Brand new electric water heater making gurgling noise

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by JStep, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. JStep

    JStep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    My 12 year old electric water heater started leaking, so I bought a new A.O. Smith Signature 40-gallon tall water heater (Model # E6-40H45DV) from Lowes and installed it yesterday. I used Eastman corrugated stainless flexible lines to hook it up instead of sweating copper, and followed the manufacturer instructions to fill the unit and purge air from the tank and pipes. It is currently operational and producing hot water, but I keep hearing a gurgling noise like bubbles inside the tank every 10 to 60 seconds. It sounds like the same "glug glug glug" that you hear when you are getting water from a water cooler, but on a much smaller scale. I have searched on Google and this forum, but I am not finding anything that describes something like this for a brand new water heater. The only references I have seen to a noise even somewhat similar to this is from sediment buildup on an older tank. Any ideas as to what this can be, or what I can try?

    Thanks!
     
  2. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

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    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    I would monitor the WH for a few days or a week to see if the noises disappear. Continue to use the WH as normal.

    If the noises stick around, call A.O Smith's customer service.
     
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  4. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    I would keep an eye on this water heater because basically it is a whirlpool water heater
    packaged in a Smith box with a smith sticker on the unit..

    Most likely it is a very , very cheap ass knock off with very,
    very cheap ass elements inside it.... It should not be gurgling already

    Customer service on this heater is probably gonna be a joke too, being it
    is basically a whirlpool unit to begin with..

    good luck



     
  5. JStep

    JStep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
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    Tampa, FL
    I went out for dinner last night, and was gone for at least 3 hours. When I returned, before going into the house, I stood next to the water heater in the garage and listened, and it was still making periodic bubbling noises even though it hadn't been used in a long time. What could be causing it to make noises like that if it doesn't have any sediment built up in it?
     
  6. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
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    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Most likely just Cheap ass copper elements is probably what the problem is.....
     
    MASTERPLUMB777 likes this.
  7. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    "Bug" A.O Smith's customer service and ask them for replacement elements.

    Bug means call them 4 or 5 times a day. Tell them the WH keeps you up at night.
    They will send you what you want, just to get rid of you. Installation will be on you.

    WH manufactures do send most parts for free, under warranty. The more persistent you are, the better your chances.

    Let us know what happened.
     
    MASTERPLUMB777 likes this.
  8. JStep

    JStep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Sorry for the slow updates. I had to leave town a few days after my post.

    I did get a chance to call A.O. Smith, and after some digging, they referenced an internal bulletin they have that talks about aluminum hydroxide forming under some conditions, and possibly being responsible for noises that are heard (https://www.hotwater.com/lit/bulletin/bulletin14.pdf). Apparently, this is due to water with a high Ph (8+) reacting with the aluminum anode rod in the water heater. The guy on the phone suggested that I drain the tank and look for any blue-green jelly-like substance in the water. I did not have a chance to drain the tank and look for this before I left, but did notice that the noises seemed to subside to some degree by then. I did have KAR Laboratories test my water (I believe I saw them recommended here), and my Ph is at 8.0. The question is, does A.O. Smith's story sound legitimate, or are they BSing me?
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
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    IL
  10. JStep

    JStep New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Update:
    I'm back home, the water heater is heating water, and I'm not hearing any more weird noises from it. However, I am not thrilled about the fact that there is an aluminum anode in there, due to potential health concerns from aluminum exposure. I have ordered a CerAnode powered anode to replace the aluminum one, so hopefully that will help this heater to last for a long time with little more than periodic sediment flushes.
     
  11. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of


    I would not worry too much about this.... the health affects are nominal... you have been immersed in all sorts of different elements in your water like forever...and all sorts of other nasty things in your food, drinks
    air ....
    How about the ill effects from cell towers or your wireless router and cell phones in your home......they dont even know what the outcome from all this
    magnetic radiation might do to humanity in 20 years...

    So Relax, something is gonna kill you...
    and their are so many different horses in the race
    its almost mind boggling....
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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