No, your water heater didn’t turn into a popcorn maker. Most likely, that popping noise is the sound of sediment (minerals) that have collected at the bottom of your water heater tank. It's a common problem since:
But don’t ignore the problem. Your tank needs to be flushed out. In this article we’ll discuss:
So, why the popping noise? The noise is caused by small amounts of steam bubbles trapped underneath the sediment layer, which then collapse loudly. When water underneath the sediment starts boiling and tries to escape the sediment layer, it makes the popping noise as a result. Common problems it creates Your water tank heats from the bottom up. If there’s sediment in the way, your water heater might be having a hard time heating up the rest of the water properly. This can cause it to run longer and overheat. It can also:
Basically, you’ll need a professional to empty the water heater and flush it with fresh water to get rid of the sediment. We do not recommend flushing out your water heater by yourself. The water inside the tank is over 120° and can lead to severe burns as well as home and system damage when not performed correctly. That’s why we offer a water heater flush as part of our annual water heater maintenance program. And, as part of the tune-up, we’ll also make sure the rest of your water heater is working well.