Noisy water heater

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Rmk9785e

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We have an AO Smith GNR50-200 water heater that’s 10 years old. We also have a recirc pump & valve.
Based upon testing, no water softener is required for our city supplied water.
The water heater has been making popping noises whenever hot water is used. Other than that it has worked very well.
Would draining help? Is there any advantage to replace the factory drain valve with this one?
1647463634059.png

https://www.hotwater.com/lit/spec/res_gas/aosrg45800.pdf
 
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John Gayewski

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Yes there is an advantage to having a full port ball valve on your water heater. Popping noises usually mean its gunked up, weather that's the hest exchanger or the tank. I didn't look up your heater a link is helpful that way people can look at your type of heater without much effort.
 

Rmk9785e

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Yes there is an advantage to having a full port ball valve on your water heater. Popping noises usually mean its gunked up, weather that's the hest exchanger or the tank. I didn't look up your heater a link is helpful that way people can look at your type of heater without much effort.
Thank you. I’ve edited to add a link. It’s a traditional gas water heater so I think the bottom of the tank and the central flue serves as the heat exchanger.
Since I’ve neglected to periodically flush the tank, I’m wondering if the gunk can even be flushed out after 10 years of use.
 
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John Gayewski

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Thank you. I’ve edited to add a link. It’s a traditional gas water heater so I think the bottom of the tank and the central flue serves as the heat exchanger.
Since I’ve neglected to periodically flush the tank, I’m wondering if the gunk can even be flushed out after 10 years of use.
I guess it depends. A curved dip tube would help. I think there's a kit available if you Google curved dip tube. You'd have to do some fairly involved plumbing and there's no telling wether it'll work outr not. So maybe use this kit on the next one.
 

Reach4

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Flushing now is good. Watch what comes out. I think it will not affect your popping noise.
 

Rmk9785e

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Flushing now is good. Watch what comes out. I think it will not affect your popping noise.
Thank you all for your thoughts. I’ll drain it, replace the drain valve with ball valve and flush it again. I’ll keep it simple and forego the curved dip tube for now.
Will read through other posts to be prepared for a replacement when required and whether it should be gas or electric and tank or tankless.
 

Reach4

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I think the popping is in the chimney/exhaust area and is not a cause for concern.
 

left_behind

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@rmk9785e

IMHO:
grumbling/popping is from calcium build up in the tank. It's like a percolating coffee pot!
do the simplest thing first and drain the water heater and as stated above, YES install a "Full Port" drain cock! when you see white crumbly pieces, you'll know you're on the right track!

as for what to get later in life, because your current water heater is popping **Probably** due to lack of maintenance/draining/flushing, STEER CLEAR OF TANKLESS!

Tankless water heaters require MAINTENANCE! you must "Descale" the unit on a yearly bases or pay the price at the end!
 
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