Water Heater Sounds Like a Jet Engine or a Tea Kettle (Guide)

It may sound like a jet engine because in some ways the design looks like a jet engine. When your RV water heater starts to make funny noises, then it is telling you that something is wrong. It could be the flame is bad, there is dirt in the burner and so on.

One reason you may be hearing your water heater sounding like a jet engine or a tea kettle is that there is an obstruction somewhere. It could be a build up of soot or even a small wasps nest that is causing the problem. It doesn’t take much to clean up those sources.

To learn more about how to fix this problem, just continue to read our article. It has the information to help you quiet down your water heater so you can hear yourself think. Take a few minutes to see how this information can help you quiet your water heater.

Electric Water Heater Sounds Like a Jet Engine


If you hear this sound, you are not alone. It is a common sound that many RV or trailer owners hear. There is a few good reasons why you do hear it from time to time. It may not always take place but it will continue off and on as well.

This is called erratic burner flame or sooting (per the manual) and there are several sources and fixes for this problem. Some of those sources can be low gas pressure or improper air adjustment.

The inlet pressure for the first problem should be set at 11˝ W.C. that will fix the first problem. To fix the second problem you need to replace parts or adjust the gas supply to proper levels.

Then for the air adjustment the main burner should have its air shutter turned only 1/4 open. You should see some yellow in the blue flame.

Gas Water Heater Sounds Like a Jet Engine

Some of the sources for this problem will be in the form of some sort of obstruction. You may have a sediment or soot build up in the main burner. All you will need to do is clean the main burner to solve the problem.

Or you have an obstruction in the U-tube. You will have to give that a good cleaning as well. Then you can have an obstruction in the exhaust grill. This will need to be checked and cleaned if that is the case.

Other sources can be a blocked burner orifice and like the other obstructed parts, you will need to clean it. Then if everything is cleaned, your flame spreader or main burner may be misaligned.

Just realign the two parts to cut that sound out. The fixes so far have been fairly simple an d if these do not do the trick, it might be time to contact a skilled technician.

Why Does My Water Heater Sound Like a Tea Kettle?

This is normally called kettling and there is a very legitimate problem that causes this sound. The sound is more like a popping sound and it comes when there is too much sediment at the bottom of your water heater.

Water gets trapped under the sediment and when it boils it forces its way through the obstruction creating the popping sound. The source of that sediment is usually hard water or a lot of minerals in other water types.

To solve the problem you may need a professional to flush the tank and remove the sediment. Do not delay in getting the water heater flushed as this reaction can damage your water heating system.

Also, the heated water turns to steam and that will be the other sound you hear when your water heater is kettling. It has the same cause and solution.

Why Does it Sound Like My Water Heater is Running All The Time?


The biggest source and probably the most common one is that there is a leak somewhere. This leak will not just be in your pipes or the connections. It could come from anywhere including a hole in the water heater.

The leak in the tank would be caused by corrosion which can come from any sediment you did not flush out. It may take some time for the sediment to corrode the water tank or pipes but it will happen eventually.

Check your water heater, its components as well as your pipes and connections. The sediment can go a lot of different places even though its main area is at the bottom of your water tank.

When it does,it is hard to clean out and the sediment will do its corrosive work without you knowing about it. Changing parts may be your only solution even if there are no leaks showing just yet.

Why Does My Water Heater Sound Like It's Dripping?

The sound you hear is not coming from your water heater. Instead, it is coming from your vent pipe. Heat is the source of the condensation in the vent pipe and when you hear the dripping noise, it is the water dripping down the pipe.

It is hard to fix this problem on your own. You may need to call in a good plumber or RV water heater expert to handle the repair. Sometimes the sediment in the bottom of your water tank can cause the excess heat to build up or your water heater has gone bad.

Flushing may not be enough to solve this issue and replacement may be your only cure. Talk to the experts to see what can be done in this situation.

Water Heater Sounds Like Popcorn

This is similar to the tea kettle sound and the popping does sound more like popcorn popping than a tea kettle. However, the source is the same for this noise.

The sound comes from the heated water trapped under the sediment and then forcing itself to the surface of that sediment. The popping sound is the water successfully making it through the dirt.

