5 Reasons Why Your Refrigerator Is Making Noise

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It’s pretty normal for your refrigerator to make some noise, but if it’s making a loud noise, there is probably something wrong with one or more of the internal components within your appliance. In this article, we are going to discuss the top five reasons why your refrigerator might be making noise and what you can do to fix it.

Before diving deeper into the possible causes of the loud noise, it’s a good idea to check that the noise isn’t being caused by a container or food item in your fridge moving around.

1. The condenser fan might be faulty

If your refrigerator is making a grinding, scraping, or knocking noise, it could be caused by one of your refrigerator fans not operating correctly. The first fan to check is the condenser fan. The condenser fan helps to cool down the compressor and condenser coils while they are operating. If the fan becomes faulty, a loud noise might emit from the back of your fridge.

Here’s the easiest way to check the condenser fan:

  • Turn the power off to your refrigerator. 
  • Pull your refrigerator out so you can access the back of the appliance (you might need to do this first to be able to turn the power off).
  • Remove the back panel of the condenser fan unit (if you’re not sure where the fan is located, consult your user manual).
  • Try to turn the fan around by hand to check if anything is obstructing it from being able to move around.
  • If something is obstructing the fan or you can hear a loud noise when turning it, this is a good indication that the fan is faulty and will need to be replaced.
  • If the fan moves around freely, the fan motor will need to be tested with a multimeter to ensure it has continuity.
  • If the test shows that the fan motor is faulty, replace the condenser fan unit. If it passes the test, check the evaporator fan (see below).
  • Once the fan unit is replaced, check if replacing it has stopped your fridge from making a loud noise. If not, check the evaporator fan (see below).

2. The evaporator fan might be faulty

The next reason to check out is if the evaporator fan has become faulty. This will also cause a scraping, rattling, or grinding noise. The purpose of the evaporator fan is to distribute air from the freezer to the fridge. When it becomes faulty, loud noises can start to emit from the freezer compartment of your refrigerator.

Here is the easiest way to check the evaporator fan:

  • Make sure the power is switched off to your refrigerator. 
  • Open your freezer door and locate the evaporator fan (if you’re not sure where the fan is located, consult your user manual).
  • Remove the cover of the fan.
  • Try to turn the fan around by hand to check if anything is obstructing it from being able to move around or if it’s covered in ice.
  • If something is obstructing the fan or you can hear a loud noise when turning it, this is a good indication that the fan is faulty and will need to be replaced. If the fan is covered in ice, let it defrost before checking if this solves the problem.
  • If the evaporator fan moves around freely, the fan motor will need to be tested with a multimeter to ensure it has continuity.
  • If the test shows the fan motor is faulty, replace the evaporator fan unit. If it passes the test, it’s not the cause of the problem so you can move on to checking the next possible reason.
  • Once the evaporator fan unit is replaced, check if replacing it has stopped your fridge from making a loud noise. If not, move on to checking the next possible reason.

3. The ice maker might be faulty

If you can hear a loud buzzing or vibrating noise coming from your refrigerator, the culprit might be a faulty ice maker. The most likely reason this is happening is that the ice maker is switched on but the water supply isn’t connected properly. When this happens, the ice maker will buzz or vibrate–which can get quite loud.

Here’s the easiest way to solve this problem:

  • Locate the ice-maker water supply hose.
  • Check if the shut-off arm is switched on. If not, switch it on. If the shut-off arm is turned on, it’s not the cause of the noise so you can move on to checking the next possible cause. If you don’t want your ice maker to be turned on at all, turn the ice maker off.
  • Check if the noise has stopped. If not, check out the next possible cause.

4. Your refrigerator might not be level

If the noise coming from your refrigerator is a rattling sound, it could be the result of your appliance not sitting level on the ground. Thankfully, this is a very easy problem to solve.

Here’s what to do:

  • Place a bubble level on top of your refrigerator.
  • Check if the fridge is sitting level.
  • If it isn’t sitting level, adjust the fridge legs until it is. If the fridge is sitting level, make sure it isn’t sitting too close to the wall or your kitchen bench, as this can also cause a rattling sound.
  • Once you’ve adjusted the legs or moved your fridge into a better position, check if the noise has stopped. If not, check out the next possible reason.

5. The compressor might be faulty

The final reason to check out is if the compressor has become faulty. This is likely if the noise you can hear is a humming sound. While it’s normal to hear a slight humming sound from your compressor, if it gets really loud, this means something is wrong with it. The easiest way to fix a compressor that’s making a loud noise is to turn your fridge on and off to reset the compressor. If this doesn’t work, you will need to get a qualified technician to come and inspect your compressor, as working on them is extremely dangerous.

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