Why Does My Kettle Make a Popping Noise? Explained!

Last Updated on June 2, 2022 by

Why does my kettle make a popping noise? The popcorn-like popping noise you get from your kettle should not feel strange. Besides, many owners get that pop and think it will explode.

Research reveals that the popping noise from your kettle is a group of water-formed bubbles. These bubbles collapse when the kettle water heats to boiling level. Water hardness, heating element, and limescale can be responsible for the pops.

It is normal for your kettle to pop or crackle, especially if you use hard water. Moreover, typical water supplies give hard water, so you can expect the popping noise in your boiling kettle.

What Makes a Kettle Pop?

When your kettle heats, it will produce popping and crackling noises, sometimes described as ‘kettling’. The popping noise is not caused by any dissolved gases.

If water pops as a result of dissolved gases, your heating or cool water would possibly have reduced acoustic effects. This will remove gas from the water, meaning that dissolved gases will not participate in the popping noise.

There is a relationship between the intensity of the popping noise and water hardness in your kettle. The popping noise reduces when the heating water reaches an evenly boiling level. At the boiling level, the tiny bubbles expand larger and burst with softer noise.

These larger bubbles also are shaped irregularly as they rise to the surface when the water reaches the boiling point.

When water heats in your fast-water-heating kettle, it produces small bubbles. These bubbles are induced by cavitation in the nucleation center where the heat comes from in their numbers.

As the bubbles rise from the water, they encounter lower temperatures, causing them to collapse.

The collapsing bubbles create the popping noise you hear from your heating-boiling kettle. The noise, as mentioned earlier, can also be described as kettling noise. In essence, the boiling water’s imploding effect is what makes a kettle pop.

Kettle Popping When Boiling

You begin to get this popping noise from the boiling stage. As the water boils, it produces tiny bubbles of steam from multiple nuclei that lead to bubble formation.

Many of the formed bubbles will collapse, causing the boiling water to cavitate into bubbles. The cavitation occurs quickly which causes the popping when water is boiling.

Sometimes, the water may contain no nuclei which make it heat above the boiling point. If this happens, the boiling water in your kettle will become extremely heated as if to explode.

Parts of the water become steam and can aggressively blow off the lid of the kettle. This aggressive outburst from the kettle is not caused by the element being faulty, so you can continue using your kettle.

Are Kettles Supposed to Make Noise?

Depending on the type of kettle you have, it could be designed not to prevent the implosive popping noise. Naturally, the popping noise is a sign that your water is boiling.

If you have the time and nothing else to do, you can stare at your transparent kettle until it boils. In some other cases, however, the popping can be due to limescale. The solution is to descale your kettle, nothing to worry about.

Meanwhile, News&Star reports that more people are ditching their kettles due to kettling noises sounding like they will explode. Again, these pops are caused by implosive water bubbles.

When your kettle boils the water, it forms large water-vapor bubbles. Microbubbles do not collapse. Instead, they coalesce to make larger bubbles which is true gas to generate larger vapor.

Now, we know whether the kettle is supposed to make noise or not. Let us discover the conditions necessary for your kettle to make a popping noise:

  • Hardness

Hardness deposits in water generally cause rough texture at the surface of your heating water.

  • Nucleation

A rough surface can produce nucleation which results in cavitation. This process allows micro vapor to coalesce in large numbers and collapse as they rise due to lower temperatures.

  • Bubble implosion

The temperature gradient of heating goes away as the water boils. This forms a large number of microbubbles that implode.

Eventually, a softer sound is formed which is as a result of smaller bubbles coalescing into larger bubbles. Larger bubbles will stream to the surface as vapor. The streaming vapor is then converted to steam as it hits the cold air which causes pops.

Limescale in kettle

The materials that accumulate in your kettle are known as limescale and are the insoluble carbonates of calcium and magnesium.

The hardness of water can be temporary or permanent. For permanent hardness, after water boils, it remains in solution, predominantly CaSO4.

This is different in temporary hardness which is the case when insoluble carbonates of calcium and magnesium precipitate. As the water boils, the bicarbonates are converted into insoluble carbonates.

