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Old 03-16-2018, 11:37 AM   #1
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Exclamation Crackling Sound From Our Water Heater

Something new, we are hearing a crackling sound coming from our Atwood 6 gal water heater when on electric and we are wondering what might be causing it?
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:23 PM   #2
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Something new, we are hearing a crackling sound coming from our Atwood 6 gal water heater when on electric and we are wondering what might be causing it?
Is it filled up with water?
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:35 PM   #3
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by emm-dee View Post
Is it filled up with water?
After looking at some recommendations, (we have been battling the back-flow problem with the water pump allowing shore water back into the fresh water tank), because we were turning the park water on and off, it may have caused the water heater to loose the air pocket I understand is necessary. So I shut off the electric on the water heater and shut off the the park water, opened the faucets on the hot side and drained the water from the lines creating an air in the lines. Then I turned the park water back on, hopefully restoring the air pocket in the water heater. Then I turned the electric side of the water heater back on and noticed some crackling but it has now diminished.

I will continue to monitor it and look for other possibilities.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by emeth View Post
After looking at some recommendations, (we have been battling the back-flow problem with the water pump allowing shore water back into the fresh water tank), because we were turning the park water on and off, it may have caused the water heater to loose the air pocket I understand is necessary. So I shut off the electric on the water heater and shut off the the park water, opened the faucets on the hot side and drained the water from the lines creating an air in the lines. Then I turned the park water back on, hopefully restoring the air pocket in the water heater. Then I turned the electric side of the water heater back on and noticed some crackling but it has now diminished.

I will continue to monitor it and look for other possibilities.
Water heater noise is normal in all electric water heaters. I have never had an air pocket in any water heater I have ever owned. Your backflow problem is most likely from a stuck backflow valve in your water pump which is fixable. Do a search in the box in the top right corner of the page. There are many posts there on the backflow issue.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cavie View Post
Water heater noise is normal in all electric water heaters. I have never had an air pocket in any water heater I have ever owned. Your backflow problem is most likely from a stuck backflow valve in your water pump which is fixable. Do a search in the box in the top right corner of the page. There are many posts there on the backflow issue.
Cavie, you may have 'thought" you didn't have an air pocket, but most likely did.

Atwood explains it on page 26 of this link:

http://manuals.adventurerv.net/Atwoo...er-Service.pdf

and Suburban explains it in this video:

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Old 03-16-2018, 03:25 PM   #7
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Cavie, you may have 'thought" you didn't have an air pocket, but most likely did.

Atwood explains it on page 26 of this link:

http://manuals.adventurerv.net/Atwoo...er-Service.pdf
wmtire, this link does not seem to work
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:49 PM   #8
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wmtire, this link does not seem to work
OK, we keep a similar troubleshooting guide for Atwood in our FRF library, which you can download at this link:

Forest River Forums - Downloads - Atwood Water Heater Troubleshooting Guide

It's explained on pages 11-12 in it.


As explained in the Atwood manual, as well as by Mark Polk in the Suburban video, the RV water systems are "closed" systems which do need either the air pocket or an accumulator tank to allow for thermal expansion.

A water heater at your house can be different, which is why it's not necessarily a closed system. This link may help in that explanation, just as an FYI to amaze your friends at the campground.

https://structuretech1.com/leaking-relief-valve/
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:23 PM   #9
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I have never had the need to dissect how my water heater is designed. The water gets hot, I take a shower. Yep my PRV drips while heating. I was told that is normal. I was referring to opening the pressure relief valve while filling until only water comes out. I know there is some space above that. I have to assume that draining my heater every winter takes care of the draining issue. Mine is a Suburban.
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:39 PM   #10
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A water heater at your house can be different, which is why it's not necessarily a closed system.

The water heaters in homes aren't necessarily different in how they work, it's just that residential codes often require an expansion tank to make sure that the piping in the house isn't damaged with expansion.

As for opening the PRV to bleed air from the hot water tank, never have. When de-winterizing I just bleed air from faucets and never notice any popping noises.

I did have a faulty regulator at the water supply to my house once. It made noises like a family of rodents were building a home under my floor. For those who have regulators (Like Watts units) and you hear noises from the water system, make sure the bleed orifice inside is clean.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:58 PM   #11
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We seem to have conquered this problem using the various recommendations offered.

NOTE: The heating element in the Atwood water heater is located in the back of the tank at the bottom, (this means that if you have to replace it always drain the tank completely and flush it first).

Two apparent reasons for noise from the water heater is lack of air pocket in the top of the tank and sediment in the bottom of the tank.

Both of these reasons have been discussed and the procedures to rectify each situation, work very well.

Thanks to all
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:13 AM   #12
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water heater

Our water heater doesn't make a popping sound and it runs fine. Maybe you need to flush it out. My house water heater makes noise when someone uses the hot water ( Shower). I need to flush it out, you know like you should once a year...
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