When you installed your swimming pool, you thought you’d have a quiet, relaxing oasis where you could unwind after a long day. Lately, though, the noises coming from the pool aren’t the expected calming gurgling of water as it laps against the pool tiles.

The noise you’re hearing seems like it’s coming from your pool heater.

Don’t panic! Occasionally pool heaters do make unusual noises. Let’s look at why that happens.

A Dirty System

A common noise made by a swimming pool heater is grinding or grating.

You may have an obstruction caused by debris. Debris can prevent water or gas from flowing through the heater.

You should start your troubleshooting with a manual flush of your system. Check your manual for instructions on how to perform a flush. If you’re not comfortable with the process, you can always call your pool tech and have them come out and do it for you or show you how, so you can take care of it next time.

Hard Water Scale

Swimming pools are as susceptible to the effects of hard water as the fixtures in your home.

If you can’t eliminate the noise by performing a system flush, you may have a buildup of hard water scale. While hard water scale is often visible at the waterline, it also develops in the pipes and other parts of the pool.

If you have a noisy heater, you may have scale buildup inside the heat exchanger. You’ll need to scour the heat exchanger—a DIY task, but also one you can call your pool service company to take care of for you.

What’s That Whistling Sound?

Swimming pool heaters do make noise, but if your heater starts whistling, it’s time to put on your detective hat.

Gas heaters depend on both proper gas pressure and clean burners. If you have issues with either of those, you may hear whistling. The whistling noise comes from the burners.

Check your gas pressure—low pressure can cause noise in the burners.

You also may have a clogged burner orifice. Partial clogs there can cause whistling as well. You can remedy an orifice clog by cleaning it out with a piece of wire or even a paper clip. Before you start working on a clog, check your owner’s manual.

If neither of these fixes takes care of the noise, it’s time to call for pool heater repair.

The Faulty Pressure Switch

Sometimes the noise problem comes from a faulty pressure switch. If that’s the case, the pump shuts off, but the heater continues operating.

Replacing a pressure switch isn’t difficult, but you do need your owner’s manual. Even if you’re an avid DYI pool technician, reading the manual can save you time and a world of headaches. If nothing else, your manual can help you make sure you buy the correct switch for your heater.

When all else fails, don’t be afraid to call in the professional pool people.

Need Help with a Noisy Pool Heater?

When you’ve done everything you know to troubleshoot the noise and can’t make it go away, you need help. Noise often indicates a malfunctioning pool heater, and if it’s not fixed, you may end up creating a safety hazard.

If you’re unsure about the noise, or any other situation with your swimming pool, call Pool Care Specialists. We know pools and their components and can get you back to swimming in no time!