How Do I Fix A Refrigerator That Is Noisy?

When your refrigerator is noisy there can be many causes for the noise. Most of the sounds you will hear from a new or old refrigerator is normal operating sounds. Some noises from your refrigerator can be fixed by doing a small adjustment to the fridge. Below are all the different sounds and noises your refrigerator can make with explanations for each.

noisy refrigeratorNoisy Refrigerator? – 20 Sounds your fridge makes and what they are.

Some new refrigerators have compressors that are able to regulate the temperature in a highly efficient way. Newer style compressors use less energy and are very quiet. When a newer more efficient compressor is operating normally, you will hear the normal operational noises your refrigerator makes. Most of these sounds are created by your fridge operating normally. Some sounds may sound loud or seem to occur very often. Find the different fridge sounds below and see what the sound is and how to make an adjustment if necessary to stop the noise.

1 – Vibration Noise
CAUSE = The refrigerator may not be level on the floor.
SOLUTION = Adjust the fridge legs or leveling screws and lower the leveling feet to the floor.

2 – Dripping Noise
CAUSE = The compressor refrigerant flow or the flow of the oil in the compressor.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

3 – Hissing Noise
CAUSE = Flow of refrigerant and or the flow of oil in the compressor.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

4 – Gurgling Noise
CAUSE = Can be heard when the ice melts during the defrost cycle and the water runs down and into the drain pan.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

5 – Water Running Noise
CAUSE = May be heard when ice melts during defrost cycle and water drips into the drain pan.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

6 – Buzzing Noise
CAUSE = Heard when the water inlet valve opens and closes to dispense water or fill the ice maker.
SOLUTION = If the refrigerator is connected to a water line, this is normal.
SOLUTION = If the refrigerator is not connected to a water line, turn OFF the ice maker.

7 – Clicking Noise
CAUSE = Heard when the water inlet valve opens or closes to dispense water and fill the ice maker.
SOLUTION = If the refrigerator is connected to a water line then this is normal and can be ignored.
SOLUTION = If the refrigerator is not connected to the water line then turn the ice maker to the OFF position.

8 – Repetitive Clicking Noise
CAUSE = Evaporator valve regulating the temp cooling operation.
SOLUTION = This sound is normal and is the rapid repetitive clicking sound as the fridge switches from cooling one compartment to another.

9 – Pulsating Noise
CAUSE = The fans or the compressor is adjusting to optimize the performance during normal operation.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

10 – Whirring Noise
CAUSE = Fans or the compressor adjusting to optimize performance during normal compressors operation.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

11 – Popping Noise
CAUSE = The contraction or expansion of the inside walls.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

12 – Rattling Noise
CAUSE = The water lines moving against the refrigerator cabinet or possibly items on top of the refrigerator.
SOLUTION = Secure water lines to cabinet or remove items from the top of the refrigerator.

13 – Banging Noise
CAUSE = Items are on top of the refrigerator or the moving of the water lines against the refrigerator.
SOLUTION = Remove items from the top of the refrigerator or secure water lines to cabinet.

14 – Sizzling Noise
CAUSE = Water is dripping down on the heater during the defrost cycle.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

15 – Clatter Noise
CAUSE = Ice cubes are falling into the ice storage bin.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

16 – Creaking Noise
CAUSE = Ice cubes are being pushed out of the ice maker mold.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

17 – Grinding Noise
CAUSE = Ice is being ejected from the ice maker mold.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

18 – Cracking Noise
CAUSE = The ice cubes are being ejected from the ice maker mold.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

19 – Water Dribbling Sound
CAUSE = Flow of compressor refrigerant or the flow of oil inside of the compressor.
SOLUTION = This sound is a common refrigerator operating sound and is completely normal.

20 – Compressor Running Too Long Noise
CAUSE = High efficiency compressor and fans running longer or slower to be more efficient.
SOLUTION = Large and more efficient refrigerators run longer at lower more energy efficient speeds. This is normal.

Do you have other reasons a refrigerator will make noises? Please leave a comment or question below.


33 thoughts on “How Do I Fix A Refrigerator That Is Noisy?”

  1. Frank Margiotta

    I have a 15 year old G E double door frig on and off its making a vibrating noise that comes and goes it on casters to roll it back and forth it’s starting to get annoying ,any ideas

  2. Sound of my refrigerator is making doesn’t quite fit any of these descriptions. The humming of the fridge changes pitch constantly, it’s pitch rising for about a quarter of a second every four or five seconds. Definitely something that’s developed.
    Thoughts?

