Water heater popping noise

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Pennc94

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Have a 75gal AO smith gas water heater. It is less than 6 years old. Noticed some popping noise when the flame was on like something rattling on the inside of the tank. Drained it completely today. Not too much sediment. Made sure to flush a few times after draining to get all clear. The noise still comes (not constant - only after flame on for a while). What might it be?
 
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Reach4

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Normal, in my opinion. When you heat things and things expand, some sound is normal.
 

Pennc94

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Normal, in my opinion. When you heat things and things expand, some sound is normal.
That’s surprising. This sound seems new to me. It sounds like something is rattling inside. Are you suggesting the noise is superheated steam?
 

jadnashua

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A water softener can minimize some mineral deposits, but this happens as the things age.
 
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