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How To Fix A Refrigerator Making High Pitched Noise

Refrigerators can be noisy (clicking, buzzing, humming, high pitched squeaks) and some sounds are just a normal process of refrigeration. Sometimes a refrigerator will develop a problem and a high pitched noise can be heard. To fix this issue you must determine the source of the sound. By doing so you can locate the problem and hopefully avoid calling an appliance repair company.

fix fridge high pitch noise

You first have to do a little easy investigating. What type of noise it is that makes the refrigerator sound as if something is wrong? Is it a squeaking noise, a clicking noise, a buzzing noise, a humming noise, a loud high pitch vibration noise, or an occasional rattling noise? How loud is it and how long does the sound happen? If it is not a continuous sound, how often does it occur? Is this affecting the proper operation of your refrigerator or is it just an occasional annoyance? These factors can help you identify the source of the problem to help you to determine what you need to do to fix it.

Open the fridge freezer and determine if the noise is coming from one or the other. If the noise is inside the refrigerator… it is the circulating fan. This fan’s purpose is to move the cool air from the freezer to your refrigerator. This fan can start to make different types of noises over time. Usually the circulating fan will need to be replaced. In some situations you can take the fan out clean it off and bend or straighten the blades to make the noise stop. Usually the noise is from the motor of the fan which is not fixable. Order a new circulating fan online will be inexpensive for you to repair the problem with your fridge.

If the noise is coming from the rear or back of the refrigerator, 2 things can cause the noise:

1. Compressor (see below for troubleshooting)
2. Condenser fan
(see below for troubleshooting)

Refrigerator CompressorCommon Fridge Compressor

Refrigerator Condenser Fan And MotorCommon Refrigerator Condenser Fan And Motor

Compressor: The compressor contains a motor that sits in a sealed case. If it becomes faulty it can make high pitch noises. If your compressor is causing the noise, the compressor needs to be replaced and this can be expensive. It may make more sense to just buy a new refrigerator if your compressor is shot.

Condenser Fan: If you find that the condenser fan is making the noise you can clean it off from dirt and lint. A dirty condenser fan can cause the noise you are constantly hearing. It is located near the compressor and can’t be missed if you are behind your refrigerator looking for it. You can also give the fan a few drops of oil as it may just need oil to lubricate it to stop the noise.

Another area that could be making a noise on your fridge is the very bottom. A drain pan is the only thing underneath the fridge but it may need to be repositioned as it could be vibrating and causing a noise.

Refrigerator Making an Odd Noise – Kenmore, Sears, Whirlpool, LG, Samsung, GE

Noisy Whirlpool Fridge Fan Motor Refrigerator Fix

If you have experience in fixing or repairing a refrigerator making a high-pitched noise, please leave a comment below to assist others.

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53 thoughts on “How To Fix A Refrigerator Making High Pitched Noise”

  1. My older KitchenAid top freezer has a high pitched buzzing sound. I have narrowed it down to the fan because when it makes the sound, I give it a little tap on the center of the fan and it quits. My first inclination is to change the fan blade. When I grab the fan blade it will slide back and forth on the shaft about an 1/8 of an inch. Is it supposed to do this or does that confirm I need a new fan?

  2. I have a 1976 Whirlpool Mark I refrigerator, Model number EAT171PTER3, in Coppertone, which goes well with my 1976 Caloric Stove and Dishwasher in harvest gold. I have become quite attached to the fridge in the last 45 years and it continues to work just fine. But I came home to a loud chirp/scream that I tracked down to the evaporator fan. Probably time to say goodby and get a new fridge but I am told the wait time is two months or more. But the fan will work perfectly for up to 12 hours after the fridge has been off and warmed up. But just when I think it has fixed itself, the chirp/scream starts again. The fan changes speed when it screams. But let it rest and it is back to normal. Is there some kind of motor control in this fridge that could be kicking in? Or is it time to cut up a beer can and get out the JB Weld to make a modern part fit?

