Of all of the appliances in your house, it is the water heater that does some of the hardest work, but it doesn't get the recognition that it deserves; that is, until there is a problem with it.
You take hot showers and wash your dishes in hot water day in and day out, without so much as giving your hot water heater a second thought. It chugs along, doing its jobs silently, until one day, you start hearing a strange whistling sound coming from it. While your first reaction may be to panic, don't. Instead, educate yourself about the possible causes of that popping noise so that you don't have to panic, and then call a reputable HVAC technician to address the issue.
Issues with the Inlet and Outlet
Take a look at the top of your hot water heater's tank and you'll see a device that is known as a cold water inlet and a hot water outlet. As the name suggests, this device pumps cold water into the water heater and then pumps the heated water back out of it, where it is then distributed to the pipes throughout your home.
As with all things, over time, that device may experience some wear and tear, and that wear and tear could cause a whistling noise to develop. If you hear the noise while you're running the hot water, odds are that the water inlet and outlet is the culprit.
An Open Drain Valve
Toward the bottom of the water heater is a valve, the purpose of which is to drain the buildup of sediment from the bottom of the tank. That valve should be tightly closed when it isn't being used to drain the sediment. If it isn't, a whistling sound could develop.
An Activated Temperature Pressure Relief Valve
As the water in your water heater is heated, heat and pressure start to buildup in the tank. If the water heater is in good condition and is properly maintained, that heat and pressure won't become an issue; however, if it isn't, a serious safety hazard can develop.
If the water temperature in the tank heats to temperatures that aren't safe, the temperature pressure relief (TPR) valve will open, allowing pressure to escape from the tank, protecting your home from the potential of serious damage and you from the potential of serious injury. If you hear a whistling from your water heater, an activated TPR valve could be the root of the sound.
Whenever you hear a whistling sound coming from your water heater, it is imperative that you call an HVAC technician, such as Christian Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. to address the issue. Even if the problem isn't major, having it inspected by a professional is the only way to ensure that there isn't a serious issue. In addition to identifying the problem, a professional will also be able to correct the issue at hand.