Why Do Refrigerators Make Noise?

And How to Make It Stop!!

We get asked all the time, "Why do refrigerators make noise?

We know first hand how noisy refrigerators can be frustrating and bug the heck out of anyone!

To be able to fix this issue first you'll need to understand why your fridge is making all that noise. Once you do taking steps to quiet it becomes so much easier.

There are many reasons why fridges make noise. They can be anything from regular operation to mechanical issues. Our goal is to help you explore these possibilities plus provide tips on how to get your noisy refrigerator to quiet down.

Why Do Refrigerators Make Noise?:
Common Causes

Fridge too loud

Though no one likes the sound of a noisy refrigerator most fridges make some noise during normal operation. However, if the sound coming from your fridge is loud or disruptive, there may be an issue going on with it.

Here's our top 5 reasons for a noisy refrigerator:

  1. Compressor Function:
    The compressor is the most common of the 'refrigerator noise culprits'. You'll hear it the most when it kicks on to cool and circulate air inside the fridge.

    This noise comes from the normal electric motor operation, fan blades spinning, and valves opening and closing as they control refrigerant flow.

    *Sounds you'll hear:
    The noise you will hear can range from a humming or buzzing sound to a sharp clicking or ticking noise.


  2. Malfunctioning Fan:
    This becomes an issue if your fridge's cooling fan is either faulty or improperly secured.

    *Sounds you'll hear:
    Often this creates an annoying rattling sound. Similarly, if your fridge has an evaporator fan for its freezer section, it could malfunction and create a grinding sound.


  3. Loose Screws or Mounting Plates:
    If screws that secure the condenser and evaporator fans to their mounts become loose

    Sounds you'll hear:
    This will show up more as a rattling noise that happens when the fan or compressor turns on.


  4. Refrigerant leaks:
    When your fridge's refrigerant line begins to leak.

    Sounds you'll hear:
    Often this shows up as a hissing sound due to the evaporated gas escaping through small holes in the copper tubing.

Why Do Refrigerators Make Noise?:
DIY Steps to Quiet a Noisy Fridge

We're happy to tell you that many of these issues easy to fix on your own without calling in a repair person.

Here's some simple steps to start with:

  1. Loose/Out of Place:
    Start by checking if any components are loose or out of place. Make sure the condenser fan blades are correctly secured, and look at all connections and wiring to ensure everything is connected properly.

    Steps to fix this:

     A. Unplug: First double check that the refrigerator is unplugged to avoid any electrical hazards.

    B. Examine: Next, take a look at the exterior of the refrigerator, examining the door handles, hinges, and any visible screws or bolts.

    C. Wiggle: Gently try to move these outside components to check for any excessive play or movement.

    D. Open: Inside the refrigerator, assess the shelves, drawers, and bins to see if they are secure and properly aligned.

    E. Listen: When doing all of the above tasks make sure to pay attention to any rattling or unusual noises when opening or closing the refrigerator doors. Any of these noises may indicate loose components.

    F. Move:  Push the refrigerator away from the way to inspect the condenser coils at the back of the refrigerator, making sure they are firmly in place.

    G. Tighten: Through all of the above steps if you notice any loose or out-of-place components, do your best to tighten any and all screws or bolts if possible.


  2. Fan Motor:
    If the noise isn't due to loose screws or parts, then it's time to take a look at the fan motor. Often this type of noise is due to a malfunctioning fan motor that may need to be replaced. The way you would determine if it needs to be replaced would be  through a series of observations:

    A. Listen:
    Listen for any unusual or excessively loud noises coming from the refrigerator. A faulty fan motor may produce grinding, squealing, or buzzing sounds.

    B. Check:
    Next, check if the refrigerator is not cooling properly. A malfunctioning fan motor can disrupt the airflow, leading to inadequate cooling. Inspect the freezer compartment for frost buildup, as a faulty fan motor may fail to circulate air effectively, causing ice accumulation. Another sign is if the refrigerator feels warm to the touch, indicating poor ventilation due to a malfunctioning fan motor.

    C. Observe:
    Lastly, observe if the fan blades are not spinning or if they are spinning slowly and inconsistently. If any of these signs are present, you may want to contact a professional technician to diagnose the issue and/or replace the fan motor if necessary.

    If after going through these 3 steps you feel your fan motor needs to be replaced, you can buy one online or at your local appliance store. 

    *Knowing exactly which one to buy and how to put it in (without completely killing your fridge) can be truly daunting. If the idea of this feels a bit overwhelming or even just the thought of working with electricity and wires feels intimidating, then it's truly best to call a professional refrigerator repair person for the job.

  3. Leaking Refrigerant:
    Finally, if you hear a hissing noise from your fridge, it could very well be a refrigerant leak in one of its copper lines. If this is what you suspect then DO NOT TRY TO FIX THIS YOURSELF. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and should be addressed by an experienced repair person as soon as possible. (You might even seriously consider turning off your refrigerator until someone comes to take a look at it.)

Why Do Refrigerators Make Noise?:
When Should I Call a Repair Person?

Refrigerator Repairman - RP - Fridge Problems? We can help.

Noisy fridges are generally not dangerous, but can become costly if left unchecked.

If you've done all the easy DIY fixes and still can't quiet your fridge, it's time to call a repair person. A professional can quickly diagnose the issue and make any necessary repairs or replacements—which could save you money in the long run!

Why Do Refrigerators Make Noise?:
What now?

Hopefully now you have some tools on hand to identify why your refrigerator is so noisy and more that a steps you can take to fix it.

If all else fails, don't hesitate to contact an experienced appliance repair technician for help. Between you and the pros, your fridge will soon be as silent as ever!

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