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kb3ca 10-12-2010 06:48 PM

Very noisy Water Heater
My 15 month old electric HWH recently began making a very loud sound like water rushing through a valve when it was heating the water. A plumber friend came over and determined the noise was coming from the lower heating element.
He pulled it out and it had some white mineral deposit on it, maybe 1/16" thick. He replaced it with a new one and all is back to normal. The element still heated the water ok but just don't understand why the deposit would result in such a loud noise. It was so loud that it woke me up at 1:00AM today.
Would like to understand how this can happen. My friend didn't know why so would appreciate any insight you can offer.

AllanJ 10-13-2010 07:56 AM

The mineral deposit insulates the element from the water somewhat but it develops cracks as the element heats up. Water seeping through the cracks in the layer of mineral deposits boils and sizzles, making noise.

kb3ca 10-13-2010 09:04 AM

Thanks Allen. I was thinking about this over night and somewhat concluded the same answer. My thoughts were that there was water between the mineral deposit and the element and since it was in a semi-enclosed space next to the element that the water was boiling and making that noise. However, my previous water heater never made any noise over 19 years in the same house and I have a water softener. Maybe the softener is going bad. Think I'll have the water tested for hardness to see what's going on
. Thanks for your response.

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