Refrigerator Making Noise – Why & How To Stop It?

Are you alarmed by the unfamiliar sounds made by your refrigerator? Don’t fret, as all refrigerators make some kinds of noises. Most of these noises are normal that doesn’t require a service call.

However, your noisy refrigerator might be plagued by other issues such as heat emanating from underneath the fridge, malfunctioning ice-maker, or improper food cooling. In this case, you need to diagnose it further and seek professional fridge repair help if required.

Why Does the Refrigerator Make Noise?

Refrigerators make various kinds of normal/abnormal operating sounds due to the functioning or malfunctioning of their various components like the compressor, condenser fan motor, evaporator fan motor, drip tray, ice dispenser, and evaporator fan motor grommet. These sounds originate from various sources like rattling sound from the bottom of the refrigerator, inside the fridge, back of the refrigerator, from the ice-maker or freezer compartment.

Keep reading until the end to learn about the various sounds produced by a refrigerator and its possible reasons. In later sections, we have elaborated on the detailed steps of stopping a fridge from making noise.

Furthermore, we have answered the common questions regarding noisy refrigerators, including whether a noisy fridge is dangerous and can a noisy fridge catch fire.

Why My Refrigerator Is Making Abnormal Noises?

Your refrigerator is a robust machine that runs continuously day in and day out for years. It may make noise sometimes that range from humming to buzzing. However, not all the noises are the cause of concern.

Let’s discuss the various noises produced by the refrigerator and the possible reasons behind them.

Bubbling Sounds

The bubbling sound is a normal sound produced due to the movement of refrigerant gas through the pipes in the fridge when it freezes or cools the foodstuff.

Popping and Cracking Sounds

It is a normal sound produced due to the expansion or contraction of the interior components when the refrigerator is cooling.

It is also produced when there is a change in the interior temperature after the temperature resetting.

Buzzing Sounds

It is a normal noise produced by the compressor of the refrigerator when it is running. It is usually heard at the beginning of the cooling cycle when the compressor starts and when it gets shut off. This buzzing noise is also produced after getting water from the door dispenser.

Rattling Sounds

It is a loud rattling noise that comes from the bottom of the refrigerator. It is due to the loose drain pan located underneath the fridge.

Snapping Sounds

The normal noise of the dispenser chute closing is produced when you remove a glass from a dispenser.

Knocking Sounds

A knocking noise is an abnormal sound that indicates the malfunctioning of the fan motor or failure of the condenser. It is produced when the fan gets too hot by running continuously.

Clicking or Humming Sounds 

The clicking or humming sound originates from the ice maker in your refrigerator. It indicates that the loose connection or broken connection of the water line valve to the water supply.

You can also listen to the click or hum noise when the ice maker gets filled with water.

Creaking or Cracking Sounds

The creaking or cracking is a loud banging sound produced when the ice is dumped from the ice-maker mould into the bin. It is a normal sound produced by a fridge.

Hissing Sounds

It is a normal refrigerator sound produced when the refrigerant flows through the cooling system.

Squealing or Chirping Sounds 

The squealing or chirping sounds indicate the malfunctioning of the evaporator fan. When you have a faulty evaporative fan, it hampers the cooling efficiency in the freezer.

You can fix these sounds by replacing the damaged or corroded wires, connectors, and other components preventing the fan blade from operating smoothly.

Dripping Sounds

It is a normal refrigerator sound produced due to the melting of ice and running of water into the drain pan during defrost cycle.

Noises Coming From the Backside of the Fridge

When you find that the noises are coming from the backside of the fridge, it may be due to issues with the condenser fan or the compressor.

You can fix this by cleaning away the dust and debris from the compressor and fan blades of the condenser.

Noises Coming From Inside the Refrigerator

When you determine the squeaking or rattling noises are coming from inside the refrigerator, it may be due to a circulation fan located on the back of the fridge and right behind an access panel.

Is a Noisy Fridge Dangerous?

No, a noisy fridge is not dangerous as long as it produces normal sounds related to the routine tasks of its components. However, if your refrigerator is making unusual and abnormal sounds accompanied by reduced performance, you should detect the sound source and take appropriate measures to fix the issue as soon as possible.

Call professional fridge repairs service if you don’t know how to fix the noisy fridge by yourself.