  3. I have Frigidaire side by side refrigerator freezer about 10yrs old. It just recently started this high pitched shrill sound. Tech came out and replaced compressor because fridge had gradually stopped cooling. It was leaking freon. A month later problem was back. So he said evaporator coil was leaking freon. Thinking of replacing that vs new fridge but this high pitched shrill sound is driving me nuts. At night when its quiet the sound is ridiculous. And in these small homes with “great” rooms (family-living-kitchen rooms combined) I’m literally in the same room as the fridge. Thinking of getting new fridge until I saw all the comments about problems with new refrigerators.

  4. Robert Frazer

    The same problem as others have identified earlier. We have a high pitched sound 3K hz, about 95db. Not a door alarm or fan noise.It only lasts a second, then maybe one more cherp, then nothing for 12 hours. Fridge works fine, no sign of not keeping the cold stable. We thought at first it was a smoke alarm but it’s definitely the fridge . And it’s LOUD !!! Is it the compressor? How can we test? Thanks for your help

  5. I have an Amana fridge/freezer, but I’m guessing your GE is similar. The fan is located behind the rear inside panel of the freezer since that is where the cold air is generated for both the freezer and fridge. The fan moves the air behind the panels from the freezer to the fridge section.
    My fan swap isn’t pretty since I had to remove ice maker, freezer trays/baskets, tray side rails, etc… before being able to access the rear panel. Remove the screws holding the panel and pry the metal panel out from the bottom first since there can be ice formed there over time. Once the panel comes out enough to access the fan motor you should see it mounted such that it’s moving air from freezer to fridge. If the fan won’t spin then you know you have a seized motor.
    I chose not to remove the old motor until I already had a new one in hand since I didn’t want to go through the process twice.
    Hope this helps, and it matches with your fridge/freezer setup for motor access. To be certain do a search online for a YouTube style video for your specific make and model to see someone actually do the repair on your screen before you tackle it. Makes life a lot easier seeing someone else perform it first and have it with you as you attempt the repair too.
    Good luck Liz!!

  6. I have a GE top freezer refrigerator that is making a high-pitched noise while running. It seems to be coming from the inside of the refrigerator, so I’m assuming that it is coming from the circulating fan. Where is that fan located?

  7. Less than year old whirlpool fridge-every 13 minutes it makes high pitch squeal sound from back of fridge doesn’t last even a minute but continues reoccurring as I said every 13 minutes??????????

  8. My fridge makes loud high pitched squeaky sounds intermittently only during the coldest months of the year. When it’s warmer it doesn’t. I can’t tell if the sound is coming from the inside or the back of the fridge. If it were a fan I feel it would squeak year round. Could the compressor have a harder time functioning in the cold weather?

  9. Did you ever get a fix for this problem? Experiencing same with Samsung fridge, high pitched sound when dispensing water.

  10. Hi have same problem here. I am sensitive to high pitched squealing and even when its unplugged the problem persists….did you find a solution??

  11. i have kitchenaid refrigerator and making whistle sound and its coming from backside when compressor turn off then when fan turn on it make beeping sound two to three times and then it turn on so may be fan or compressor it self making that sound

  12. My LG no-frost fridge freezer (GR-391SCA) was making a loud warbling/whining noise that I was sure was the freezer fan
    After reading a few of your posts but as this fan is quite different to the ones seen I wasn’t sure what to do once I pulled off the inside cover in the freezer compartment.
    The noise lessened quite significantly when I started to remove the inside cover off the back of the freezer wall.
    It was previously so loud it had me up all night with the constant cycling of the fan.
    Although the noise was less, after turning it off to check the fan more closely I noticed there isn’t a lot of ‘play’ in the fan.
    It doesn’t wobble side to side and all over the place like others you have shown, but there is a little play between the lock on the front of the fan and the rear of the fan where it connects to the motor.
    I thought perhaps that was lending it towards rubbing on the main cover thus causing the noise but there is no sign of a ‘wear pattern’ that might indicate that was the issue.
    I decided to ring a local repairer for advice but nobody is returning my calls so I half put it back together by just sitting the back wall cover in place (it’s not clipped fully back in though) for now to put the freezer contents back in while I figure this out.
    Though, the noise had now stopped altogether!
    The freezer has still worked perfectly this entire time and it still is even a couple of hrs post partial put together – no frost or build up anywhere, good temp control, it was literally only the fan noise driving me up the wall and now that’s gone again.

