AO Smith Vertex GPHE-50 Popping Noises

AO Smith Vertex GPHE-50 Popping Noises

by Kevin Blauwkamp
(Zeeland, MI)

I had a Vertex GPHE-50 water heater installed almost three years ago (December of 2010). I initially loved the machine, it was quieter than the previous AO Smith PowerShot machine for blower noise and helped reduce the gas bill, with three teenagers living home.

However, over the past few months it has been waking my wife and I up during the night with strange noises and sounds. Everytime it runs it generates a series of popping noises coming from within the tank. As the unit heats up the noise seems to get more pronounced. I tried to attached a video clip, but this website only allows pictures.

My plumber suggested I drain the tank, which I did per the manual. I assumed I would be draining 50gallons of water and that I might see some sediment, but it didn't seem like that much water and I didn't see any sediment drain out. Am I missing something here? When I refilled the tank and turned it back on the popping sounds were actually worse. The unit now sounds like a popcorn machine everytime it runs. I'm really bummed out about this because initially everything was fine, but now I can't stay asleep at night.

Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Dec 19, 2015
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Popping sounds
by: Anonymous

I also have an AO Smith GPHE 50 series 100 gas
water heater, my unit has been popping since the day it was installed, my plumber also mentioned sediment, but it was brand new. In the owner's manual under start-up conditions my manual states that condensation causes popping sounds during heating and cooling periods and should be considered normal. My unit is now over two years old and although the noise is annoying(wife thinks the unit is going to blow up)the water heater works well and we don't run out of hot water.

Dec 22, 2013
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Same Problem
by: Kevin

My mother has a three year old unit exactly the same: GPHE-50 100. It has the same "popcorn" popping noise. The noise starts and continues once the unit fires up but stops when the water is shut off even if the unit continue to run fill refill the tank. The unit has a yellow top, the noise seems to come from there and you can feel popping vibrations related to the noise from the cover.

Anyone know what the solution is? It's Sunday and I have not called AO Smith, but judging from the comments on other websites I am not expecting any joy.

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