Hot water heater noises

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by DoItTwice, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. DoItTwice

    DoItTwice New Member

    We had a new hot water tank installed a few months ago. Now when we turn off a cold water tap, we hear clicking noises by the hot water tank. What could cause this?

    We hear it when any cold water tap shuts off ..e.g. toilet, washing machine, faucets. We do not hear it if another tap is on, or if hot water is running somewhere. The noise is like a clicking valve and it echos several times, getting softer each time. Could the change in pressure from closing the tap cause this?

    A guy from the plumbing company that installed the HW heater suggests adding a Thermal Expansion tank. He also suggests installing a pressure reducing valve (PSI = 85) (house built in mid 70's). This company likes to push a lot of extra work. Do I need these? Would these eliminate the noise?

    Thanks for your advice.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    85 PSI is too high. 60 to 70 would be better. When you install a PRV, it is a good idea to install the expansion tank, becasue you may have a closed system now.

    As far as the clicking noise, some GE/Rheem?Ruud models were prone to this and it related to a ball check heat trap nipple. If you have one of these, Rheem will pay for a service call to have a plumber replace with flapper-type heat checks.
  3. what brand>>>??

    their is a check ball in the rheem units
    that seem to chatter and click too....
    they will eventually be a big problem a few years
    down the road.

    85 psi is really not all that high,

    in our area (INDY) its not uncommon to
    find pressures rangeing from 80psi
    all the way up to 130 and higher..

    I have 110psi and have had to gear it back down
    with the prv and expansion tank.

    thats when it really gets mean.......
    you flush your toilet and it sounds like a 747 takeing flight.

    some plumbing companies employ people that get a %
    of what they sell......yes they work totally on commision...

    if they can convince you that you need
    a toilet installed on the roof for $$$$ they get around 40%
    of the total price. Its not reallly an honest way to make
    a living, but thats how things seem to be going in the big cities.

    What they are wanting to charge you
    for the 50 dollar expansion tank and the 35 dollar
    PRV valve???
  4. DoItTwice

    DoItTwice New Member

    Thanks for the advice

    Thanks for the advice. The tank is a Rheem that you mention it, the sound is sort of like a small ball rolling back and forth and clicking against something.

    From what you say, adding an expansion tank would not necessarily get rid of the noise. I should really have the valve replaced. Do I need an expansion tank if I do not have a pressure reducing valve?

    The big plumbing company wanted $330 to add an expansion tank (there is plenty of room next to the tank, so no structural work is needed), and he wanted $700 or so to add the pressure reducing valve ...including digging a hole where the water pipe enters the house and adding a new house shut-off valve.

  5. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Vancouver, BC
    you should keep a pressure reducing valve on the system (and add expansion tank), I think that 85psi is too high - most systems I see are not robust enough for anything over 60psi! The wear and tear on the more delicate parts of your system won't be forgiving for very long. Don't yell at me MPM (lol), your 130psi system must be prepped for takeoff! why do they need to dig up your line to install another shutoff valve? why don't they just add another one where the line is already exposed before the pressure reducer??? I'm sure that would greatly reduce that BIG bill for such a simple project...
  6. psi in town

    their are actually areas of our town that have an average of
    about 130 psi , --- during the day.. this is within about a mile
    of a major water pumping plant

    People living in
    a 125 unit condo developement in that area have had to have
    prv valves installed or face the risks involved..

    Many were comming home to find
    that their upstairs washing machines were blowing the hoses
    off them . Makeing for a total flood out.

    85 psi during the day means that it might spike
    at night to 95- 100?

    Oh I suppose it couldent hurt to kick it down some.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    If the ball checks are making the noise, an expansion tank will have no effect on it. And if the ball checks are too efficient they will also prevent any thermal expansion pressure increase from leaving the water heater tank and reaching an expansion tank on the cold water inlet. The majority of users, at least in this, area can eliminate the ball checks and have no problems because of it.
  8. DoItTwice

    DoItTwice New Member

    Need a new plumber

    Sounds like I need to have a plumber remove the ball-valve and replace with a flapper.

    So is 85 psi considered high? There doesn't seem to be consensus on this message board? The plumber said it was borderline high. What's "normal"?

    Kristy, there is currently no pressure reducing valve at all for the house. They might be able to put it in in the crawlspace under the house where the pipe enters. I have an unreachable old valve in the ground outside the house at this entrypoint ...they suggested it could be replaced with an easier to use valve with better access. ...I've always turned the water off at the meter, so I wasn't too concerned about this shut-off valve. So that's how we got to a $700 hole. ...I think I need a new plumber.
  9. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Vancouver, BC
    Yes, I know you currently don't have one, but I was saying that if you are getting one (which I personally think you should), why couldn't the shut off valve be located right before it. So if they are putting the pressure reducing valve in the crawlspace, and the shutoff as well, then where does this $700 dollar hole come into the picture? They can leave the old one as it is, in the open position to act just like a piece of the pipe, and cut the new one into any easier access area wherever that works best in your house. To me, that doesn't involve any holes being dug! Does it seem to you like this crawlspace is the best location (only asking because you said this company likes to create extra work)? Is there no mechanical room, closet, hot water heater area, or interior wall where the main line enters the house from the crawlspace that this stuff could be located? Now I'm just playing Devil's Advocate!!! :D
  10. a new plumber is a good idea

    why cant you just cut into the the maiin water line
    in the crawl space and then loop it up into a front
    closet nearby in your home and then install a new main stop and the
    PRV valve?????

    it certanly seems more pratical than digging a hole in the front
    yard and certanly a lot more accessable too.....
  11. DoItTwice

    DoItTwice New Member

    Unnecessary hole

    Kristy, Mark, Thanks for the advice. Yes, I think the guy wanted to make work for himself and charge a lot for it; I don't intend to invite him back. The new pressure reducing valve could go in the crawlspace, and a new shut-off valve too. My pipes snake and branch long before they get to the hot water tank, so I don't really have a convenient easily accessible place to put a house shut-off valve. The crawlspace is a logical place to put it instead of digging a hole. I've been turning it off at the meter in my driveway when I needed to, so I don't really need to go into the crawlspace.

    I'll see if I can find a reliable plumber to replace the noisy ball valve on the hot water tank and do any other needed work.

    Thanks! :)
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