  13. Did you ever figure out the problem with your fridge, because my Gibson fridge is making this same sound even when it is unplugged for over an hour.

  14. I have the same problem with my Whirlpool fridge.
    Can you take a pic of what you did and e-mail to me?

  15. My new Whirlpool fridge started to make a high pitched sound shortly after the compressor started.
    Problem is from one of the 1/4″ copper tubes which is capped or in my case pinched off for inserting the refrigeration gas into the compressor.
    I was acting as a tuning fork.
    You could control the on/off of the noise by holding the piping.
    Solution for me was some Styrofoam with a 1/4″ hole drilled in and some duct tape around the base of the piping to take away with vibration.
    Noise stopped.

  16. Hi my Westinghouse side by side makes loud vibrating metallic sounds everytime the motor kicks in what could be the cause?

  17. I’ve got a loud clicking noise on my Samsung American fridge freezer which happens when I’m opening and shutting the fridge this can last a long time after it’s been open and shut what is it and is it costing me a lot of money in electricity.

  18. i have a GE fridge and freezer..it makes a shrieking high pittched noise for hours at a time from the bottom of it….it echoes in my whole house…

    i am renting so i called the owner who called the service and they replaced a fan in the freezer but it is not where the noise comes from..reading here iot seems it could be the drain pan..how do i get to it and clean it or what do i have to do?

    is there a sort of foam i can buy for now to absorb this noise?

    please help!!

  19. Hey Naama,

    I’m in the EXACT same situation as you. But mine is a Samsung refrigerator. I’ve called Samsung and waiting to hear back from them about setting up a repair time. I kind of expect the technician to say “oh, that’s normal.” But I’ll push for them to open it up and at least grease some fans or something.

    Either way, I’d say we had bad luck and ANY brand of fridge might have the same high pitch noise so returning for a different brand may not help. Call Kenmore and have them come look at it.

  20. I just bought a Kenmore Elite bottom freezer refrigerator. Its making high pitch noise. Not too loud but enough to drive me crazy. The first 24 hours were the loudest and now it’s more subtle, but i can still hear it. Should i return the refrigerator? I am in a dilemma here because i am sensitive to high pitched sounds and i am afraid that it will also be the case with the next refrigerator. Any recommendation for a refrigerator that do not have this problem? (For a maximum 30″ wide fridge). I like this new fridge, but worried about the noise.

  21. Caroline Bennet

    My fridge makes an extremely loud hum, like a generator or AC unit, whenever it is cooling the contents. In other words, not all the time, but just when it kicks in to cool. Sometimes there is a high pitched sound as well as the hum. It sounds so awful that when it kicks off you feel incredibly relieved. Is there any chance it is something cheap to fix like the fan or is it likely the compressor? Thanks!

  22. I have a new fridgidaire french door fridge with the freezer below. Since about 3 weeks in it has been making a nearly constant high pitched whirring sound, i think it’s coming from somewhere down behind the freezer. Some people can’t hear it at all, but i have sensitive ears and it drives me absolutely bonkers. Any ideas?

  23. DIY Project Help Tips

    Sarah G,
    Usually a high pitched noise coming from the refrigerator when the compressor kicks on is a fan issue.
    Did the technician check both fans?

  24. Brand: Maytag
    Model: MTF1893AR
    Issue: Fridge/Freezer Freezer on Top/Fridge on Bottom makes high pitched noise. It doesn’t do it all the time. It appears to do it when it kicks into high gear cooling it. Maintenance guy unplugged fan to see if fan was cause but not the cause. Maintenance guy says can’t be compressor because compressor runs 24/7/366.
    Any thoughts on cause? Plus so high pitch that I can hear it but Maintenance guy can barely hear it so doesn’t want to replace it.

