Why Is Fridge Making Rattling, Humming or Buzzing Noise?

So, your refrigerator is getting a bit too loud for your taste? Experts say you should pay attention to what noises your fridge makes.

Sometimes the sound may be normal and will just fade away with time, other times, you need to take these noises as a cry for help and resolve some technical issues in your fridge.

So how do you know when to act?

Here’s a look at the common causes of why the fridge making noise and ways to fix the issues.

1. Misplaced drain pan

Is the rattling coming from the bottom of your fridge?

Then you are lucky because this is an easy fix as the most likely cause of the mechanical problem is incorrectly placed drain pan.

So, check the drain pan, ensure it is in the correct position and that the supports placed underneath it are in good condition, i.e. not damaged or bent.

2. Dirty condenser fan

If the rattling noise is originating from the back of your refrigerator, then consider checking if the condenser fan blades are clean.

Now, condenser fans are not included in all refrigerators.

Still, if yours is a modern frost-free refrigerator, then it probably has a condenser fan located behind a rear access panel.

As dirt and debris accumulate on the condenser fan blade, they obstruct the condenser motor fan.

Fridge making noise condenser fan

To truly tell if the rattling noise issue from the back of your fridge has to do with a dirty condenser fan blade, there will be two other issues: one, the refrigerator won’t stay as cool as normal and two it may be turning off and on regularly.

Connect with an Appliance Repair Tech

Click here to use the chatbox to speak with one of our technicians.
No in-home service calls. No appointments.

If you notice the above three issues, disconnect your fridge from the power source and proceed to remove the access panel on its back.

Next, locate the condenser motor fan and clean away any dirt or obstructions that could be keeping the fan from moving freely.

While at it, inspect the rubber grommets for any signs of damage.

And if the condenser fan motor is worn out you need to get your mitts on a new one and make the switch.

3. a) Faulty evaporator fan

There’s a rubber grommet on the evaporator fan too; it helps reduce vibration noise by isolating the mounting bracket from the motor.

Now, due to wear and tear, you surely do not expect this grommet to last forever now, do you?

If you notice increased vibration and a lot of noise, check if the evaporator fan grommet is secured in place, and in good condition, if not, get your mitts on a new evaporator fan grommet and switch out the old one for the new one.

Do this by unplugging your refrigerator, then locate the evaporator fan inside the freezer compartment and remove the fan cover and visually inspect if the evaporator fan grommet has fallen off or if it is damaged then fix the problem.

3. b) Evaporator fan being frosted over in the Samsung or Whirlpool Fridge

If you hear rattling or crackling noises coming from your Samsung Refrigerator, but once you open the door, noise is gone, then you probably have an issue with defrost cycle in the fridge.

In other words, frost behind the panel in the fridge compartment builds up more and more to the point where it starts hitting evaporator fan blades.

Bellow is the picture of Whirlpool Fridge (freezer compartment) being frosted over, due to malfunction Defrost Thermostat.

Because of this issue evaporator fan was making a crackling noise and eventually stopped, and burnt out.

4. Faulty ice maker

Is your Ge refrigerator making a loud humming noise? Then probably your ice maker is faulty.

Many refrigerators have a normal ice maker humming sound that happens only when the ice maker is getting filled with water.

But if you hear loud buzzing and humming every 15 minutes and the water line is not connected, turn off the ice maker to stop this noise and avoid damaging your refrigerator.

If the humming continues even when the water line is turned on, verify that that the water lines are firmly connected to the fridge.

If all the above has been taken care of, and the problem still goes on, it may be due to high water pressure, turn it down but ensure you are still able to get 3.4 of a cup every 10 seconds.

5. Normal noises due to expansion and contraction of plastic parts

Is your brand new fridge making noise? Then verify is this is a snapping, crackling and popping sound and if so, then you shouldn’t worry too much.

Snapping and crackling sounds are common in new refrigerators, especially during the defrosting cycle as the plastic pats contract and expand due to a rise in temperature.

Such popping and crackling noises are going to fade away with time as your brand-new refrigerator acclimatizes to the temperature and humidity levels in your home.

But take note, the crackling shouldn’t be too loud, it should be comparable to the sound produced by Rice Krispies or when dropping ice cubes in a warm drink.

Louder than that and you’ve got a problematic fridge in your hand, better seek help from the manufacturer.

Refrigerator making noise

6. Issues to do with temperature or faulty doors

Fridge making a loud noise when the door closed could be an indication that the temperature in the refrigerator is too high.

Usually, the fridge produces a beeping sound with a blinking display. You just need to resolve the cooling issue.

On the other hand, in case of faulty doors, some Samsung refrigerator models have a beeping alarm sound to indicate the door is not shut correctly.

Apart from beeping sounds, faulty fridge door hinges can cause squeaking sounds.

Try checking if the doors were installed correctly.

Also, check to ensure the wheels aren’t touching the floor.

Use food-grade silicone spray to lubricate the hinges.

And give your new refrigerator a week so that the harness falls into place, if the squeaking continues for more than a week, uncover the hinges and fix the harness wire.

7. Issues to do with air vents

Another cause if humming noise is if you have placed items a bit too close to the air vents: Usually, along the sides and the back of the fridge.

As these items rattle against the wall, they prevent the air from flowing properly, leading to humming sounds.

Always maintain a space between food items and air vents for proper airflow.

8. Scraping sounds in case of a faulty defrost timer

A faulty defrost timer may be the reason your Ge refrigerator keeps making a loud humming noise.

All free frost refrigerators have a defrost system.

This system regulates the cooling and defrosting cycle of course and has got two components, a defrost heater and defrost timer.

The timer takes the fridge between the defrost mode and the cooling mode.

Now if the defrost timer goes bad during the cooling mode, there’s going to be an excessive buildup of frost on the evaporator fan coils thereby reducing airflow leading to a humming sound.

Also, as the fan rubs against the ice, it creates noise, always test your fridge fuses if you suspect the timer is faulty.

There are several other causes of fridge noises.

Some sounds are normal; others indicate technical problems.

Here is a summary of normal fridge sounds and what’s not.

Normal fridge noises

· Crackling, popping or snapping of new fridges

· Blowing and whistling due to air circulation – you can reduce this by repositioning the fridge or leaving some 2-inches of space at the back, sides and on the top.

· Hissing/sizzling sound as water drops onto defrost heater

· Bubbling and goggling as refrigerant changes from a gas to liquid and back

· Banging as ice lands on a bucket from the ice maker

· Rattling – is the fridge making rattling noise compressor turns off? This is normal and should last for about 10 seconds. But it must not be too loud.

The take-home

Is a noisy fridge dangerous? No.

Refrigerators have components like fans, etc. so no one expects them to be completely quiet.

Most refrigerators produce a fair amount of noise when working.

But even so, if the above sounds get too loud, things are no longer normal, seek help from the manufacturer as it could be an indication of faulty components even electrical ones like condenser coils, sensors, and thermostats.

The earlier you move to repair, the less it’s going to cost you.

Reader Comments (40)

  1. I have a Frigidaire FFTR2021TB2, top freezer. It has been making an extremely loud humming noise. It can be heard two rooms away. I had a repair man come out in May. He removed the back panel inside the freezer and defrosted the ice in there. It was quiet a few weeks after, but began the same noise despite us trying to keep space between the food and back. Now, it’s as loud as before. Could it be the defrost timer is faulty?
    Thank you

    • Seems like your tech didnt know what to do, if he only cleaned the ice and nothing else… It is defrost system problem.. Either it is burnt heater, defrost thermostat or defrost timer

Comments are closed.

DMCA.com Protection Status