If your fridge is noisy, you must investigate what is causing it. A noisy fridge may signify a serious issue, so do not ignore the noise. It is important to unplug your fridge before any repair or cleaning.
How to silence a noisy fridge
Here are a couple of ways to stop the noise or insulate it so that it doesn’t carry through.
1. Identify the source of the noise.
Listen to find out if the noise is coming from the bottom, backside, or inside your fridge. For example, if the rattling noise comes from the back, the issue could be a loose drain pan. Also, loud noises from the backside signify problems with the condenser fan, compressor, or defrost timer.
If the noise comes from the inside, your evaporator fan could be failing. This is the part that circulates air through your fridge.
On the other hand, if the noise isn’t coming from the fridge, your heating and cooling system could be the issue. Again, you can research the HVAC sounds to look out for and what they signify.
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2. Clean your fridge
Since you hardly move the fridge to clean behind it, dirt and dust may build up and clog the moving parts, increasing friction, and decreasing efficiency. This means your fridge has to work harder, resulting in a noisy fridge.
Give your fridge a good wipe down and remove all dirt and dust buildup around the fridge, especially around the moving parts.
3. Inspect for loose parts
Your fridge will not run efficiently if there are loose parts. Such parts cause vibration and rattling.
- Check the drain pan: If the drain pan is loose, it causes your fridge to make loud noises from its bottom. Luckily, this is a quick fix. All you need is to secure your drain pan into place with the hardware to restore quiet.
- Water lines: Water lines rattle against each other and the back of your fridge and causes noise. Tape them down to minimize rattling.
- Also, check inside the fridge for any loose parts and secure them accordingly.
4. Look for a faulty defrost timer.
If you realize the noise is a scraping or ticking sound, your defrost timer is faulty. You can check if there is frost buildup in your freezer compartment, which signifies a failing timer. This is true if your thermostat is set correctly.
After checking, now listen carefully to the noise. Note whether you hear the noise twice a day for almost an hour, as this is another sign that your defrost timer needs replacing. Then, you can ask a professional to investigate the problem further and advise you accordingly.
5. Check the condenser fan.
Newer fridge models have a condenser fan to cool the condenser coil. First, check the access panel at your fridge’s backside to locate it. Once you find it, unplug your fridge and inspect the condenser fan to see if it runs properly. Also, check the fan and rubber grommets for wear and tear signs.
Then, with a soft brush, clean all debris and dirt that could be obstructing the condenser fan motor and lubricate it if necessary to ensure it continues to run smoothly and quietly. If after this the noise persists, you can replace it. But before then, check the evaporator fan and compressor to be sure of the noise source.
6. Inspect the evaporator fan
If you notice your ice isn’t freezing as quickly as before, or your fridge is getting too warm, your evaporator fan may be the issue and causes a loud noise coming from the freezer. First, check the evaporator fan cover for ice covering the motor. This can cause a noisy fridge, but you can fix this by letting the ice melt.
Also, push in the light switch in your fridge to check whether the evaporator fan is causing the noise. When you push the switch and notice the noise becomes louder, your evaporator fan is the problem. Check the fan to see how extensive the damage is.
You can access the evaporator fan from the access panel at the back of your fridge, where it is firmly secured in place with clips or screws. Once you locate the fan, unplug your fridge and use your hand to spin the fan blade to see if it’s working correctly.
Then check grommets, wires, and other parts for wear and tear. If the fan blade does not move smoothly or you notice further corrosion or damage signs, it could be time to replace the evaporator fan and the surrounding parts to make your fridge less noisy.
You can also clean the evaporator coils to ensure your fridge functions efficiently.
7. Check the compressor
When the temperature in your fridge rises, a sensor triggers the compressor motor to start. The compressor pumps refrigerant into your system and cools the fridge. If the compressor is faulty, it will produce a loud noise.
Although the compressor noise is a common problem, you should ensure it is the source of the noisy fridge. First, unplug the condenser fan motor and plug it back into the refrigerator. If the noise persists, the compressor may be the problem.
The compressor is a core part of the performance of your fridge. So, it is best to ask a fridge repair professional to check and repair the issue.
The compressor, evaporator motor, and condenser fan operate simultaneously. So, singling out the cause of your noisy fridge can be difficult. When you cannot pinpoint the cause of the noise, ask a professional for help.
8. Create a soundproof enclosure
This is a great way to insulate the noise and quiet a noisy fridge effectively. The enclosure traps the sound waves, making it harder for them to reach into the rest of the house. Here is how to do it.
- Place your fridge in an alcove.
