I live down the 57 freeway from you and have the same crappy water you do. 11 years for a water heater is remarkable in SoCal. I've replaced two in my house in the past 15 years. No matter how bad your pipes are, I'm sure the water heater is toast either way. The noise is likely from your water heaters- at least is was for mine.
The good news is that new water heaters are far more energy efficient than the old ones and I saw a drastic decrease in my gas bill. It also heats the water up a lot faster too.
Originally Posted by DR. Rock
once you leave the pavement, it's like entering a parallel universe... a wormhole in both space and time... sometimes you won't believe you're still in the United States, or in this century.