Possible Reasons behind a Noisy Refrigerator

Last Updated on June 8, 2021 by CHANDRAMANI

When we hear any type of noise from our refrigerator, we often get worried. The noisy refrigerator doesn’t let you sleep if you have it in your room and many people get worried about any disaster that can happen.

Modern refrigerators produce various types of normal operating noises such as gurgling, vibrating, pulsating sound, or defrosting sounds such as hissing, dripping, and cracking sound. Apart from these ice maker and the water inlet also produces noises that are normal.

Types of Refrigerator Noises

1. Refrigerator Normal Operating noises

Refrigerator make many types of operating noises which are normal and you should not be worried.

  • Humming: The new high-efficiency compressor may run faster and longer than your old refrigerator and you may hear a high-pitched hum or pulsating sound while it is operating.
  • Chirping/barking/woof/howl sound- These noises are heard due to the opening or closing of the damper door.
  • Boiling, gurgling, or knocking sound: These noises are created due to the circulation of the refrigerant which cools the refrigerator. A gurgling sound can also be heard just after the door is closed because of the water in the drain tube trap area.
  • Clicking Noise: This noise is heard during a power failure because the compressor tries to restarts itself.
  • Whistle or squeak Noise: This is created due to the gasket which is sealing very tightly. It stops after few days.
  • Bang Sound: When the water valve opens and closes in the waterline it creates a banging sound.
  • Whir: The evaporator fan while rotating creates noise. The noise can increase as the refrigerator responds to changes in temperature due to door openings. The fans change speeds in order to provide optimal cooling and energy savings.
  • Cracking or popping: You may hear cracking or popping sounds when the refrigerator is first plugged in. This happens as the refrigerator cools to the correct temperature.

2. Defrosting Sound made by a Refrigerator

Following are the sounds produced by a defrosting refrigerator.

  • Clicking/tick-tock sound: This is heard due to the defrost timer being switched on or off. A click can also be heard when the refrigerator is turned on or off by the temperature control unit.
  • Dripping: While the refrigerator is getting defrosted, the ice melts and changes into water. The water falling down into the drain.
  • Cracking or popping: This noise is created due to the cooling of evaporator coils. Expansion and contraction of cooling coils during and after defrost can cause a cracking or popping sound.

3. Ice Maker Operating sounds

If your refrigerator has ice maker, them it too produces various kinds of sound.

  • Crackling: This sound is produced when the ice maker drops the cubes in the ice storage basket.
  • Hum or click: This sound is produced due to flowing water into the ice maker.
  • Rattling or vibrating: If water is not supplied to ice maker while it is turned on, then it makes ratt

4. Normal Water Dispenser sounds

  • Buzzing noise: This is heard during and after getting water from the water dispenser.
  • Snapping sound: This is the sound of the dispenser chute closing and is heard after you remove the glass from the water dispenser.

Also read: The 7 Steps Guide to Move a Refrigerator by Yourself

Reasons behind Loud Noises

If you hear loud sounds, then it may be a cause of concern. Here are the possible reasons.

1. Faulty Fan Blade

The condensor fan motor blade or evaporator fan motor blade could be damaged or scapping against a panel. The fan can also be obstructed due to frost build-up.

You can check the fan by manually rotating with your finger if it can rotate freely or not after removing the cover. Don’t forget to unplug the power cord before doing this.

If the evaporator fan blade or condensor fan motor blades are damaged, then you can replace them easily after buying a suitable replacement.

2. Defective Evaporator Fan Motor

While you have removed the panel to check for fan, remove the fan by pulling it and then connect the fridge to power source and check whether the noise is being made by the motor itself or not.

A damages evaporator fan motor can make considerable noise. If you have detected that the evaporator fan motor is making the noise then you should replace it by a new one.

3. Malfunctioning Condensor fan motor

The condenser fan motor is located in the bottom cabinet by the compressor and the condenser coils.

The bearings in the condensor fan motor might be defective resulting in loud grinding sound. If you found the loud noise is coming from the condensor fan motor, then it need to be replaced.

4. Faulty Compressor

During shipping if the fridge was kept on its side and you plugged it with power souce immediately, then it can damage the compressor.

The compressor pumps refrigerant through the condenser coils and the evaporator coils to cool the fridge. It becomes noisy as it gets damaged. The possible soultion is to replace the compressor.

5. Malfunctioning water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve controls the water being supplied to the dispenser and the fridge ice maker. If the fridge is noisy when the ice maker is filling, then most likely the inlet valve is malfunctioning. The mineral deposit can build up in the valve creating restriction and noise. It should be replaced to get rid of this noise.


The refrigerator is not a quiet appliance and it makes different kinds of noises while operating. You should not get worried as in most cases it is completely normal. However, if you hear loud inconsistent noises, then it may be a cause of concern.

Read Next: The Ideal Refrigerator Temperature to Refrigerate Food

Leave a Comment