South Bay Area) or 209-597-9107 (Central Valley) today!