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Question DetailsAsked on 5/12/2016

In trying to track down the humming/vibration in my hot water pipes. (cold water side has no humming/vibration.)

I drained the hot water heater on advice from you guys. The humming/vibration was gone when I reenergized the tank and system. However, about 24 hours later of normal use, the humming vibration is back. Any thoughts ??

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1 Answer


I would get out the stethoscope and listen around, starting at various places on the water heater - being careful not to get burned by flame or contacting wiring contacts.

Try to pin down if occurring when the heater is heating (and immediately afterwards) or not. Could be a slightly loose housing or internal thermostat or gas control valve or firebox cover plate that is rattling a touch, so go over the entire thing top to bottom to tie down where the noise is coming from. Could even be a very minor flow passing through an expansion tank causing expansion tank fitting howl, or a vibrating component in the gas control valve, or even gas tubing to the pilot or burner barely touching metal housing and vibrating a bit when gas flows - or a burner or pilot mounting not screwed down/slotten in right so it is a bit loose. Or loose flue duct, earthquake bracing strap, leak containment pan vibrating, high effeciency unit flue exhaust fan causing vibration of duct or the damper, etc, etc, etc.

Also check that the relief valve is not dripping - an overpressured tank or a relief valve seal going out can cause a small leak (just a slow drip will do it) that can cause a hum or whistle.

If not there, start checking around every hot water fixture and device to track it down.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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