The limescale you find in your kettle is also referred to as calcium carbonate. It sits in the kettle and can also be responsible for your kettle making a popping noise.

Fortunately, you can descale your kettle often to get rid of it, which brings us to how you can descale your kettle to get rid of limescale.

How Do I Get Rid of Thick Limescale in My Kettle?

There are many ways to descale your kettle to reduce the popping noise it produces. However, a common method to do this is with vinegar.

Vinegar in your kettle seems weird but it is very effective and people use it. Moreover, some manufacturers recommend using vinegar to descale your kettle.

Below are the steps to get rid of thick limescale in your kettle:

  • Add three-quarter full water and vinegar (equal amount) to your kettle.
  • Bring your kettle to boil.
  • Allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes. Leaving it overnight is also advisable.
  • Pour out the vinegar content from your kettle and rinse it a few times.
  • Bring your kettle to boil again (without vinegar) to get rid of the aftertaste.

As mentioned earlier, there are many methods to go about this. You use lemon juice or add a few spoons of baking soda.

Can You Get Silent Kettles?

You can get a silent kettle but it has to bypass cavitation to avoid the popping noise. Cavitation occurs in your kettle when implosive water bubbles are formed.

When you heat your kettle, of course, it boils from the bottom or where the heating element is placed. It heats into gas and the vapor collects into bubbles.

As the bubbles rise to the surface, they meet cooler temperatures which cause the vapor to recondense. The bubbles collapse as they form into liquid, causing a popping noise.

When your kettle evenly boils the water, more bubbles coalesce, forming louder pops. When the water begins to boil evenly, the bubbles make it to the top without collapsing, or the popping noise reduces.

Meanwhile, your kettle will splash water when many bubbles reach the surface. Depending on your kettle, water vapor pressure will build up such that the kettle begins to whistle.

Which is the Best Quiet Boil Kettle?

If you think the popping noise from your kettle is disturbing, perhaps, your kettle has no feature managing the noise. Therefore, you need a replacement kettle.

Below are the best quiet boil kettles:

Rangemaster RMCLDK201GY

The RMCLDK201GY is a Rangemaster’s masterpiece designed with a quick 3kW to get your water to boiling level faster.

Apart from speed, the RMCLDK201GY features the quiet boil technology to stop your kettle from making a popping noise.

Below are other reasons to get the RMCLDK201GY:

  • Capacity. RMCLDK201GY brings you a 1.7-liter capacity to boil enough water for your household. Ensure to use the cup level markers to boil the right amount of water you need.
  • Cleaning. You can now easily clean limescale to keep your kettle from popping excessively. Simply, remove and wash the limescale filter and keep it clean always.
  • Build. Rangemaster’s RMCLDK201GY is a vintage build with the perfect pour spout, sizable water gauge, and relaxing handle. It does not matter if you are right- or left-handed, this kettle uses a cordless 360-degree swivel base that fits your hand.
  • Quality. This kettle is designed with worthwhile materials to give it an extended lifecycle. In essence, the RMCLDK201GY brings quality to your contemporary kitchen.

Dualit 72815 Classic

Dualit’s 72815 Classic is the go-to kettle to reduce or eliminate popping noise. It is a 1.7-liter and 6-cup kettle to manage your boiled water within and outside the kitchen.

  • Noise control. This kettle uses whisper technology and is awarded the Quiet Mark. It also uses an anti-wobble foot to enhance stability. Its boiling element is concealed and easily replaceable to keep your boiling going.
  • Cleaning. This Dualit 72815 allows you to easily clean the filter.
  • Speed. Perhaps, the faster your kettle boils, the shorter time you get to hear the popping noise. Dualit 72815 brings your water to boil in a minute, fast enough to keep your kitchen or office quiet thereafter.

Final Thoughts on Why Does My Kettle Make a Popping Noise?

If your kettle has no anti-popping noise feature, do not attempt to make one yourself. Get in touch with the manufacturer for possible settings. Otherwise, get a replacement kettle.

Finally, the cavitation will always form small implosive bubbles when your water reaches its boiling level. Experts say that this is just normal and merely indicates that your water is boiling.