  3. ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant

    Ryan,
    Samsung Refrigerator (RF217ACPN/XAA)
    Have you changed the water filter lately?
    How old is the refrigerator?
    Have you slid the refrigerator out and check the back?
    You may have a pinched water line somewhere.
    Check here, as there are parts diagrams that may help you to resolve the constant blowing or hissing sound.
    Samsung RF217ACPN/XAA Refrigerator Freezer Diagrams
    -RR

  4. Samsung Refrigerator (RF217ACPN/XAA) there’s one in particular that I’m hoping to receive some feedback for:
    Recently we’ve started to hear a constant blowing/hissing sound coming from the back of the fridge.
    This has now progressed to a high pitched whistling sound in addition to the constant blowing/hissing….almost like when you slowly release helium from a balloon.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  5. My fridge is making a very loud pulsing noise. It sounds like a trumpet. It seems to just go off at random and it will go on for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. I’m in quarantine and I’ve just been putting up with it, but I can’t sleep and I don’t know what to do. It’s so loud and definitely not normal. It’s like a high pitched, squeaky blare.

  6. I have had my Maytag refrigerator for over 15 years and it just started making a hissing noise. You stated that this is normal and I am telling you that it is not normal. What I have found is that it could be a build up of some kind in the water line. What I can not find is how to clean it out or fix it.

  7. A sound not listed – the main circuit board has a buzzer that will make a noise. I don’t know the solution unfortunately. I’m trying to figure it out. IT’s some kind of indication that the circuit board is bad

  8. The very loud popping noise I keep hearing coming from behind my fridge definitely doesn’t sound normal, not fan, not water running etc…
    Sounds more electrical sound. It’s so loud it makes me jump.
    Also the compressor is so hot I can’t hardly touch it.

  9. ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant

    Sal,
    If the water line is kinked and when you slide the fridge out to find the noise issue, the water line may snap or cause a leak.
    Either way, to avoid a water leak or possible flood (since you cannot get behind the refrigerator to turn the water valve off) you could turn off the water to your home and slowly slide the refrigerator out and not be worried if the water line breaks or disconnects.

    We would suggest to have another refrigerator water line on hand before you do this so all can be repaired at once while the water is off.
    Once you get behind the refrigerator and most likely replace the water line, make sure it is positioned so whenever the water is used by the refrigerator it does not make noise.
    Inspect the back of the refrigerator for any other issues that may be causing the noise.
    -RR

  10. Just bought a Whirlpool side by side. It’s been making loud high pitch buzzing sounds. Thought it was the refrigerator but have a hunch it is the SS water line that’s is touching the frig somehow. The sound changes from a rattle to vibrations and high pitch buzz when I move it in or out from its enclosure or wiggle side by side.. I don’t know for sure what’s going on b/c I cannot pull it out all the way to look in back. It seems stuck. I am afraid to yank it. I wasn’t watching when delivery men installed it. But since finding out the water line is 6 ft., I am wondering how it is coiled. Will I break anything if I force it out? Do you suppose the waterline could be the cause of all the noise?

  11. My GE makes a soft humming noise and doesn’t stop for quite awhile. Will this burn anything out, like the compressor?

  12. Your point #11-POPPING caused from expansion/contraction is very valid, however, I have a small/cheap/dorm sized/12yo GE/No defrost/ just large enough for 2 trays freezer unit which distributes the cold to the box that after years of quiet service and sitting on a dead level tile floor, started making really loud bangs [no ticking/clinking/grinding/dripping] every couple of mins while running [from next room it sounded like a 22]…checked it and freezer was completely full of ice inside-not much ice on outside, so I put it on the patio for 2-3 hrs to thaw & dry, started it up and it runs as well as it ever did but slight compressor noise due to not a lot of insulation & design shortcomings, then after a week or so, it started making a much quieter [but definitely noticeable] ‘popping’ every few mins when it runs! Still does a great job of being an aux refer [too small to actually use it for ‘real’–drinks and main refer overflow] but the noise source is perplexing…… ideas? comments…guesses?

  13. Kenwood american fridge freezer has error code E4 and is very noisy and unbearable. what may be the problem and can it be easily fixed? thanks

  14. I recently purchased a second-hand Whirlpool fridge/bottom freezer. I moved it upright, but carrying it into the house we tipped it near horizontal for a short period of time.

    From the start, it’s made very light noises and is now making a soft noise I can only describe as a chicken clucking. It does this regularly, but intermittently. It’s not major, but I’d like to know what it is and if I can fix it.

  15. Our motor is making a grinding type noise in our Samsung refrigerator it never did that before in the 6 + years we’ve had it… any suggestions?