Can a Noisy Fridge Cause a Fire?

Yes, a noisy fridge can explode and cause a fire. Don’t start sweating in fear, as the chances of your fridge exploding are very rare. Moreover, you can easily prevent it by cleaning your condenser coils regularly and listen if the compressor is making normal and steady sounds.

Let’s briefly discuss how exactly your noisy fridge may cause a fire. Sometimes, the backside of your refrigerator gets extremely hot due to the continuous movement of gas refrigerant through the compressor coils.

It may cause the compression coils to contract, resulting in gas getting trapped. Due to its highly inflammable nature, the gas pressure builds up, and it bursts through its enclosure. If your fridge has a plastic backing, it gets easily ignited and catches fire.

How To Stop My Fridge From Making Noise?

If your refrigerator is making unusual and abnormal sounds off late with reduced cooling performances, you should take the following steps for fixing the issue promptly before it gets developed into a serious problem.

Step 1: Detect the Source of the Sound

The first step is to detect the source of the sound by listening carefully. Find out if the sound is coming from the inside, bottom, or back of the refrigerator.

  1. If the loud noises are coming from the back of the fridge, it indicates an issue with the compressor, condenser fan or defrost timer.
  2. If the loud noises are coming from inside the refrigerator, it indicates the issue with the evaporator fan that circulates air via the freezer and fridge.

Step 2: Secure the Drain Pan in Its Place

If the loud rattling noises are coming from the bottom of the refrigerator, it may be due to a loose drain pan.

Fix this by securing the pan back with the existing hardware in its place.

 Step 3: Check for Faulty Defrost Timer

If your noisy refrigerator is making loud ticking or scraping sounds, it indicates the faulty defrost timer. Inspect the refrigerator and freezer compartments for the frost build-up that confirms the failing timer when the thermostat is correctly set.

In case your refrigerator produces loud noise for an hour at least once or twice every day, it further confirms that your faulty defrost timer needs replacement.

It’s time to seek professional help to investigate further and get your defrost timer replaced.

Step 4: Check and Clean the Fridge’s Condenser Fan

If your refrigerator possesses a condenser fan, it would be located on the backside of the fridge. Unplug the fridge and check the condenser fan and its rubber grommets for any signs of wear and tear. Clean dirt and debris by using a soft brush.

Step 5: Check the Evaporator Fan

To confirm if the evaporator fan is responsible for the noisy refrigerator, push the light switch located in the freezer. It would make the noises louder. Check the extent of the damage to the evaporator fan by inspecting it carefully.

The evaporator fan is located behind a panel at the backside of the freezer section inside the fridge. It is secured in its place with screws. Unplug the refrigerator from the power socket. Try spinning the fan blade by using your hands for ensuring if it is operating smoothly.

If the fan blade is not moving smoothly and freely, you need to replace the fan. Also, check the other components of the evaporator fan, including wires and grommets, for signs of wear and tear. Call fridge repair professionals for replacing the fan.

Step 6: Quiet a Noisy Compressor

A noisy compressor is a common reason for a noisy refrigerator. The compressor is the workhorse of the fridge that runs a lot for pumping the refrigerant smoothly through the cooling system. If your compressor gets faulty, your fridge stops its cooling functionality.

To quiet a noisy compressor, you should move your refrigerator to a place with plenty of light available. Begin by cleaning the compressor thoroughly. Use a vacuum cleaner for removing dirt and debris from the compressor and the compartment.

Take a clean and dry microfiber cloth and wipe down the compressor coils. Ensure to clean all the moving parts thoroughly, including fan blades. Check if the fan blades are moving freely and smoothly.

Once you are done cleaning the compressor, check if the rubber mounts are worn out or damaged.

The rubber mounts are responsible for reducing the vibrations of the compressor. The damaged rubber mounts may cause excess noise and need replacement.

Step 7: Call Professional Refrigerator Repair Service

If you are done with troubleshooting steps and cannot fix the noisy sounds coming from your refrigerator, you should call professional refrigerator repair services to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Megha Kothari

Megha leads the content strategy and oversees an amazing team of writers, editors, and designers, all having one goal in mind – to create brilliant content that helps people make the right purchase investment. When she is not working, you can find her enjoying making delicious food and planning her next travel.

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