takeaway: Wondering why is your refrigerator making noise? Or how to stop refrigerator from loud buzzing, humming or clicking noise? Find out how to troubleshoot refrigerator that making loud noises for sure, in this post!
The noise coming from your refrigerator may be a problem that goes unnoticeable during the day and well-heard during the silence of the night.
It’s common for some refrigerators to make a bit of sound as it runs but if the sound it makes suddenly seems like an unbearable noise, then there could be a problem.
There could be multiple reasons why your fridge is producing loud humming, buzzing or clicking noise and sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what the issue is.
What you can do, however, is to listen to your problem. Listen to the kind of noise that your fridge is producing so that you know how you can work on it.
You may be able to diagnose your refrigerator which making loud noise if you listen carefully, and luckily for you, in this article, we’ll help you know various reasons behind a noisy refrigerator and how to quiet a noisy refrigerator compressor, so read along.
Possible Reasons Why Your Refrigerator Is Noisy and how to fix them
The only way to figure out the reason why your fridge is making a noise is by assessing the type of sound it creates.
Here are the possible issues that your fridge has based on the sound that your fridge is producing and how to solve the problem.
how to stop refrigerator from buzzing?
A buzzing noise can be a normal occurrence if it only happens occasionally. However, this can also mean that your fridge’s water inlet valve is opening and closing to dispense water or fill the ice maker.
What you need to check is where the buzzing noise is coming from. If the buzzing sound is coming from the outside of your fridge, it could mean that a panel on your fridge is loose.
You can simply try to press on the sides of the fridge and see if the buzzing stops. It’s also possible that the items on top of your fridge are producing this noise. You should also try removing whatever is on top of your fridge and see if the buzzing stops.
If it seems like the buzzing is coming from the inside of your fridge, then probably has something to do about the valves of your fridge that has something to do with your ice maker.
This is fairly normal and if you don’t hear a constant buzzing noise, then there shouldn’t be any problem.
Water may be dripping down onto the heated coils of your fridge. This could also happen if defrosting is taking place. Check if your fridge is accidentally unplugged if this is the case.
Buzzing sound coming from the back of your fridge can mean that its compressor is getting worn out. This is a common occurrence on refrigerators that are old.
If the buzzing sound is especially coming from the bottom back area of your fridge, then this is when you should call a professional to have it checked.
This is especially if you don’t know how to take a look at a fridge’s compressor.
You can attempt to fix this on your own, but the last thing you want is to make the problem worse.
refrigerator makes loud popping noise How To fix
Popping noises could initially mean the fridge’s walls are expanding and contracting because of the changes in temperature.
If this is the case, then this really isn’t a problem as what’s already established earlier on.
When you hear the popping noise, you should first check if your fridge is properly cooling.
Check the walls of your fridge for condensation. If there’s none, then your fridge is properly functioning.
Since the change of temperature is what’s causing the popping noise, it’s best to have this monitored.
You can use a thermometer and make sure the defrost timer is working. The timer could be the reason why your fridge’s heater is coming on four times a day.
The bottom line here is that you should make sure that your fridge is not automatically defrosting multiple times a day to avoid the popping noises. This noise is just usually related to the defrost heater and change in temperature.
What does it mean when your fridge makes a clicking noise?
Generally, clicking noises coming from your fridge means that there is a problem. It could even mean a major problem, and this is why you should be vigilant about this.
This could mean that your fridge is starting to give up. One of the reasons why you’re hearing clicking noises is a dirty condenser coil.
A dirty condenser coil could cause your fridge’s compressor to get overloaded.
This is most likely the case if you’re hearing the clicking sounds from the bottom back of your fridge, near the compressor.
The effect of this is that your fridge may be having a hard time to cool.
How do I stop my fridge from clicking?
A dirty condenser coil can be easily fixed. You should have it cleaned once a year to avoid the overloading of your compressor.
You can purchase a condenser brush from plumbing stores to have it easily cleaned. Just remember to do this when the fridge is unplugged to avoid any accidents.
Bad start relay could also be causing these clicking noises. This is a small component in your refrigerator that is found near the compressor.
When this device starts failing, your fridge will also have a hard time cooling.
To check whether the start relay is your fridge’s problem, you first need to unplug your fridge. Try to give it a shake to check if it’s already rattling. If this is the case, you’ll need the start relay to be replaced as it’s already faulty.
