I installed a new electric Rheem model XE40M06ST45U1 water heater last week and for the past four days it has been making a ticking sound. The sound seems to be the loudest near the supply lines. Frankly, it sounds like a grandfather clock!

What could be causing this noise?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Unfortunately, we'll need a lot more info before we have any chance of helping you (e.g. make/model/type of heater? frequency of sound? where does it come from?). – Daniel Griscom Jun 25 '20 at 12:52
  • Metal often makes a click or tick noise when it heats and cools. It could, perhaps simply be the internal bits "settling" into their mounting points as it goes through its initial heating cycles. – FreeMan Jun 25 '20 at 12:53
  • What kind of fuel gas or electric? Gas with piezo electric start ticks. – Ed Beal Jun 25 '20 at 13:03
  • @VtC, in what way doesn't this meet site guidelines? "Needs more detail" maybe, but water heater issues are quite on topic. – FreeMan Jun 25 '20 at 14:01
  • It is a Rheem, model XE40M06ST45U1, electric. The ticking sounds like a Grandfather's clock. I hear it loudest at the supply nipples. I didn't check to see if it has heat traps or not. – Patrick Howard Jun 25 '20 at 14:21

Those ticking noises are likely just the sounds of your "heat traps", one way valves that are used to save energy by not allowing heat from your water to migrate into the pipes, cool off and sink back down to require heating again. Heat traps are often installed as nipples on the cold and hot water lines, so you may not even realize that's what they are. The sound is perfectly normal.

The first image is actually kind of exaggerated, they often look like normal nipples. as in the 2nd image.

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  • Thank you for your response. It is sort of irritating to hear. – Patrick Howard Jun 25 '20 at 22:27
  • A little after you responded, I went back to the laundry room, and there was silence instead of the ticking. I guess I didn't wait long enough for it to get settled into its new home. Thank you anyway. – Patrick Howard Jun 26 '20 at 11:17

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