  25. DIY Project Help Tips

    There is a fan in the back portion of the freezer.
    When it is spinning, it is most likely hitting the housing and making the sound.
    You will have to unplug the refrigerator, take the panel off inside the freezer and check the fan.
    You can possibly bend the blades so it stops hitting, or it may need to be readjusted or replaced.

  26. My Kenmore 26 model refrigerator has a very loud, annoying humming screeching noise. Constant comes from freezer area.

  27. Michelle Colicchie

    We have a Maytag side by side Dual Cool refrigerator, and it was not keeping the freezer items frozen so when I read online it said the main culprit may have been the dust or pet for build up on the coils. There was some frost on the back of the freezer halfway up also. I removed the frost and I cleaned all the coils, front and back- I plugged it in and it still was not working. Now it is making a high-pitched humming sound. It is still making ice with no Icy build up on any lines. However there is some ice forming on the back of the freezer about halfway up again.

  28. High pitched continuous tone coming from Siemens Fridge Freezer. It gets louder when door is opened.
    Weird thing is it doesn’t stop even if you remove the power from it. I have now left the power off for 15 minutes and it is still very loud with the door open. It is coming from the fridge not the freezer. Normal fridge and freezer operations still seem to be working though.

  29. DIY Project Help Tips

    The buzzing noise you are hearing is most likely a noisy capacitor, relay, compressor, or something may simply be loose.
    Unplug the machine and check to be sure all parts are secure.
    If a part becomes loose it may buzz.
    Usually a buzzing noise on any type of refrigeration is a cap or relay.
    If it is a cap or relay, you can buy replacements very cheap online.
    Let us know what you find. Give us the model number of your water cooler also.

  30. I have a Vittapur countertop water cooler that has suddenly started making very loud noises like a buzz. How do I fix it? It sounds like it is cycling and comes from the back of the unit.

  31. Make absolutely positive, that the appliance is level, both front-back, also side-to-side. Some makes are extremely sensitive to being level.

  32. DIY Project Help Tips

    The beeping usually means that the temp is getting to high……….
    Check temp settings and that the door is fully closed and sealed.
    Try unplugging the Hisense bar fridge for 5 minutes and see if that resets it.

  33. My Hisense HR6BF157R bar fridge is making a beeping sound (almost chirping). It’s not consistent though. Some times it’s about once a minute but sometimes ten minutes or more will pass without the sound.

  34. DIY Project Help Tips

    Where is the buzzing sound coming from on your Whirlpool refrigerator?
    It may be one of the fans. One behind the freezer and one in the bottom back of the fridge.

    If the noise ONLY happens when the compressor is running, you could have a compressor that is loose and vibrating against the base. Tightening the bolts that hold the compressor to its base may solve the buzzing noise.
    Let us know what you find.

  35. My 6 month old Whirlpool model number wrx735sdbm00 is making a buzzing whining sound when the compressor kicks on and buzzes throughout it running. For the last 3 weeks. The service repair man changed a damper in the ice machine and this did not solve the problem. I have not noticed any change in temperature. What else can we look into?

  36. I have a Samsung side by side. I purchased this in November 2009. I noticed months ago a high pitched sound, not super loud but you can hear it in the next room. Twice now I noticed the small rug in front of the refrigerator was wet (heavy duty outdoor type mat) and underneath water,. It is not coming from the freezer but from the inside of the refrigerator itself, down under the last bin for fruit. The temps are all doing good, nothing has changed, food is frozen on the freezer side and on the refrigerator side cold. Some water on the floor under the back of the refrigerator side.

  37. DIY Project Help Tips

    Most likely the fan or compressor is creating the noise. The compressor may be going bad or possibly the fan is making the high pitched noise when the compressor is running. Can you not look at the back of the fridge when the high pitch noise occurs and find the part that is making the noise? If it is the compressor, replace the mini fridge. If it is the fan, replace the fan as they are cheap and easy to install.