You can also call a professional for this as they do have a tool or device to check the functionality of your start relay.
However, a bad start relay can be easily fixed by replacing it with a new one. You can easily do this yourself as the start relay can be simply unplugged and plugged once again.
Clatter or crackling noises
Crackling or clattering noise can mean that some parts of your freezer are expanding or contracting. This happens when temperatures easily change.
The metals on your fridge and even the ice that formed in your freezer are expanding, and these could be the cause of the noise you’re hearing.
Overall, this just really means that your fridge is properly working. Another possible reason for this is when ice cubes are pushed to their molds and or are already falling to the storage section. Again, this is a normal occurrence and not a problem.
Hissing Fridge Is Telling You Something
A hissing sound can be a normal occurrence if it doesn’t happen all the time.
However, if this sound is loud and your fridge doesn’t usually make this, there are two main possible reasons for this.
The first is how the flow of your refrigerant or the oil in your compressor is going bad.
However, if it doesn’t seem bothersome, it could still be a normal occurrence. Another reason is if you accidentally punctured your freezer’s wall.
Accidentally puncturing your freezer’s wall could happen while you’re trying to chip off some ice with a pointed object.
This is why you should avoid doing this. Puncturing your freezer’s wall can mean that freon is already leaking. Immediately call a professional if this is the case as freon can be toxic to you.
Generally, a hissing sound is not a major issue. It could mean that this is just normal and that your fridge is properly functioning. It’s best to check on any hissing noise you can hear the moment you purchase your fridge so that you know if the hissing sound is not normal.
Why is my fridge making a vibrating noise?
This is one of the easily diagnosed problems. A vibrating noise is normal and means that your fridge is working perfectly.
The only time you should have this addressed is if the vibration is getting louder and is simply unusual.
Excessive vibration noise could mean that your fridge is not leveled properly or is tilted. You can easily remedy this by checking the base of your fridge.
Some brands would also allow you to download a level app to monitor and check whether your fridge is leveled properly.
The vibration could also mean that your fridge is too full. You should know that most refrigerators can only handle a certain capacity, so make sure that you have this checked and maintained. An overloaded fridge could make your fridge have a hard time to breathe.
When a fridge is not properly venting heat, the compressor can be forced to work harder, and this could result to loud vibration sounds.
Why is my fridge making a and Banging sound?
A rattling and/or banging noise is something that you shouldn’t ignore as this could already mean that something is off with your fridge.
There are multiple reasons why this could be happening. Just know that these kinds of loud noises are definitely caused by a problem that needs to be fixed.
The compressor could be the culprit of the sounds you’re hearing. This is also typical if the compressor is already shutting down, and this typically happens to refrigerators of old models.
If the compressor is indeed the issue, what you can do is to have it cleaned. Aa professional can check whether it needs a repair, or it should be replaced.
The condenser fan found at the bottom of your fridge can also make this noise if it is dirty and clogged.
This should be immediately cleaned as a clogged condenser fan can reduce the air flow in your fridge It could affect the cooling function of your fridge too.
Cleaning a condenser fan only requires you to have a soft brush. Just make sure that your fridge is unplugged while doing this.
The same thing goes for the actual condenser of your fridge. It is also susceptible to lint and dirt, and so be sure to also have this cleaned with the same brush that you use for its fan.
One more fridge component that could cause a banging or rattling sound is the condensing pan.
It could be out of place so be sure to keep it intact.
The tubing in the fridge could also be misplaced so you should also check on that.
Why does my fridge sound like water is running?
This may sound like something is leaking from your fridge and this may actually be the case. This is typically normal and shouldn’t really bother you.
This usually happens if ice is melting and starting to drip to the condensing or draining pan.
Another reason why you’re hearing this noise is when your fridge’s ice tray is starting to get filled up with water.
Surely, this is something you shouldn’t worry about.
The only time you should worry is if you punctured a part of your fridge and water starts leaking from it. If this is the case, then calling a professional to have this fixed is best.
Why Does My Fridge making loud humming noise?
A whirring or humming sound just really means that your refrigerator is properly functioning. This is generally not a problem unless you become bothered by it.
The humming sound is usually caused by the running compressor and condenser fan blade.
Troubleshooting a Noisy Refrigerator
Now, those are the most common sounds that you can hear from your fridge and the reasons why you’re hearing them.
It’s important to note that most problems or issues that should be fixed mainly concern your fridge’s compressor and other technical components.
