When there is noise coming from your fridge that doesn’t sound normal, it might cause you to worry if there is a problem or not.
Certain noises including humming and buzzing are normal for most fridges unless something else is making them louder or becoming annoying.
Most of these noises you can fix yourself while others are a sign that you need to call a professional.
Here is everything you need to know about fridge noises.
Start to search where the noise comes from
No matter what kind of fridge you own or the different functions that every fridge can offer, there will be noises that your fridge makes daily.
The difference is that some noises can be louder than others ranging from buzzing, humming, or whirring sounds.
If you hear these noises standing right next to your fridge, it’s probably fine to hear the fans or pumps working normally.
When these noises are louder and can be heard across the kitchen, this should be an easy clue that something is making noise.
You will need to get closer and determine what part of the fridge is making this noise, or noises.
If you put your ear close to the back of the fridge, along the bottom, or even inside the fridge, this will give you a better chance to find the source of the noise itself.
If you’ve ever thought why is my fridge making a humming noise and strange sounds’ here is a quick list of symptoms to search for:
• Condenser coils and fan
• Evaporator fan
• Water inlet valve
• Main compressor
• Fridge base or wheels
• Items inside the fridge
• Items outside the fridge
1) Condenser coils and fan
On the back of your fridge, you may hear a strong buzzing or scratchy grinding sounds.
This can be from a defective fan that helps to cool the condenser coils.
If you notice that these coils have become covered in dust, this will prevent these coils from cooling properly.
You can bet this is a sure sign that the fan has needed to work harder to cool off the coils.
The noise itself is the sound of the condenser fan that likely needs to be replaced.
If this is the case, you will need to replace the condenser fan or clean it off to remove excess dust that might be on the fan blades.
This would cause the fan to make various sounds if there is debris scraping along the sides of the fan blades too.
To clean the fan you need to unplug your fridge so it’s safe to work on.
It would also be a good time to clean off the condenser coils with a vacuum cleaner to remove any built-up dust.
Take a look at your fridge user guide to see how to remove the fan safely to clean or replace it properly.
There will be connectors that attach to it using special quick-snaps that supply the electricity.
After the fan is removed, you can take off and clean dust or debris easier.
If the fan is not working correctly or is still making noise after this, it’s a sign the fan needs to be replaced.
2) Evaporator fan
This is another fan that is located in the back of your fridge but is one that is actually inside the freezer compartment inside your fridge.
The sound will be more obvious if you look inside your freezer and remove the containers to see if this fan is making the noise.
This is the fan that pulls cool air from inside your freezer and throughout your fridge.
Only when you open your freezer is when you can hear this fan noise clearly.
Because the evaporator fan is inside the freezer, this fan won’t be having any dust issues and is probably a mechanical issue.
Still, the motor for this fan will need to be removed from the back of the fridge, or through an access hatch inside the freezer compartment.
This usually depends on the fridge model you have.
Make sure that you always unplug your fridge to check the condenser fan.
Since this fan is located inside the freezer, it can make noise from scraping against the ice that has grown into the fan housing making a scratching sound, or from small bits of ice that are rattling around where the fan is placed.
The best solution is to defrost the freezer until there is no more ice blocking its path.
Once the ice is melted, this can remedy the noise problem.
If the evaporator fan still doesn’t work after this, it means the fan needs replacing.
3) Water inlet valve
And fridge that has an automatic ice maker will have a connector to a water source.
Even if you are using this inlet tubing, it will cycle through a program that allows ice to be made using the water from that inlet.
Since the inlet valve controls how much water is going into an ice tray, it can make sounds from time to time.
Other times, it can make more noise because of the blockages that happen inside the tubing or valve.
This happens because of water minerals that are building up inside the tubing or within the water inlet valve itself.
Since the restriction of water slows down the amount that is filling the ice tray, this part of the ice maker will become noisier.
If the water is completely cut off, these sounds will be more obvious than usual.
One remedy includes hooking up a water filter to the outgoing water supply before it goes to the water inlet in your ice maker.
The tubes that connect to your fridge are easy to clean out, and they should be manually soaked in a natural solution using vinegar and lemon juice.
This should break down any deposits within one or two hours and can be rinsed clean so they are clean again.
Any deposits inside the inlet valve are not so easy to clean out and will require professional help to remove these mineral blockages.
4) Main compressor
Every fridge has only one single compressor which is what makes your fridge function.
The compressor contains gas that is continually changing to keep the fridge cool inside.
The action of going from a gas into a liquid and then back again.
Normally, a compressor will make gurgling and hissing noises, especially when a fridge is brand new.
It will take some time for these sounds to become quieter as the compressor settles into daily usage.
If there is a noise that is coming from a compressor that is making more than the typical noises, it can also be a sign that your fridge is not leveled correctly.
This isn’t anything related to your compressor and should be another issue that is all about making sure your fridge is leveled-off correctly so it doesn’t make rattling noises because it’s not standing on all of its feet.
5) Fridge base or wheels
Your fridge model may include wheels on the bottom so it can be moved around easily.
There are also little stand feet that are adjusted to make the base completely steady.
If your fridge hasn’t adjusted the base feet, it could be reacting to the fans that are inside your fridge.
This would cause the base of your fridge to vibrate off of its center if the fridge is not sitting on a completely level surface.
It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to spot this problem by pushing or holding the fridge on the front or the side to hear these noises go away.
You can then unplug the fridge and take out the contents to level it manually.
Have a helping friend with leaning the fridge to one side to get to the little feet underneath the fridge.
These can be adjusted by turning them left or right so the fridge won’t vibrate in any direction.
6) Items inside the fridge
Even if your fridge is sitting on a level surface, the food and contents inside your fridge aren’t always level.
Certain types of bottles or cans aren’t made to sit on wire racks and can easily start to make vibrating clinking sounds.
Inspect the inside of your fridge and listen for anything that is reacting to the compressor or fan movement.
Often it’s because two glass bottles are within millimeters from each other and will make vibrating sounds.
7) Items outside the fridge
It’s common for most people to decorate the top of their fridge since this makes for a good place to store away certain items.
This also can make it more of a chance that smaller items can start to wobble and make noise.
If you stack anything on top of the fridge, they need to be placed in a level tray or have some tacky putty to keep them from rattling around.
Extra tips to reduce fridge noises
After checking everything, you might also think why is my fridge making a humming noise and vibrating sounds?
Here are three more rules that will prevent unwanted sounds from your fridge.
a) Check the drain pan
All fridge models will have some type of drain pan that slides on rails near the bottom of your fridge.
If these are improperly put back into place and aren’t fitting as they should, they can rattle and vibrate.
These drain pans can also be made from metal, which might have bent by accident along the hanging rail that could be causing more vibration if it’s slightly bent.
b) Add a rubber matt under the fridge
Adding a flat piece of rubber mat underneath your fridge is a good way to reduce unwanted vibrations that work as a shock absorber.
These rubber mats can be found at home improvement stores that are sold as precut pieces.
Adding a rubber mat will also help stabilize your fridge since the little feet underneath the fridge will sink in slightly but still gives great support for the weight of your fridge.
c) Give space between fridge and walls
Your kitchen may have a space that is large enough to fit a fridge with an inch or two to spare between the walls or counters.
If you start hearing sounds coming from your fridge, it could be from the normal vibration it’s making already except it’s pushing against a wall or counter too.
This will require you to adjust the fridge so it doesn’t touch these surfaces.
Add rubber bumpers along contact edges to keep your fridge from vibrating any further.