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1506, 2017
Strange Fridge Noises: What They Mean and How to Stop Them

Strange Fridge Noises: What They Mean and How to Stop Them

When you first buy your fridge, it’s absolutely normal for it to make a few noises. Even brand new, refrigerators will make a slight noise at least. Of course, there are some fridge noises that aren’t normal, and they can be cause for concern. Here are some of the most common noises, their causes, and possible solutions to check before calling a fridge repair service:

 

Step 1: Identify the Sound

Vibrations and dripping noises

This usually occurs if your fridge isn’t level. Check the levelling screws or legs of your fridge and adjust accordingly. If you hear a dripping noise, it might be oil flowing in the compressor or the flow of compressor refrigerant. This is a perfectly normal noise, and there is no need to be concerned. The sound of the refrigerant flowing can also cause a hissing sound, and this is also completely normal.

fridge noise

Gurgling and buzzing noises

This may be caused by the temperature variations of the interior and the exterior of your fridge, ice may form. When the defrost cycle runs, you may notice a kind of gurgling noise. This is the sound of the ice melting and running down to the draining pan. This is another normal sound, and it just means that the defrosting process is running smoothly.
Buzzing fridge noises may be coming from the water dispenser when it’s filling with water. If your fridge connects to a functioning water line, then this noise is normal. If your fridge is not connected to a water line or if your water has been shut off, you should turn your water dispenser or ice maker off.

Clicking and rattling fridge noises

If you’re hearing these noises while your fridge is connected to a water line, is nothing to worry about. If it is not connected or if your water is off, turn your ice maker or water dispenser off. Another common cause for a clicking noise is the evaporator valve that regulates cooling. This is a normal sound, especially when your fridge switches between cooling different compartments. The compressor or fan can also adjust from time to time in order to optimize refrigeration performance. You may hear a pulsating or whirring noises when this occurs.

A rattling or banging sound can be caused by water lines that move against the fridge or items on top of the fridge. Make sure you secure loose items to prevent this noise. Louder banging noises can actually result in damage if left unchecked. It’s best not to place heavy items (or any items at all) on top of your fridge. You should also make sure your fridge is getting proper ventilation on each side for optimal functionality and lifespan.

Sizzling and compressor noises

These noises indicate water dripping on the heater when defrosting and this is normal. If you hear ice cubes falling, it may sound like a creaking or clattering sound. These are all normal sounds. When ice is pushed out of the mold, it can make a grinding sound which is also normal.

 

Step 2: Find Out Where the Noise Coming From

noisey fridge compressor

Noises from inside the refrigerator

This is usually attributed to the circulation fan located behind an access panel on the back of the fridge. Push the light switch in the freezer, if the noise gets louder, chances are its the circulation fan. Replacing the fan is the only fix. 

Noises from the bottom of the refrigerator

These noises are likely due to the drain pan. This is usually easily fixed by securing the pan back in place. 

Noises coming from the back of the refrigerator

This indicates an issue with either the compressor, condenser fan or defrost timer. If the condenser fan is covered by dust and debris, its most likely caused by that and can be fixed by simply brushing away the obstructions. If it appears to the be compressor or defrost timer, the only fix is the have them replaced.

PRO TIP: As stated above, the condenser fan being clogged with dust and debris is a common problem that causes your fridge to make noise. A tip to avoid this would be to unplug your fridge for 72 hours once and year, open the panel on the lower back of your fridge and gently vacuum any built-up dirt.  

Of course, if your compressor makes a louder than usual noise or if your compressor cycles too often, this can indicate a problem. Check the temperature setting on your fridge and time the minutes between each cycle. A slower, longer running compressor is often normal when it comes to larger fridge models, but if your fridge doesn’t stop running, you will notice your electric bill goes up, and it won’t be long before something else gives in. Call a fridge repair service immediately.

Step 3: Determining Whether You Need Fridge Repair

If you have found out what the noise is and its source, tried all of the quick fixes listed above and your fridge is still making odd noises, it may be time to call a fridge repair service.

Understanding the difference between normal and problematic noises is part of basic fridge maintenance and could save you the stress and expense of calling for a fridge repair service for nothing. When you notice a loud or particular disturbing noise coming from your fridge, contact Express Appliance Repair at (647) 483-9051 for same-day professional fridge repair.

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