The only cure for this problem is for you to have your water tank flushed. If you don’t the corrosive nature of the sediment will break down your pipes, faucets, connections and eventually your water tank.

Then you will have plenty of leaks to deal with. It takes time to get to this stage of the corrosion but it will happen eventually.

Why is My Water Heater Making a Loud Boom Noise?


One reason for this noise is that your water heater just exploded. It is possible to take place and the cause is the sediment you forgot to flush out of the tank. The sediment will expand and contract as the water heats and cools.

Each time this cycle takes place, you will hear a little boom or a bang sound. When you start to hear these noises do not delay in getting rid of that sediment.

The longer you take the more the chance the sediment will blow the bottom of your water heater out. That is an explosion you do not want to experience. When you hear the bang or the boom, shut the heat off to the water heater and call an expert technician to flush it for you.

Water Heater Sounds Like Rocks

Most noise problems you will hear coming from your water heater will be caused by sediment. If you camp a lot in hard water areas, then expect that sediment to build up a lot faster than if you spent more time in soft water areas.

Once the sediment builds up, you will hear a lot of different noises including the rumbling like rocks are falling. The only course of action you can take is to flush that sediment as quickly as possible.

To flush your water tank, simply follow these few steps:

- Connect a hose to the valve that is located at the bottom of the water heater unit. Place the other end near a floor drain.

-Turn off the power to the unit, Turn off the cold water tap that flows water to the heater.

- Open the drain flow knob to allow the trapped water, minerals, and sediment to exit the water heater tank

- Continue to discharge the water for a total of 5 minutes.

** instructions taken from- https://stephenspandh.com/news/why-my-water-heater-making-noise

Why Does My Water Heater Sound Like a Helicopter?

As we just said, most noises you hear coming from your water heater will be caused by the sediment. That is why you should drain and flush your water tank on a regular basis especially when you have just finished camping in a hard water region of the country.

To solve this noise problem all you need to do is flush the tank and you have the instructions already on how to do that. If the noises continue after flushing, that is telling you that there is another problem or you didn’t get all the sediment out.

You may have waited too long to flush your water heater, and the corrosive nature of the sediment caused other damage. You may have to replace the water heater, connections, or pipes when you keep hearing strange noises.

Why Does My Water Heater Sound Like a Train?


This may be caused by sediment or it may be that you have a problem with your pressure relief valve. If it is stuck open, water will escape and make a loud noise doing it.

The way to fix this problem is to first tap on the relief valve lightly with a hammer. You do not want to damage it if it is not already broken. It could merely be stuck and needs some gentle persuasion.

If the relief valve is broken, then your only option is to replace it. Then the sound could come from the other valves connected to your water heater. Those valves may be loose and letting steam or water out of the holes.

Tighten any valves you find that are loose or replace them with new ones. Water heater valves will wear out over time.

Water Heater Sounds Like Washing Machine

This sound is generally coming from your heating element or the thermostat located at the bottom of your water heater. The cause is the sediment build-up which makes these parts rattle or make other noises like a washing machine when they are heating up.

The solution is simple, make sure to flush your water tank on a regular basis to keep it from damaging your water heater or its parts. The thermostat or heating element should not need replacing unless the sediment started corroding both parts.

You should be able to replace those parts on your own but if you are on warranty, then wait for a technician to do it for you.

What Does a Failing Water Heater Sound Like?

The sound won’t be your only sign that you get when your water heater is on its way out. But any of the sounds listed here in this article can be telling you that you need to buy a new appliance and replace this old one.

Other signs your water heater is needing replacement are muddy or murky water coming from the taps or it is very old. Old age has a way of catching up to everyone and every thing.

When you have had your water heater for a very long time or it has been in a new to you RV or trailer for a very long time, then you need to replace it.

Some Final Words

Water heaters can be very noisy when they have problems. But the noise is a good thing as it is sending you a clear message that something is wrong. When you eliminate the different components from being the source, go for a flush.

Make sure you get all the sediment out so it does not damage your water heater or pipes, etc. Taking care of your appliance is simple and make sure to do it when you are finished camping.

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