Water heaters can make a variety of noises. They can tick because of expansion and contraction, creak as the elements heat and pop as the water inside the tank warms and expands. These sounds can all be annoying and worrisome, but don’t call a plumber or replace your tank just yet. All of these water heater sounds are normal and can be muffled so that they are less bothersome.
1. Blanket Method
Hot water tank blankets are normally wrapped around a tank for insulation purposes. By wrapping the tank in a blanket, heat is prevented from escaping through the tank casing, allowing you to save money on electricity or fuel. These insulated blankets also block or muffle tank noise. Before selecting a blanket, you will need to know the height and width of your water heater, as well as how many gallons the tank holds.
2. Cut and Wrap
After shutting off the water heater's electricity or turning the gas valve to "Pilot," wrap your chosen blanket around the tank and tape it temporarily in place. You’ll need to mark and cut out areas where the controls and elements are. Also cut openings for pipes, drain, pressure-relief valve (TPR valve) and the burner if it is a gas- or oil-fired tank. Next, the blanket can be permanently installed and secured with electrical tape. Follow the blanket manufacturer's directions for all installation details.
3. Insulate Under the Tank
An electric hot water tank can also be insulated underneath. This is best done during the initial installation. Placing a piece of rigid insulation or board underneath the tank will reduce vibrations that carry the sounds of your tank’s creaks and pops.
4. Soundproof Utility Room
If your hot water tank is in a utility room, there are soundproofing or noise-reducing steps you can take. If the walls are open with framed studs, putting up insulation and drywall will help to soundproof the room. Adding a thick, solid-core door to the room can also help, as can adding insulation tiles and carpeting.
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