Why is My Refrigerator So Noisy?
Diagnose & Repair Your Fridge
A refrigerator that is making more noise than it should is typically signaling that something is amiss. Fixing your refrigerator yourself, rather than hiring an expensive repair tech can save you time and money!
One of the most common sounds to come from a refrigerator is a cracking or popping noise, which is usually the result of components and panels of the fridge contracting and expanding in response to a temperature change. This is particularly common in fridges that are “frost-free”. However, in addition to “regular” noises made by your refrigerator, a strange noise coming from the appliance could suggest that one or more parts are defective. Which is why you should always inspect the following parts prior to assuming they are routine noises:
Condenser Fan Motor Assembly
One of the most common causes of noise from your refrigerator is the condenser fan motor assembly. It is located at the back of the refrigerator, close to the floor, and typically is behind a cardboard or metal access panel. To inspect it, you want to look for a damaged fan blade with any part of the blade bent, distorted, or missing. You'll also want to check to make sure that it is tight on the motor shaft and that the motor shaft is not loose in the motor bushings. Shop Replacement Condenser Fan Motor Assemblies >
Evaporator Fan Motor & Blade
Another common cause for noise in a refrigerator is the evaporator fan motor. The evaporator fan motor is located next to the evaporator in the freezer section and there's usually a metal cover in front of it. To inspect it, first make sure that there's nothing that has gotten into the vent area that may be interfering with the blade. Then remove that cover to inspect the evaporator fan motor and blade assembly. Verify that that blade turns freely and is not damaged, that the motor is mounted firmly in the bracket, and that the shaft is nice and snug with no excess play in it. Shop Replacement Evaporator Fan Motor & Blades >
A less common cause for noise in a refrigerator could be related to the compressor. Unlike an evaporator fan or condenser fan motor noise, which typically has a consistent ticking sound or a scraping sound, a compressor noise is more likely to be a knocking sound that might occur when the compressor starts, and perhaps again when it shuts off. The compressor is typically located at the rear of the refrigerator, close to the bottom, and would be located behind an access panel. To inspect it, verify that the rubber mounts on the bottom are intact and not damaged. If you have a sound similar to a knocking sound that occurs once when the compressor starts and again when it ends, you may have a defect inside of the compressor with the suspension springs. Shop Replacement Compressors >
Water Inlet Valve
Another less common cause for noise in a refrigerator could be related to a water valve. Models with an ice maker or an ice and water dispenser through the door will have a water valve located at the back of the refrigerator. To inspect it, remove the rear panel, locate the valve, and determine if the noise is coming from the valve. If it is, determine how frequently it is making the noise. If you hear a loud buzzing sound once every three or four hours, that would typically indicate that the ice makers portion of that valve is defective. If you only hear it when you dispense water through the front, it would indicate that the dispenser portion is defective. Shop Replacement Water Inlet Valves >
While a noisy refrigerator can be unnerving, it is often an issue that can be fixed easily without needing a professional. If you are unsure of how to diagnose or replace any of these parts, don't worry! We have videos on our YouTube Channel showing you how to replace the parts above as well as hundreds of others!
We hope that this article helped you with your refrigerator. If you are experiencing other issues or need further assistance, check out our Repair Center with articles, videos, and more to help diagnose and repair your appliance!