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What does it mean if your gas tank whistles?

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I live in a duplex and the basement is right underneath us. None of us go down the basement, but there are two separate water heaters down here, one for the first floor and one for the second floor. Well, I've noticed a random whistling sound that lasts for about a minute or two the past few weeks. Mind you, we do not have the heat on and nobody is using hot water right now. What could this be? It's currently been whistling now for the past four minutes, which is the longest it's ever done, and now it stopped.
asked Oct 15, 2015 in Home and Family by AmyLynn (20,980 points)
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1 Answer

+1 vote
There are a variety of reasons that your hearing this "whistling sound". Here are a few that are listed online to help you analyze your specific situation.

(1) The whistle is so the guy who is filling the tank gets a warning
before it overflows.

The original poster was posting from Canada-- but I'm from NY & it has
been required here for at least 30 years.

They appear to be required in many area's these days to help protect everyone who is working on or living with a gas water heater. They are usually part of the vent pipe &unless you're right there and listening for it, you might never associate the whistling with the vent.

(2) The pressure in your gas line is well under a pound per square inch (by comparison the pressure in your car's tires are 30 pounds per square inch).  If you had a gas leak, you probably wouldn't hear any kind of noise or it would be very, very faint.  If you had a leak where you could hear noise, you would definitely smell it.

I'd be more inclined to think that you have a small water leak at the bottom of the tank and the noise you hear is the water boiling off.  Does the whistling sound decrease as the water heats


(1) http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/clogged-oil-tank-whistle-499262-.htm

(2) http://community.homedepot.com/howto/DiscussionDetail/Gas-Water-Heater-Whistling-9065000000005II
answered Nov 22, 2015 by Countrymom (8,550 points)

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