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Old 10-19-2007, 02:05 AM   #1
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Hot Water Heater with popping sound


AO Smith hot water heater at about 9 years old. Heard that the popping sound could be sediment in the hot water heater. Will draining the tank get rid of the problem? Is its useful life about done?

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Old 10-19-2007, 10:45 AM   #2
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Hot Water Heater with popping sound


Is this a gas or electric water heater? Are you running out of hot water? Draining a tank is always a good idea to remove the sediments.

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Old 10-19-2007, 11:39 AM   #3
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Hot Water Heater with popping sound


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Originally Posted by 47_47 View Post
Is this a gas or electric water heater? Are you running out of hot water? Draining a tank is always a good idea to remove the sediments.
This is a gas water heater. Hot water is not an issue. Just a popping sound coming from the tank.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:06 PM   #4
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Hot Water Heater with popping sound


I was leaning towards a bad dip tube. This is a tube inside the tank which directs the incoming cold water toward the bottom of the tank, but you have plenty of hot water. Other than that, I really do not have any practical solutions.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:37 PM   #5
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Hot Water Heater with popping sound


The popping noise in the water heater is from the build up of sediment in the bottom of the tank. When the burner fires, the water between the tank and sediment will reach nearly boiling, and it's the lifting action of the water popping through the sediment that you hear. Check out this bulletin from A.O. Smith

Will flushing the tank take care of it? probably not...most likely the sediment will be nearly solid almost rock like and will not drain out. As the bulletin suggests, it you needs to be dissolved with an acid. It wouldn't hurt, but I doubt it will fix it either. You will however experience tank failure it could be in 2 years could be 10, but it will go bad. I would get in the habit of visually checking the tank frequently and/or get a flood monitor if you basement is finished.

With the water heater being 9 years old...and you don't want the hassle of worrying about flooding...replacement would be a viable option as well.
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