  38. There is a mini fridge in my office that has a high pitched whine that happens every 2 hours or so. It will build up to a louder pitch, and sometimes stop on it’s own, or else I will have to unplug and replug the fridge, which stops it. Any Ideas what it could be?

  39. DIY Project Help Tips

    It is most likely the fan near the compressor in back. If it makes a high pitched sound it can be replaced quite easily and inexpensive. It may also be a compressor issue also but you will have to slide the fridge out to see what is causing the noise first.

  40. I have just moved into a flat with a fully built in kitchen containing a snug fridge-freezer. There is an intermittent high pitched sound which lasts for about 3-4minutes at a time and then “clicks” off for a period of time before coming back on again. Probably happens every 10-15 minutes and it is driving me mad! I cannot move the fridge/freezer as it is built in. What do you think likely cause is? Is there anything simple I can do. Thanks.

  41. DIY Project Help Tips

    You most likely have a fan that is making the high pitch noise. Check the fan in the freezer section and the fan down near the compressor to be sure the fan blades are not hitting or making contact with anything and therefore causing the noise. You may also have a compressor that is making high pitched noises when it runs. Is the noise constant or intermittent?

  42. Frigidaire refrigerator 6 months old has been making a high pitch noise constantly since the first week we purchased it. It’s working fine otherwise but sounds like I have crickets loose in my house! What could be causing this?

  43. DIY Project Help Tips

    Ross Kosowicz,
    Before anything, replace the refrigerator water filter as it may be clogged and causing the weird noise. If that does not fix your issue, write back and let us know.

  44. We have a high pitch noise on a 2 year old KitchenAid refrigerator. Most times when we push the paddle for drinking water on the outside freezer door. This is the only time we hear this noise thinking it might be from the water pump. Any ideas how to fix this problem?

  45. DIY Project Help Tips

    Does the high pitched sound only happen when the compressor is running? Are the fans aligned correctly and not hitting the area surrounding them? Make sure all parts are secure and TIGHT as something that may be loose could be causing your issue.

  46. I have the same problem as Leah, GE French door fridge that was only purchased two months ago. We haven’t hooked up the water line for the ice maker, but the ice maker is turned off. It’s a high pitched whine – it sounds consistent sometimes, but others it can go higher pitched. I can’t track it down, but it seems to be originating from the fridge, not the freezer. Any suggestions?

  47. I have the same issue with my LG French door freezer drawers beneath. Was the problem ever fixed? LG repair just replaced the control board. Not sure if it is fixed because the noise stopped before they came to diagnose the problem. I have a feeling it will still make the noise. Refrigerator was bought about 8 months ago and has been repaired twice, the first time they replaced a fan and motor.

  48. DIY Project Help Tips

    What make and model fridge do you have?
    Where does the sound originate from, back, front, inside, bottom..etc?
    How long is the “chirp” in duration?
    Is the fridge working properly besides the noise?

  49. Our fridge makes a high pitched noise, but only every so often. I jokingly refer to it as “our pet bird” because it kind of sounds like a chirp. Other people visiting have thought it was a smoke alarm that needed a new battery. It isn’t a consistent sound, just chirps every once in a while, and not even at regular intervals. Any ideas would be appreciated!

  50. DIY Project Help Tips

    Can you tell us the brand and model number your fridge is? Is the compressor running? Does the compressor hum? Can you hear a relay near the compressor click? Are the fans in the fridge/freezer running?

  51. The fridge was making a loud humming sound for about 2 weeks. When you opened the fridge door it would stop. Then the fridge stopped cooling all together. We took it apart and found it was completely frozen. We thawed it out, and plugged it in this morning and then it seemed to be cooling but now it has stopped again. It no longer makes any noise. We have completely cleaned all the coils in the back. Freezer is working excellently. Please help us. Thank you

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