Calling a Professional
Calling a professional to have these problems fixed is the best solution. The last thing you want is for the issue to get worse.
If the issue you’re dealing with can be easily fixed by cleaning the compressor or condenser and condenser fan, then there’s really no need to bring in a professional.
However, persistent noise from your fridge should already make you call a repair specialist. It’s also best to find the time to have your fridge inspected at a certain point.
This is especially if you have a fridge of an old model. Proper maintenance would surely help your fridge last long.
Reducing Unwanted Sound or Noise from Your Fridge
Surely, hearing unwanted noise coming from your fridge can be a bit off-putting.
This could even be more annoying and frustrating if you’ve worked so hard on soundproofing your home.
Whatever noise that you’re trying to reduce, here are the things that you can do.
Purchasing rubber mats or anti-vibration pads
We’ve already covered that these vibrations may not really mean that your fridge has a problem.
To lessen the vibrating noise that you are hearing, what you can do is to place your fridge over a rubber mat.
Rubber matting can lessen the sound can dampen the sound of vibrating from your fridge. Purchasing anti-vibration pads could also help reduce the noise.
These are pads that you can place under the feet or legs of your fridge.
Place your fridge in a soundproofed alcove
Now, this is an option if you have a place in between the counters of your kitchen that could house your fridge.
What you can do is to improve this alcove by installing acoustic panels around it.
The acoustic panels could help keep your fridge from vibrating and dampen the hissing sound you’re hearing.
Acoustic foam panels would work well with absorbing sounds that are coming from your fridge.
Do note, however, that this solution may not completely block all noise from your fridge. It could only significantly reduce or dampen any of these sounds.
Place Your Fridge In A Wooden Case
In case your kitchen just doesn’t have an alcove that you can soundproof, then you can simply build a wooden case.
This is a tedious and a bit of an expensive solution since you may need to get someone build this for you if you don’t have the time and knowledge on doing this.
However, if you’re fine with this, you can improve the wood’s soundproofing capability by also installing some acoustic panels in it. Definitely, this could help lessen the noise you’re trying to block.
Soundproofing the outside of your fridge
A quick solution is to soundproof the outside of your fridge as this is easier to reach.
You can purchase some soundproofing mats or mass loaded vinyl and have them installed on the exterior of your fridge.
Soundproofing mats are better than acoustic foams for this matter as it would look neater to look at.
Basically, you can also use acoustic foam panels for this, but you will have to sacrifice the aesthetics of your fridge.
Soundproofing mats are available in different colors and are relatively thinner than acoustic foam panels so those would work better.
Soundproofing the inside of your fridge
Of course, you can also soundproof the inside of your fridge. What you can purchase for this is mass loaded vinyl.
This material can effectively prevent sounds from your refrigerator to come out. You can even soundproof the motor of the fridge with this.
You can also install the mass loaded vinyl beneath and on top of your fridge. You can even use this on the wall, floor, and ceiling that surround your fridge.
How to Avoid Your Fridge from Producing these Sounds
Proper maintenance of your fridge can greatly help you avoid damages that can produce any noise that can bother you.
Cleaning your refrigerator once in a while is just necessary to keep your fridge on its top shape.
You need to make sure that you check on the condenser coils, compressor, tubing, dripping pan, condenser fans, and the condenser itself every now and then to make sure that they are still clean.
Of course, you’ll also need to make sure that the inside of your fridge is clean and well-maintained.
Avoid stuffing your fridge with too many items. Remember that this could affect the performance of your fridge, and this could also eventually lead to damaging your fridge.
As soon as you hear any unusual noise from your fridge, it’s best to have it checked right away.
Keep your refrigerator’s manual so that you know other specific maintenance items that are recommended for the model and brand that you have.
The manual can also help determine the part numbers that you may need in case any of your fridge’s components need replacement.
The bottom line is that you need to schedule when your fridge should be maintained and cleaned.
Jessica is a Acoustical Engineer, currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. After graduating from her degree in Master of Engineering degree in Acoustics from Solent University in 2014, Jessica worked for a few companies before She will be blogging about her past and current experiences in the studio and sharing her journey as she pursues her career goals. She enjoy the balance of work inside and out of the office, solving practical problems on a daily basis as every project is different and requires a different solution, the variety of work (sound insulation testing, background noise survey, mechanical plant commissioning, external plant assessment, plant room breakout assessments) and the mix of independent and team work.