New water heater, dripping water in tank?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Andrew21, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Andrew21

    Andrew21 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    New York
    Hey all,

    My dad and I installed a new 30 gal hot water tank, gas. Everything went well except for one thing.

    When taking a shower or using the hot water, you can hear the water heater fire up. Then if you listen to it closely, it sounds like water is dripping inside the tank onto the flame. Sorta if you took a pot and put it on the flame with no water, then put a drop of water in the pot. Thats the noise.

    I'm not sure when it stops but it does stop when nobody is using the hot water.

    What's going on? Internal leak?
  2. DanT

    DanT New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    ohio
    i remember hearing that when i first started installing gas water heaters. we figured out it was condensation from the cold water in the tank and the hot flame under it caused it stopped shortly after we fired the tank up.
  3. Andrew21

    Andrew21 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    New York
    interesting but it goes for a while. hmmmmm
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    What dantee describes is very common and normal. It happens for sure on first start up, when the bottom of the tank is very cold with the fill of new water. It does not happen so much once the tank is heated, but can recur for example on a long shower when you are taking a lot of hot water out and replacing it with cold. 30 gallon is a pretty small tank, good for maybe one shower. A long shower ( 10 minutes) will use up all the hot, so now the tank is cold again, and condensation happens again.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,045
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A 30 gallon water heater is going to go "cold" very rapidly, and once that happens, the combustion gases are going to condense water and drip onto the burner causing a sizzling sound.
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