Modern kitchens come with a built-in alcove where your fridge fits appropriately. However, you can build your if your kitchen doesn’t have one. Placing your fridge inside the alcove reduces the fridge noise significantly. In addition, you can add soundproofing inside the alcove to further minimize the noise, ensuring you leave ventilation room for your fridge.
- Create a soundproof cabinet
Build a cabinet whose dimensions are exact to fit your fridge while leaving ventilation room. You can use plywood, MDF, and drywall to build the cabinet. Also, create ventilation at the back for the fridge coils to get airflow. Once the cabinet is complete, add soundproofing material inside to reduce the noise.
9. Check the fridge legs.
When the fridge legs are not level, they cause vibrations and damage. So first, check for the lifted leg. Then, lower or raise the fridge legs by turning them with your fingers or pliers where necessary.
10. Fill your fridge
Filling your fridge allows you to create mass inside that helps absorb vibrations and sound and stops them from reaching outside the refrigerator. It also helps weigh down the fridge and minimizes movement or rocking. A lighter fridge is prone to moving because of vibrations.
11. Soundproof the inside of your fridge
If most of the noise comes from the inside, consider soundproofing your fridge. Although this method steals some of your inner space, it can work as a last resort to minimize the noise. Ensure the noise comes from the inside before spending your money and time on soundproofing.
Use a mass-loaded MLV or vinyl used in professional soundproofing applications like recording studios. Cut the rolled sheet into the exact shape to fit your fridge and use hot glue or spray adhesive to apply it to your fridge interior.
12. Decouple your fridge from the floor
Noise and vibrations are conducted through the floor. Consider decoupling your fridge to stop this sound transmission using a thick rubber mat to absorb the sound and reduce its energy before reaching the floor.
Alternatively, you can use anti-vibration feet or rubber risers to lift your fridge from the floor.
Common fridge noises
Fridges are robust machines expected to run continuously. As they run, they make some noise, and different parts are responsible for this. Here are a few noises to expect and what causes them.
- Fridge making vibrations: when you experience vibrations, the fridge feet may not be leveled.
- Fridge making loud humming noise: this happens when water is filling the icemaker.
- Gurgling noise: water may gurgle as it fills the tube heading to the drain pan as the ice melts during the defrost cycle.
- Buzzing noise: the icemaker buzzes as it fills with water.
- Rattling noise: it is caused when the water lines on the fridge’s back rattle against each other and the back panel.
- Popping noise: it is caused when the fridge walls expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate outside and inside the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is my fridge making a loud humming noise?
The loud humming occurs when the compressor is dirty. This is because the compressor coils dissipate heat, but dirt buildup makes them work harder, causing a loud noise.
Clean the compressor coils properly to fix this problem. However, if the noise persists after cleaning, your compressor may be faulty. You need to ask for professional help to inspect and repair it. Depending on your fridge’s age, it may be advisable to replace the compressor instead of repairing it.
2. Why does my mini-fridge make a popping noise?
Thermal expansion is the primary cause of this popping sound. Although fridges are cooling appliances, their temperature fluctuates as the defrost system melts frost off the evaporator coil and as the cooling cycle turns off and on.
These changes make plastic and other materials in the fridge contract and expand as they get cooler or warmer. The drop and rise in temperature cause the materials to make a pop sound. This sound is normal and part of the appliance’s everyday workings.
3. Why is my fridge making a noise that stops when the door is opened?
Refrigerator fans cause persistent noise that stops when you open your fridge door. This is because the fans circulate air through the system and stop spinning when you open the doors. As they spin, they produce noise, so they stop spinning when you open the door, and the noise stops.
Check this too: How to Reduce Noise From Upstairs Floors
This may be caused by frost buildup in your fridge. The noise will stop when the refrigerator defrosts automatically. However, if the noise persists, you may need to defrost the fridge manually.
4. Fridge making a rattling noise when the door is closed
A fridge making noise when the door is closed means you may have a faulty evaporator fan motor. Try cleaning and lubricating it to run efficiently. Also, if it shows signs of wear and tear, consider repairing or replacing depending on the extent of the damage.
5. How to stop fridge vibration noise
Vibration noise occurs when:
- the floor under the fridge is not level
- the refrigerator is not level
- the fridge doors are misaligned
- Items near or inside the fridge may cause the sounds.
To minimize the noise:
- Position your fridge such that its sides and back do not touch a cabinet or wall
- Ensure the floor, fridge, and fridge doors are level using a thick rubber mat or rubber raisers.
- Check the leveling feet and adjust them to give the fridge a backward slope
- Check for items touching the inner walls of the fridge as it runs, those on top and resting against the refrigerator. Remove such items.
By implementing the techniques listed above, you fix a noisy fridge and achieve a quieter space. However, you should ask for professional help before settling on any method to quiet your noisy fridge.