Are my Refrigerator Noises Normal?

Fred's Appliance Academy
September 4, 2021
Refrigerator Training

Hi, my name is Renae, and I'm an appliance repair tech. Today, I'm going to tell you which fridge noises are normal. If you already know the basics of how a refrigerator works, feel free to keep watching. If you don't or if you're not sure, go watch the video where I explain how fridges work before you watch this. Otherwise, it's not going to make any sense. All right, refrigerator noises. One of the most common complaints that I hear about new fridges is my new fridge is too noisy, or my new fridge sounds a lot different than my old one. And in 99% of those situations, the noises that the person's talking about are completely normal. So I'm going to go over some of the most common noises that fridges make, to help put your mind at ease if you think your fridge is making a strange noise, but you're not sure.

So when your compressor turns on, it's going to make a humming noise. Some compressors run at variable speeds, so sometimes the humming might get a little bit louder after a few seconds. As the compressor begins to push refrigerant through the lines and your metal evaporator starts going from one temperature to another, that thermal contraction and expansion can sound like a clicking, a popping, or even a banging sometimes. And the refrigerant moving through the lines can sound like a gurgling or water-flowing noise. Once some frost starts to accumulate on the evaporator, sometimes it makes a crackling noise. Your fridge is also going to have at least two fans on it. So you might hear a fan motor running as it starts to cool. Sometimes the refrigerant flowing through your lines even sounds like a ticking. If your fridge has an ice maker, when the ice maker fills, you might hear the busing of electricity going through your water valve as it turns on. While at the same time, hearing some water flow through your fridge. That noise usually lasts around five to 10 seconds.

And then when your fridge goes into a defrost and starts melting all the frost off of your evaporator, you might hear some more banging or popping from your evaporator. Again, thermal expansion and contraction. You might hear some hissing as ice drips down onto your evaporator heater, and you can also hear some dripping and water-flowing noises as the ice melts off your evaporator and turns into water. Those are the most common noises that you're going to hear from fridges, but that's not all of the noises that they make. Depending on the design of your fridge, some things might sound a little bit different than others.

So yes, if you get a brand new fridge, it's probably not going to sound like your other fridge. Most of the time with brand new fridges, it's just going to sound a little bit louder than usual because they're new noises that you're not used to, and that's totally normal. So as long as your fridge and freezer are cooling everything properly, and the noises that you're hearing sound at least similar to the ones that I've described, just give it a little bit of time. You'll get used to it.

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