How to Fix a Water Heater that Gurgles

A water heater that is gurgling could alarm anyone. Especially if you do not understand the cause of this. Therefore, knowing how to fix a water heater that gurgles will be a must-have skill for you.

You do not need to panic if the noise does not disappear immediately, you do not need to panic. The sounds might be some effects of broken parts or other troubles. To be sure, there is always a way to solve the noise on your water heater. Just keep calm and read these articles for better information on the matter.

Hot Water Heater Making Gurgling Noise

Water heater noises could result from issues on your water heater unit. Some causes create the noises from coming on your water heater. Here are the most usual reasons that make your heater go gurgling:

how to fix a water heater that gurgles

  • One common cause of a gurgling water heater is sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank. Over time, minerals from the water can accumulate, creating a layer of sediment that traps boiling water and causes rumbling noises. This issue is particularly prevalent in areas with hard water.
  • The build-up commonly happens because of the collected minerals for years. To fix these sediments to appear, you can try to flush the tank regularly. Flushing the tank could help the unit to be correctly maintained.
  • The other reason is that too much cold water enters the tank simultaneously. The gurgling sound is the result of it. It may not be a severe problem, but it is still quite uncomfortable to hear.

How to Fix a Water Heater that Gurgles

There are some first actions you could do to fix the gurgling noise on your water heater. Moreover, consider that professionals can only handle some severe problems.

To address a gurgling water heater, turn off the unit to avoid any potential harm. Then, shut off the cold water supply and use the drain valve to empty the tank, flushing out sediment that has settled at the bottom.

During this process, inspect the condition of the aluminum anode, as its deterioration can contribute to sediment buildup. If the water appears dirty, briefly open the cold water supply to help rinse out the tank before turning the heater back on to check for noises.

Take a glance at this step to help the noises from your unit.

  1. The first is to turn the water heater off, which is done to prevent any damage to yourself while repairing the water heater.
  2. After that, you could turn the cold water off.
  3. The next step is to drain the water heater inside the tank to the floor drain.
  4. If you see dirty water flowing in the drain, open the cold water supply for some time to rinse the water heater tank.
  5. Then, keep the unit off for ten minutes.
  6. After that, you could try to turn on the water heater. Check if there are still some noises.
  7. If there is still some noise coming from it, call for professional help as soon as possible.

Is a Gurgling Water Heater Dangerous?

The noises that resemble rumbling or gurgling could only appear if there is some sediment build-up in the water heater unit. The sediment is usually built from the minerals in the tank.

If this sediment occurs, the tank will not work correctly. It damages the unit, and this problem could also raise your electricity bill.

Not only that, but you could also experience some uncomfortable things, such as getting less hot water. The water is not heated correctly and many more.

The most concerning thing is that the water heater can also be damaged by it if the problem is not corrected properly. Therefore, you need to change the heater to a new one, which could be unpleasant. Nevertheless, hearing strange noises from machines or appliances is not always a good sign.

Read also: What Is a Thermocouple on a Water Heater?


Suppose you try to understand fix a water heater that gurgles will be a lifesaver. Especially if you want to save the repair cost, be mindful that not every problem should be fixed by yourself. Take advice from a professional for better results.

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Heater Technician is a skilled author and water heater expert with years of experience in the field. He has authored several articles and books on various aspects of water heater installation, maintenance, and repair.