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New water heater making noise

Applies to gas and electric tank-type heaters
Heat trap nipples
Hot side and cold side heat trap nipples

Factory-Installed heat trap nipples cause noise

Heat travels upward from water heater along the pipes... touch pipes above water heater and they are warm. Heat traps assist in stopping upward convestion of heat through pipes.
Manufacturer's added heat trap nipples and inserts so water heaters can be rated with lower EF factor.
Heat traps can save $2-6 per year energy cost. But all costs and choices are energy. If you spend $20 to repair heat traps , then the additional cost quesions if water heater manufactureres are adding energy 'improvements' for the sake of claiming more efficiency.

Noise with new water heaters is common
Installing new water heater, or doing plumbing repairs, can dislodge debris into the water line that will clog the heat trap.
Heat traps frequently cause noise, and can additionally cause lower water pressure
Test it yorself: blowing air through heat trap nipple can demonstrate potential for vibration, noise and clogging
The heat trap is inside the nipple, located at end nearest tank. Two rubber flaps move each time water flows, or plastic baffle moves.

Other water heater changes include foam insulation, which offers more R-value than fiberglass, but electric waters cannot be rewired.
Manufacturer's have also turned down thermostat temperature, and reduced estimated hot water consumption by 4-person family in effort to create illusion of higher efficiency.
Dielectric nipples at Amazon
silencer heat trap nipples Silencer heat traps

Pex-lined nipples resist corrosion, deterioration of pipes, and are quiet.
Each time work is done on plumbing inside house or with street repair outside, etc.... debris can come loose inside pipes and clog heat trap nipples, and other valves, faucets and pipe fittings inside home

Silencer heat traps at Amazon
Heat trap make noise Heat-trap inserts and nipples can clog and make noise
Manufacturers include heat-traps so their product appears to use less energy
When installing water heater, remove manufacturer's heat traps.
Dielectric nipples at Amazon
Heat trap washers can clog and make noise
Manufacturers include heat-traps so their product appears to use less energy
When installing water heater, remove heat trap washer.
Image shows heat-trap washer. This specific washer is necessary to hold dip tube in place when installing di-electric nipples. To make this washer usable: Push washer over sharpie ink pen and cut off baffles so washer can be used without risk of clog. 

Cold side nipple has dip tube

Cut out center of heat trap insert
See image how to cut
Read about dip tubes
Replace using di-electric nipples.
Prevent clogs and extends life of water heater.
Use 6 wraps teflon tape.

 9 ways to save with water heater
How to remove short water heater nipple
carriage bolt
Read more: How to replace short nipple

Larger image with details
Make your own heat traps
This action saves money by stopping heat loss through water pipes

Or Use flexible copper connections in a loop.
Flex copper connections at Amazon
Putpose of heat trap is to keep heat from traveling upward on pipe.

Insulate pipes. Electric heater, pipes and tank can be fully covered by insulation, except TP valve.
Gas water heater, then pipe insulation must stay 3-4 inches away from top of heater so they do not obstruct vent hood draft.
Read 9-ways to save with water heater
How to troubleshoot gas water heater
How to troubleshoot electric water heater

Before spending money on repairs, check anode rod

Does not apply to new water heater
Applies to gas and electric water heaters
This will stop tank from rusting. Or add combo anode rod in place of hot water nipple.
If anode rod is depleted, then install new anode to prevent steel tank from rusting.
Anode is located on top of tank, either 1-1/16” hex head located in separate anode port, or connected to hot water nipple as a combo.
Replace anode rod

Turn off gas to water heater

Locate gas shut off. Handle will be parallel with gas line when gas is ON Rotate gas shut off handle perpendicular across line to shut gas OFF.

Let water heater cool for a couple hours.

Use garden hose to drain tank

Turn off water to tank
Turn off power to tank Read more
Attach hose.
Open drain valve turning counterclockwise
Open bathtub spout so air can enter tank
Emergency steps for leaking water heater
water key

Shut off water to house

Rotate shut off 1/4 turn so valve is perpendicular across water line
Image shows water key.
Located water meter box, remove lid, dig away dirt to find shut off
Shut off located on house side of meter
Repair water heater valve

Water key
Buy water key at Amazon
Water keys at Amazon

Relieve pressure on tank

Open tub spout on hot side for a few moments.
If you relieve pressure by lifting lever on TP valve, then stand away from scalding water that is released under pressure from overflow tube

Reinforce connections for water heater
Keep insulation away from top of gas water heater. Insulate both hot and cold pipes.
Larger image

Replace heat trap nipples

6 wraps teflon tape on each nipple
General illustrations showing home-made heat traps

Bathtub running full stream before lighting water heater

Tank must be full of water before lighting or applying power

 Fill tank completely with water until water is coming out of tub spout.
Open tub spout on hot side and wait for full stream of water.
Next open TP valve for a moment to bleed last of air from tank.
Turn off tub spout and light heater.
Tank cannot have any air when burner is turned on or damage can occur to tank.

How to light typical gas water heater
Read directions printed on side of your tank
Light new water heater as shown on label located front of water heater
Read product manual for tips and advisories.

How to light gas water heater by type of gas control valve
Note: New gas heater might have small water leak when first fired up because of condensation
Ignore a bit of water inside combustion area or bottom of tank.
This water is condensation and will disappear as tank reaches set temperature.
Any cold tank can show same condensation when fired up.
Water pipes should not be leaking.
Water should not be dripping down vent pipe: this signals bad venting ot other vent problem.
Don't worry excessively, but if needed, post questions on professional water heater forum: The Tank

More information
Dusty environments Avoid dusty environment that will clog air intake, cause unburned fuel, and create fire hazard
-Do not install cold water line above gas valve where condensation drips on valve.  
-Annually clean burner area with wire brush and vacuum cleaner. read1 read2
Troubleshoot and clean gas water heater

Remove chemicals from same room as water heater.
-Chemicals corrode water heater parts and vent pipe. 'Spray propellants, cleaning solvents, refrigerants, swimming pool chemicals, calcium and sodium chloride, household bleach, waxes and process chemicals are corrosive at very low levels with no odor." Read Bradford White Pdf pg2-8    Read Rheem pdf
Trace chemicals
Outlet polarity
If gas valve is connected to electricity, the outlet polarity must be correct
Water heater must be grounded. Poor ground can prevent flame. GFCI circuit can cause short cycling. If outlet is not dedicated or has GFI, other loads such as florescent lighting can cause short cycling.

Unplug cord. Test for continuity between ground prong on plug and manifold tube on gas valve.
Connect water heater to different outlet. Test outlet with circuit analyzer
Gas valves How to set temperature on gas valves
Error codes and service manuals
If you maintain the tank: keep chemicals out of same room, attach bare copper ground wire between hot and cold pipes, flush tank each 6 months, clean burner each year as shown in manual, read the manual entirely for specific information about your model, and inspect/replace anode rod every 2-3 years then basic 6-year tank can last much longer. 

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