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Cup of Hemlock
Rumbling pipes

Every so often - once, maybe twice a day (and more if we're running hot water for dishes, laundry, etc.) - our water heater makes a click noise followed by a loud rumbling above it. These clicks are fairly common, I think, and I've read that the rumbling is caused by steam and sediment buildup. What I'm wondering is whether the rumbling is dangerous. It seems that it's gotten worse (slightly longer and definitely louder) over the past month or so.

The heater has been there a little over two years, and has never been flushed. The apartment complex is poorly designed, and there really isn't a good way to drain the heater without running a very long hose outside of the building. (Also, doing this would involve shutting off water to the whole complex.)

I wonder if there is any way to tell whether the rumbling is caused by sediment in the heater, sediment in the pipes, or a pipe coming loose from its anchorage, and what the best way to diagnose and repair this problem might be.

Thanks so much for any insight and assistance!

dj1
Re: Rumbling pipes

It would be a good idea to flush the water heater.

Is this your building? You need to alert the tenants (24 hrs is good) that you will turn the water off, then just do it. if you need a long hose, just get one.

After you flush it, fill it up, and check for proper operation. Please report back!

Cup of Hemlock
Re: Rumbling pipes
dj1 wrote:

It would be a good idea to flush the water heater.

Is this your building? You need to alert the tenants (24 hrs is good) that you will turn the water off, then just do it. if you need a long hose, just get one.

After you flush it, fill it up, and check for proper operation. Please report back!

We rent this apartment, and the actual property manager for the complex seems to think this is a pretty routine thing, but I don't want to bother our unit's owner and/or pay for this if it's really not necessary. When we had a plumber out a little while ago, he seemed to think that flushing a heater is something that should be done, but isn't often done.

dj1
Re: Rumbling pipes

The rumbling is not a danger. But it will get worse, possibly shortening the life of the heater. The landlord is responsible of providing hot water, so let him do it. Why do you think complaining about it means bothering him?

Cup of Hemlock
Re: Rumbling pipes
dj1 wrote:

The rumbling is not a danger.

That's good to know! Don't know too much about piping, and hoped there isn't any danger of rupture.

dj1 wrote:

But it will get worse, possibly shortening the life of the heater. The landlord is responsible of providing hot water, so let him do it. Why do you think complaining about it means bothering him?

That's more of a personal thing - the owners and landlord are not too involved with our place and don't do any preventive maintenance. But I did email the landlord last night. We'll get it done!

Thanks for your assistance!

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