What Causes a Refrigerator to Make Noise?
- Freezers can be located on either side of the refrigerator, or may be at the top or the bottom of the unit. If you hear a noise coming from the area in which the freezer is located, you should open the freezer and see if the noise gets louder. Any squealing sounds coming from this area indicate a broken freezer fan. These units are not designed to be repaired, and eventually one making a loud noise will break and need replacement.
- All motors typically require a fan in order to maintain a safe operating temperature. Like the fan in the freezer, the fan that runs on the condenser can also break down and create a similar squealing noise. The location of the fan noise is what differentiates the freezer and condenser fan problems. If you hear a fan noise coming from the lower part of the fridge at the rear, it is likely the condenser fan causing the problem.
- There are times when the noise coming from the fridge can be related to the position of the unit. An unlevel unit can cause the fridge to make strange noises. You'll likely notice this after putting a new fridge into place, so ensure that the unit is level before inspecting other places for sound problems. If the fridge is rattling from the bottom,however, make sure the pan at the bottom is firmly attached. It can rattle when the fridge motors are running if it becomes loose.
- Modern fridges typically have a defrost mode to keep frost and ice from building up in the freezer. The defrost mode is activated on a small timer that has its own motor. This motor occasionally wears out and may be the source of additional noise problems within the fridge. Most defrost timers are found behind the kick plate on the bottom of the fridge.