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Old 01-28-2011, 09:37 PM   #1
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Water Heater popping


I have a GE smartwater heater made in 2002 i've noticed that whenever i turn on the hot water and the cold water start to flow into the heater it makes a loud popping noise coming from inside the unit. I am guessing that this is from sediment buildup. Is there anything that can be done to a unit this old to easily stop this?

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Old 01-28-2011, 09:42 PM   #2
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Water Heater popping


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I have a GE smartwater heater made in 2002 i've noticed that whenever i turn on the hot water and the cold water start to flow into the heater it makes a loud popping noise coming from inside the unit. I am guessing that this is from sediment buildup. Is there anything that can be done to a unit this old to easily stop this?

You'll need to drain and flush the water heater.

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Old 01-28-2011, 09:51 PM   #3
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Water Heater popping


what is the best way to flush it out, and will this always remove the sediments? how long does it take to flush out a 40gallon tank?
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:53 PM   #4
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Water Heater popping


Wedge, you may know this, but you need to kill the power to the heater while draining. Do not turn the power back on until it is filled enough for both elements to be covered with water.

Plumber, can you tell why sediment would cause popping noises when cold water enters the tank?

I really do not know.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:35 PM   #5
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Water Heater popping


this is a standard gas heater not electric, but i'm wondering how big the sediment could be, and if it will be able to pass through the drain.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:13 PM   #6
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Water Heater popping


i read that getting a small drill pump would be a great way to break up the sediment and increase drain pressure would this be a good idea?
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:45 AM   #7
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Water Heater popping


Sounds like air entering the system with the cold water.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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Water Heater popping


I noticed it does it even when not using water but after when reheating it.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:21 PM   #9
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Water Heater popping


I don't like popping sounds from a water heater since they are under pressure. May need to get someone to check it out.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:44 PM   #10
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Water Heater popping


A layer of sediment at the bottom of the tank is not a good conductor of heat. Water commingled with the sediment at the very bottom can boil making sizzling or popping noise. This is actually likely to increase when a faucet is first turned on due to various complex pressure versus boiling point relationships (thermodynamics).

It should not be necessary to drain the entire tank to get the sediment out. Usually the water runs clear after less than five gallons.

Before starting to drain the tank, set the knob on the (gas) water heater to "pilot". Do not turn it back to "run" until the water is turned back on and an upstairs hot faucet is gushing.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:31 PM   #11
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Water Heater popping


How long does it take to drain a 40gallon and will this get out all sediment?
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:41 PM   #12
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Water Heater popping


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A layer of sediment at the bottom of the tank is not a good conductor of heat. Water commingled with the sediment at the very bottom can boil making sizzling or popping noise. This is actually likely to increase when a faucet is first turned on due to various complex pressure versus boiling point relationships (thermodynamics).

It should not be necessary to drain the entire tank to get the sediment out. Usually the water runs clear after less than five gallons.

Before starting to drain the tank, set the knob on the (gas) water heater to "pilot". Do not turn it back to "run" until the water is turned back on and an upstairs hot faucet is gushing.
Great explanation!

You should start the tank draining, with the cold water line still on, the water rushing in the tank will help break up the sediment, once it starts to run clear, turn the water off to the tank and drain.

Once drained, while the drain valve is still open, flush again.

While you have the tank empty, you may want to check the anode, located usually between the inlet and outlet, and is a 1" or 1-1/4" hex fitting on the top of the tank.

The anode is a sacrificial rod that provides an eletrolitic reaction as opposed to your tank walls and should be changed every 3-5 years, it will greatly extend the life of your tank.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:56 AM   #13
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Water Heater popping


Imo, Jack just described a true flushing rather than a simple drain which will leave undisturbed sediment in the tank.

Good comment on the anode tube too.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:17 PM   #14
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Water Heater popping


Back flushing will also help follow the above referenced info and hook a hose to the drain line and turn it on then go back to the preceding procedure bet you get more junk out.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:40 PM   #15
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Water Heater popping


I tried draining the tank all the way but it drains real slow I even got a drill pump but it is inconsistent flow it is the flat drain not he knob kind is there a way to make it drain faster? I tried opening all faucets and the relief on top too

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