Why Is My Refrigerator Making Noise?


When your refrigerator is running it should make a low humming noise. However, that’s about it. You shouldn’t be able to hear the refrigerator unless you’re close to it. If your refrigerator is making a lot of noise, you can search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire a technician to fix it for you. Let’s check out what might cause your refrigerator to make loud noises.

The Reasons

  • It isn’t level – If you hear a loud humming noise from your refrigerator or something similar to chucking, you should check out if the refrigerator is level. All refrigerators come with adjustable legs. If one or more legs fall out of adjustment, the refrigerator can create a loud humming noise since the components are stressed out as they are tilted to one side.

You can check if your refrigerator is level with a spirit level or even your phone. There are multiple spirit-level apps that take advantage of the in-built gyroscope in your phone to serve the same purpose as the real thing. If the refrigerator is really out of level, you can just adjust the legs till it levels out.

  • Something is touching the refrigerator wall – This is one of the most common causes of refrigerator noise that can be fixed with the least amount of effort. If you like to keep things in large glass jars inside the refrigerator, make sure that it may cause a bit of noise. When the refrigerator runs, there are a lot of vibrations. These vibrations are muted by the insulating walls.

However, the walls aren’t able to completely get rid of those vibrations. Glass is very sensitive to vibrations, and even the small vibrations running through the refrigerator walls may cause a loud clattering noise. If you don’t see any glass jars or other such items close to the wall, rearrange the things inside your refrigerator just to rule out this problem. Move all solid items including door racks away from the wall.

  • Blocked or damaged fan blade – If you have ruled out the above-mentioned reasons, it’s time to get up close and personal. Go close to the refrigerator and listen to the noise for a while. You should be able to accurately deduce the location of the noise source. If the noise is coming from near the vent that’s located between the fresh food section and the freezer, then it may have something to do with the fan or its motor.

To make sure that the noise is due to the fan or its motor you need to disassemble your refrigerator and inspect the fan. In the best-case scenario, the fan may be dirty or slightly bent. Cleaning the fan or bending it slightly the right way should fix the problem. If the damage is major, you may need to replace the fan. On the other hand, if there’s nothing wrong with the fan, the noise is probably coming from the motor and that requires the expertise of a technician.

  • Motor noises – Your refrigerator has several components. Among them, the compressor, and the evaporator are the most important parts followed by fans at different places. All these components use motors. If those motors are damaged or at the end of their lifespan, they will make a lot of noise. The most difficult part of this problem is to figure out which motor is damaged or has run its course. You may need to diagnose each motor and even check the fan blades and their bearings.
  • Condenser tubes may be touching – At the back of your refrigerator, you’ll find the condenser coil tubes. These are metal tubes that maximize the surface area so that they can circulate and cool the refrigerant. If you haven’t moved the refrigerator anytime soon, the noise is probably not due to the condor coils. On the other hand, if you’ve moved your refrigerator recently, the condenser coils at the back may have been dented or damaged.

If the coils are bent or dented enough to touch each other, they will create a lot of noise. However, this noise is clearly distinguishable from the other types of noise your refrigerator may make. When the condenser coils are damaged or touching each other, they create a distinct metallic resonance from the back of the refrigerator. In that case, the refrigerant may be leaking out. It can be toxic, and you should be very careful while inspecting this.

Moreover, the coils require special equipment and technical expertise so that they can be repaired. It’s best to hire a technician for this fix. If the damage is severe the coils may need to be replaced. If your refrigerator is very old, replacing the coils is going to be very expensive. In that case, it’s better to just upgrade to a new refrigerator.

  • Damper problems – A damper is a flap that’s located between the fresh food compartment and your freezer. It opens and closes to control the flow of cold air. Since it’s a moving component of your refrigerator, it can get worn out over time. If you’re already disassembling the refrigerator for checking the fans or motors, you may as well check the damper for signs of damage. If the damper is grimy or rusty, replacing it should significantly reduce the refrigerator noise.
  • Water inlet valve is blocked – If your refrigerator is making noise at certain periods throughout the day, then it’s probably due to the water inlet valve. You’ll be sure about this culprit if the refrigerator makes excessive noise when you draw water from the water dispenser or when the ice maker is getting filled. This is probably caused due to the inlet valve being blocked by mineral deposits and other debris. Cleaning it should fix the problem.


Refrigerators have come a long way. If they are working properly, they shouldn’t be audible unless you’re in the same room. Modern high-end refrigerators aren’t even audible unless you open the door. If your refrigerator is making loud noises, you can hire a professional to fix it for you by searching for “refrigerator repair near me”.

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