Don’t Underestimate the Water Heater Dripping Sound

A water heater noise is a sign of an upcoming warning that the heater needs repair or change. If you have tapped to read this guide, you are already facing a water heater dripping sound problem.

8.7% of fire accidents started due to water heater explosions in the US between 2016 to 2020 according to the US National Fire Protection Association. Most common reason behind this heater sound problem is gas or oil leak inside the heater.

Condensed tanks can lead to leaking inside the water tank, which results in dripping or any kind of sound. Additionally, it can be due to poor water pressure and slow water rate. But not every dripping sound is for the reasons mentioned above. So we’ve explained the causes and solutions in detail below.

Water Heater Dripping Sound

For first have a look at the possible causes that can lead to that sound.

Gas or oil leakPurchasing a new water heater
Condensate tankRegulating drainage system & new heater adjustment
Temperature and pressure malfunctionRepair through professional water heater trainer
Drainage system and water pressureAdjust the water flow and accommodate the drainage system

Let’s jump into the details with fixing steps.

Gas or Oil Leak

Often a gas or oil leak indicates there’s a more in-depth reason for the water heater dripping sizzling sound.

For example, two of the prime reasons are drain valve fault or internal tank malfunction. By default, any regular water heater has a durian valve. You can find it at the bottom of your heater.

Its main task is to drain the hot water after switching off to maintain the desired water quality. In case you use a water heater regularly, the valve will drain hot water regularly. When this function doesn’t occur correctly, there’s extra sediment collected at the bottom of the tank.

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As a result, it damages to the internal tank nozzle or base, causing a gas or oil leak. After it takes a severe form, it hits the drain valve, and again, that causes the water heater to make a dripping sound.

On the other note, if the base gas or oil leaks, it’s a red flag that your water heater times are up. When the heater warms the water, the internal base water tank metal tank expands more than when it becomes cold. This process often leads to cracks on the main tank or tubes inside, resulting in water leak that leads to gas or oil leak. That’s when you hear the dripping sound.

Solutions to Try

For Nozzle Leak: Nozzle leak is not that a big issue. If you are familiar with using machinery, then it should be an easy job for you. First, turn off the heater system and grab a brass hose cap. Open up the water heater and put it on the nozzle. This procedure makes it easy for you to replace the nozzle with a new one without causing external gas or oil leak. Even after replacing the nozzle, your heater coupon does not make a dripping sound, so we highly recommend calling a professional or customer service.

For Base valve: There’s no option for fixing. We recommend replacing the heater with a new one with the help of a professional.

Condensate Tank

One of the core reasons your Rheem water heater dripping sound is happening is a condensate tank.

When the burner heats up to heat the cold water, a layer of condensation occurs in the process. When the tank cools down, the condensation tends to soften up. As a result, it can turn into drops of water and cause a dripping sound.

Sometimes, the depth of water can make frying or burning sounds in the process. Besides that, when a new heater fills with cold water, that might cause the dripping effect too.

Also, large amounts of hot water usage after cold water refill might lead to condensation and then dripping. Sometimes the new water heater dripping sound goes away after one or two hours. That happens because, as we said above, due to the newly cold water fill-up adjustment. But excessive condensate can cause leaks inside the tank and flute tube if not repaired in time.

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To understand if your heater consents or not, first wipe all water under your heater. Take the thermostat to the pilot position. After waiting nine hours, look out for the heater. If there’s no water and dripping sound, then it is condensation.

Effective Solutions

There’s little to worry about if the dripping is due to condensation. It is a normal process, and it doesn’t indicate heater failure.

For new heaters, it fixes over six months of use. But suppose you’ve done a concentration test and found out that the water is still dripping after whipping. In that case, it’s better to consult a professional.

Most of the time, proper drainage system management and water pressure control should solve the problem.

Temperature and Pressure Malfunction

Most of the time, tankless water heater dripping sound happens due to temperature and valve malfunction. The most common reason is an old pipe, excessive water flow, and internal damage due to constant heat and reheating.

Irregular electric supply or gas supply can also lead to this problem. As a result, the heater heats excess water than you need. These reasons force a heater to produce more excess steam than required. Most of the time, it results in extreme water heat that can cause an explosion.

Sometimes the seal of the pipe breaks that causing leaking and excessive dripping sounds. T&P pipe should never be handled without expert help. As we all know, it increases a great chance of explosion without proper handling.

Solutions for Temperature& Pressure Issue

If the water heater dripping sound happens due to excess water flow, then the T&P is having problems. You don’t need a new one in case it is only a temperature and pressure pipe problem. We highly recommend taking the help of a professional water heater trainer or customer service(within warranty) to fix this problem.

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This Video Will Help You Too!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do I Hear Water Dripping in My Water Heater?

Internal leaking of heater tank, condensate tank, temperature and pipe tank malfunction & excessive water pressure can cause water operating problems in the heater. As a result, you might hear water dripping sound from your heater.

Can Hear Hot Water Tank Dripping?

Primarily because of the leak and new heater operation, you can hear the heart heater tank dripping. Also, the drainage system can lead to dripping.

Should My Water Heater be Dripping?

A good heater shouldn’t be dripping unless it’s a new one. It’s wise to check immediately because dripping is a sign of heater failure.

Is It Normal for A Hot Water Heater to Make Noise?

No, it is not normal. If your heater is making noise, it means a leak or condensation problem underneath that needs replacing or fixing.


If you hear a water heater dripping sound, it is an indicator that your heater needs your attention. We highly recommend taking a professional water heater trainer’s help above DIY. But to diagnose the reasons for dripping from the above four, do test your heater first.

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