Is Your Refrigerator Buzzing? How to Fix It

It’s normal for your refrigerator to make a quiet buzzing noise when it is operating, but if the buzzing noise is loud and won’t go away, then this means something is broken.

Before you check the internal components, make sure the buzzing noise isn’t caused by something that is attached to the outside of your fridge, like a magnet. Sometimes they can cause a buzzing noise – but you’ve most likely ruled that out by the time you are reading this article. You also need to make sure that your refrigerator is “level” on the floor, as being unlevel can also cause a buzzing or vibrating noise.

If the buzzing noise is not caused by one of those two simple issues, then you need to start checking the internal components.

Compressor

The first component to check is the compressor. The compressor helps to circulate refrigerant through the evaporator and condenser coils. If it becomes faulty, it can cause a loud buzzing noise to develop.

Here’s how to test the compressor:

  1. Turn the refrigerator power off, and pull it out from the wall so you can work on it.
  2. Locate the compressor at the back of the fridge. You may need to remove the back panel to be able to access it.
  3. Use a multimeter to test the compressor by placing the probes on the electrical pins that you’ll find on the side of the compressor.
  4. The multimeter should show an open circuit, and if not, the compressor should be replaced by a qualified technician. If the compressor passes the multimeter test, it is not the cause of the problem, and you can move on to checking the condenser coils.

Condenser Coils

The next step is to check the condenser coils. Sometimes they can get covered in dust and/or frost, and this can cause them to have to overwork. This can sometimes make them start to make a buzzing noise.

To check the condenser coils, you need to:

  1. Make sure the power to the refrigerator is still turned off.
  2. Locate the condenser coils (they should be under your refrigerator at the back or front).
  3. Check the condenser coils to see if they are dirty.
  4. If the coils are dirty, you need to give them a good clean. You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and debris.
  5. Once cleaned, turn the refrigerator back on, and monitor it over the next few hours to see if the problem has been solved. If not, move on to checking the next component.

Condenser Fan Motor

The purpose of the condenser fan is to circulate air through the condenser coils so that it can remove heat from them. It also helps to circulate air over the drain pan to help evaporate the water in it. If the fan becomes faulty, it can sometimes make loud noises when it is operating.

To check the condenser fan, you need to:

  1. Make sure the power to the refrigerator is still turned off.
  2. Locate the condenser fan motor – it is located at the back of the fridge near the compressor.
  3. Inspect the fan for any signs of wear and tear, and see if you can manually turn the fan around.
  4. If the fan cannot turn the whole way around or is damaged in any way, it will need to be replaced.
  5. Once replaced, turn the fridge back on, and see if the problem has been solved. If not, check the next component.

Evaporator Fan Motor

The next component to check is the evaporator fan motor. This component is responsible for distributing the air over the evaporator coils while the compressor is operating. If the loud buzzing noise is coming from your freezer, then the fan motor might be the cause of it.

Here’s how to check the evaporator fan motor:

  1. Make sure that the power to the refrigerator is still turned off.
  2. Locate the evaporator fan motor. You will need to remove the evaporator fan cover that is in the freezer so you can access it.
  3. Check the motor for signs of wear and tear or damage. You can also try to move the fan around manually to see if it is obstructed in any way. If there is ice on the motor, you should defrost your freezer to see if that stops the buzzing noise.
  4. If the motor is damaged in any way or if the fan cannot turn freely around, it will need to be replaced.
  5. Once replaced, turn your fridge back on, and see if the problem has been solved. If not, you will need to check the next component.

Evaporator Fan Motor Grommet

The evaporator fan motor grommet isolates the fan motor from the mounting bracket, and it helps to stop loud vibrations and buzzing noises. Over time, it can become worn out or become detached, and this can cause loud buzzing or vibration noises to develop.

Here’s how to check the evaporator fan motor grommet:

  1. Ensure that the power to the refrigerator is still turned off.
  2. Take the evaporator fan cover off (it’s inside the freezer)
  3. Locate the grommet and check to see if it has fallen off or if it is damaged in any way.
  4. If it is damaged or has fallen off, it will need to be replaced.
  5. Once replaced, turn your fridge on to see if the problem has been solved.
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