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Specialists in Electric Hot Water Cylinders

Why Is My Water Heater Whistling?

5 December 2023

The water heater is a wonderful invention. Modern styles, like the unvented cylinder, are even better because they can ensure you have a ready supply of heated water whenever you need it in your home. However, water heaters are pieces of operational equipment, which means they can be subject to wear and tear, damage, and more. You may even hear yours making strange sounds. What does it mean if your water heater is whistling?

Water Heater Sounds: Normal vs. Abnormal

All water heaters make some sounds from time to time, even when they’re brand new and in perfect condition. You may hear the gas burning clicking on and off as it warms the water in the cylinder. You might hear a humming sound from the unit if you have an electric model with immersion heaters.

But what about abnormal sounds? Sounds that indicate you might have a problem include snapping, popping, crackling, and, of course, whistling. Of all these sounds, whistling is probably the most alarming.

Why Your Water Heater Whistles

While whistling from your water heater is undeniably alarming and is definitely cause to call in the professionals, many things can cause it.

Pressure – Whistling can be the result of excess pressure within the tank and a failed temperature and pressure relief valve (TPRV). The cause of your overpressure situation can vary. In some cases, it may be that your temperature is set too high, in which case turning down the thermostat may fix the problem. It could also be an issue with the mains pressure from the inbound line, or it might be that your thermostat is not working properly.

Cracks – Whistling can also be a sign that the cylinder itself has cracked and pressure is escaping. Look for signs of water on the floor or steam escaping from the cylinder. Cracks of any type are cause for immediately turning off the unit and calling in the professionals to help.

Sediment – Sediment can build up in the bottom of your cylinder as it settles out of the water from the mains. Water gets trapped within pockets inside those layers of sediment. When it heats and expands, it can break out of the pocket and out of the sediment. That can cause many different sounds, including whistling.

Of course, identifying any of these situations can be impossible for the average homeowner. Never attempt to repair or service your unvented cylinder on your own, either. In the UK, only G3-qualified engineers should work on unvented cylinders.

Concerned about Whistling? Get Help Now!

Identifying the cause of whistling from your unvented cylinder can be frustrating. We’re here to help. We can also help identify other unusual sounds and either give you peace of mind about it or repair the problem, usually on the same day.

Call the professionals at EasyFlow to schedule an inspection of your unvented cylinder and make sure that it’s working properly. We can also offer annual service and maintenance plans to comply with your insurer’s requirements and the cylinder manufacturer’s warranty specifications.


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