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Old 11-07-2011, 10:53 AM  
dtheobald
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Default Hissing Water Heater

Hi, My wife and I just purchased our 1st home. It has been vacent since March of this year, so it has some cobwebs so to speak. We have two gas water heaters, and when I turned them on yesterday they fired right up. A little while later one of the water heaters starting hissing pretty good. I had it set on the 'C' level on a four step scale with 'D' being the highest. So, I lowered it all the way down till the hissing stopped. Then I raised it to A, and no hissing, then B, hissing...so I lowered it back to A. IT takes a little while or the water to get hot from the faucet in the kitchen, but once its there its hot.
Could this hissing be due to it sitting for so long? Should i do a flush and see what happens?
I did a visual insection and saw no pressure relief valve discharge. Is this a case of it sitting and needing some action?



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Old 11-07-2011, 12:50 PM  
Redwood
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Sounds like a sediment build up in the bottom of the tank.
Flushing may or, may not help...



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Old 11-07-2011, 03:22 PM  
paul52446m
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Default Hissing Water Heater

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Originally Posted by dtheobald View Post
Hi, My wife and I just purchased our 1st home. It has been vacent since March of this year, so it has some cobwebs so to speak. We have two gas water heaters, and when I turned them on yesterday they fired right up. A little while later one of the water heaters starting hissing pretty good. I had it set on the 'C' level on a four step scale with 'D' being the highest. So, I lowered it all the way down till the hissing stopped. Then I raised it to A, and no hissing, then B, hissing...so I lowered it back to A. IT takes a little while or the water to get hot from the faucet in the kitchen, but once its there its hot.
Could this hissing be due to it sitting for so long? Should i do a flush and see what happens?
I did a visual insection and saw no pressure relief valve discharge. Is this a case of it sitting and needing some action?
When you start them up with well water temps. they will make a hissing noise because the tank is condensating, as soon as it get hot it will stop that. Paul
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:05 AM  
dtheobald
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When you start them up with well water temps. they will make a hissing noise because the tank is condensating, as soon as it get hot it will stop that. Paul
Thanks for your reply

Well, I dont know how long to let it run for hissing??? its really pretty loud, and it also sounds like there are rocks turning in it.
It makes me a little nervous. Am I wasting my time attempting to drain it???
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:07 AM  
dtheobald
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Sounds like a sediment build up in the bottom of the tank.
Flushing may or, may not help...
...meaning, I am stuck with a hissing water heater until we replace it? Thats OK, as long as it is safe to run it.

Our home has two water heaters, and this one serves the kitchen and laundry room only...
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:21 AM  
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Any old tank builds up sediment in the bottom of the tank as it gets heated it pops up off the bottom and breaks up.
When that tank was new there was instutions in the manual to attach a garden hose to the tap at the bottom of the tank and drain off some of that sediment. Almost no one ever does that, if they did they could help that tank last far longer.
By now nothing may come out because it's built up to much and will just plug up the valve before it can be drained down. But it's worth a try. If nothing comes out of the hose sometimes removing the hose and sticking a metal coat hager in the hole can free it up enough to get it running. It will make a mess when you do this so be ready to shut it off and have towels ready to wipe up.
A gas heater is suppost to be sitting on a stand, and in a pan made just for heaters, to keep it up off the floor for several reasons, one to get it above the floor to prevent drafts blowing out the flame, if it's in a garage or basement to get it above any fumes that may build up there at floor level.
The pan is suppost to have a drain on it to drain away any water that leaks from the tank that goes down through the floor, or leading outside. But almost no one does that. It's a shame because that one thing can prevent thousands of dollars in damage. I even have my safety relief valve piped to an outside wall.

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Old 11-08-2011, 09:09 AM  
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Any old tank builds up sediment in the bottom of the tank as it gets heated it pops up off the bottom and breaks up.
When that tank was new there was instutions in the manual to attach a garden hose to the tap at the bottom of the tank and drain off some of that sediment. Almost no one ever does that, if they did they could help that tank last far longer.
By now nothing may come out because it's built up to much and will just plug up the valve before it can be drained down. But it's worth a try. If nothing comes out of the hose sometimes removing the hose and sticking a metal coat hager in the hole can free it up enough to get it running. It will make a mess when you do this so be ready to shut it off and have towels ready to wipe up.
A gas heater is suppost to be sitting on a stand, and in a pan made just for heaters, to keep it up off the floor for several reasons, one to get it above the floor to prevent drafts blowing out the flame, if it's in a garage or basement to get it above any fumes that may build up there at floor level.
The pan is suppost to have a drain on it to drain away any water that leaks from the tank that goes down through the floor, or leading outside. But almost no one does that. It's a shame because that one thing can prevent thousands of dollars in damage. I even have my safety relief valve piped to an outside wall.
Thanks for the information.
I will try and drain it out. I hope it works. I will have the 'wire hanger' option on my side as well. The house used to be occupied by an older woman, who probably didnt need 3k sqft and 2 water heaters...so, sadly this 11 year old water heater probably never had enough use, and may be damaged due to lack of use...just in time for me and my family to move in...Its funny...this is my first home owner issue...I signed up for this.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:21 AM  
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The tank does not needed to be drained, it just needs a few gallons drained out. I never shut it or the water off when flushing it out. You need to have water pressure to push the water out.

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Old 11-08-2011, 11:39 AM  
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The Popping Sound is a classic sediment noise!

Does Your Water Heater Sound Like A Pop Corn Popper?

A thick layer of Sediment builds up in the bottom of the water heater tank as minerals such as lime precipitate out of the water as it is heated. This sets up a barrier between the water in the tank and the heating on the bottom.

Water pockets in the sediment are heated and turn to steam exploding out of the sediment. These little pops while harmless signal that the heating efficiency of your water heater is much lower than when new.

When you get to this stage the sediment is seldom able to be removed via flushing. So you are probably stuck with the noise untile you get a new water heater.

The most effective flushing is done with a full drain down, and not removing a gallon or 2 of water. The object is that once empty the incoming water blasts into the mineral deposit and breaks it up forcing it out the drain under pressure. Read about how to flush a water heater at this link along with how to change the anode rod here which may be of interest to you if you have any success in getting the sediment out....

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Old 11-09-2011, 08:40 AM  
dtheobald
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well, I figured out what the hissing is...it has to be the pressure relief valve. I was out side on the telephone and I saw hot water coming out of a copper pipe on the side of my house. I went inside and sure enough, the water heater was hissing, and that has to be the pressure relief valve.
I havent drained it yet, but I will today, after work. I am doubtful that will fix this thing.



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