  16. My refrigerator seems to make a whirring noise a lot. I downloaded an oscilloscope app and measured the frequency at 511 Hz. I know that if I generate that same tone I can cancel out the noise from the refrigerator, but I wonder what it might do to the compressor. Thoughts? Thanks.

  17. Have replaced water filter in 2 yr.old GE side by side. Today water dispenser suddenly made loud buzzing/grinding noise when button is pressed. Continues to make loud noise erratically. What’s causing this scary sound?

  18. My teen son slammed the door hard and now the compressor( bottom of fridge) makes a clicking sound almost constantly. It was not heard before the slamming. Is the compressor failing? We cleaned everything already.

  19. My yeen son slammed the door hard and now thw compressor( bottom of fridge) makes a clicking sound almost constantly. It was not heard before the slamming. Is the compressor failing? We cleaned everything already.

  20. My (ice Maker) has been making a continuous sizzling noise since yesterday.
    I cannot figure out how to stop it.
    I turned the ice Maker off after the tray was filled with ice cubes.

  21. I’ve replaced my evap fan with 2 different motors and a new fan blade. It runs great and quiet for hours and even days. It seems to rattle a bit and then makes a screeching noise off and on, until it satisfies the stat. Maybe I’m missing something but I’m stumped at this point….

  22. we have a whirlpool refrigerator and it is making a humming sound buzzing and the freezer is icing up and the bottom of the fridge is not keeping cold. we unplug the fridge overnight and re plug it will work for a couple of days or if we put food in the freezer it will start all over again. as long as the freezer is not full with meats it will run good for about 4 to 5 days before the hmmming begin again

  23. My ( 2nd ) new Kenmore Elite refrigerator makes a noticeable pitch when the compressor is running. At times it is more audible than other times. The Kenmore Elite is made by LG. Is this noise common?
    If I were to switch out refrigerators again and purchase a Kenmore ( non Elite model – LG ) which Kenmore would be preferable? It is my understanding that the regular Kenmore refrigerators are made by various companies. ie: Maytag.

  24. Recently, my Whirlpool “Mastermind” double door refrigerator’s printed circuit boards (both the main PCB on the rear and the small one at the top door panel used to set cooling rate) were replaced by Whirlpool service team to solve the cooling problem.
    However, few hours (3 ~ 4 hours) after the replacement, a chattering noise from the circuit board at the top door panel started.
    The noise mainly exists at night (from around 6:00 pm to around 6:00 am.
    Another thing is that the alarm sound level (heard when power main is turned on or door is opened for long time) after replacement of the circuit boards has become very low (almost inaudible).

  25. Our refrigerator makes a thunking, clattering rattle at the end of the cycle, starting with a big GUNG, and then damping out over about 2 seconds, as though it’s mounts are loose and it may vibrate loose.

  26. My LG has a buzz to it all the time. How things are arranged in the doors (glass against glass etc.) can make it buzz also the screws coming loose in the cover over the lights is a huge reason for buzzing.

  27. Dingus Malingus

    Is it supposed to rattle when moving it? I don’t remember it making the noise before, but today after moving it up a truck ramp and back down after a 2 hour ride, it sounds like something is bouncing around freely inside the freezer.

  28. ge refrigerator model gfsf2kexa makes a faint whining noise. Is this the compressor relay? Is it something that will fail soon? I looked online and found lots of noises, but none that was like a soft whine or soft humming like the 60 cycle AC hum when a transformer is turned on.

  29. We have a Hotpoint fridge freezer which works fine. The problem is every so often it makes a very loud rattling noise lasting about 4 to 5 seconds. Any ideas?

  30. I have a GE refrigerator that is about 11 years old. It has started making a squealing noise when it turns on. There have been times when it is not as cool and appears it has stopped working or there is a longer time between cycles. I am wondering if it is going out and if it would be cheaper to buy a new one. It could be the belt but I don’t see one.

  31. I have a Kitchen Aid Fridge with bottom freezer. It works just fine, but constantly makes a ticking sound (like an old wind-up clock) which stops when the freezer drawer is opened and the drawer light switch is activated. If you close the switch manually (not the drawer) the sound stops. Let the switch go open and the clicking starts up again. NO water leak, NO compressor/relay; not causing fridge to stop working; just ANNOYING!

  32. Mell G Cunningham

    Whirlpool model ETIWTKXKQ01 installed JAN 2002. At completion of compressor running cycle it has started making a buzzing sound (like a hockey goal buzzer) for a few seconds. Sound is definitely coming from lower rear mechanical space where, compressor, relays etc are located. It has no ice maker installed thus no water line connected. Refrigerator still operating , with good cooling temps. Sound recurs after each shut down of compressor, or about 20 minutes apart during typical operation.

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