Unusual noises, such as bubbling, grinding, squishing, and banging, are common (at least for me) when the refrigerator door is closed.
Many of these noises have straightforward, easily addressable causes, such as an overfilled evaporator water bucket, ice buildup, a defective door seal or hinge, significant temperature fluctuations, a dirty condenser, or poor airflow. However, more worrisome factors, such as a faulty compressor or condenser fan or an unstable unit, necessitate the skills of an HVAC technician for resolution.
Quick Summary: Fridge Making Noise When Door Closed
Below is a concise overview detailing the factors contributing to noise generation within a refrigerator when the door is closed, along with potential solutions to address this issue,
|Cause||Sound Type||Quick Solutions|
|Overfilled evaporator water bucket||Bubbling||Check for an overfilled evaporator water bucket and empty it as needed.|
|Ice buildup||Grinding||Inspect the freezer for ice buildup and defrost it. Check the door seal for proper closure.|
|Defective door seal or hinge||Squishing||Verify the condition of the door seal and hinges; replace them if necessary. Check for obstructions.|
|Dramatic temperature fluctuations||Banging||Address dramatic temperature fluctuations by adjusting temperature settings. Ensure door closure is airtight.|
|Dirty condenser||Clattering sound||Clean the condenser and the entire refrigerator to remove dust and debris. Ensure the door seals properly.|
|Poor airflow||Pounding or jingling sound||Improve airflow within the refrigerator by ensuring sufficient clearance around it. Check door gaskets.|
|Faulty compressor or condenser fan||Buzzing, screeching, clattering, thumping sound||Defrost the ice around the fan and avoid overloading the fridge. Seek professional help from an HVAC technician.|
|Faulty Evaporator Fan Motor||Loud rattling, knocking sound||Replace the faulty evaporator fan motor. Ensure proper door closure.|
|Unstable Unit||Rattling, loud vibration||Stabilize the fridge and the inside trays. Ensure the door is properly aligned and latches securely.|
|Leaking water from the fridge||Dripping or splashing||Check for water leaks inside or around the fridge and repair or replace damaged components. Ensure door seals properly.|
|Excessive frost in the freezer||Hissing or crackling||Thaw the freezer and inspect the door seal for damage; replace if necessary. Ensure proper door closure and ventilation.|
What is Normal or Unusual Fridge Noise When the Door Is Closed?
You should know that fridges often make different noises when you shut the door. Most of these noises are normal and part of a fridge’s work. So, you can’t get rid of them.
These noises include,
|Gentle Humming or Low Whirring Noise||A mild, ongoing sound reminiscent of a gentle hum or low whirring.||This noise may emerge in a new refrigerator due to newly installed, unlubricated components, which typically diminishes over time with regular usage.|
|Subtle Hissing Sound||A slight hissing sound, akin to the soft release of air.||This sound can manifest when water drips or when refrigerant gas flows, both of which are standard occurrences in refrigeration.|
|Muted Gurgling Sound||A sequence of soft, bubbling or gurgling noises.||This auditory effect often arises from the movement of water within the drain pipe or during refrigerant operation, or when ice is melting. It’s a normal and brief sound.|
|Intermittent Snapping, Popping, or Cracking Sound||Occasional, modest cracking or popping noises.||These sounds can result from the expansion and contraction of plastic components due to fluctuations in temperature, which is a routine phenomenon.|
|Soft Chirping or Clicking Sound||A gentle chirping or clicking noise.||This can occur when the refrigerator initiates its operation or when the door is shut, causing contact points to engage.|
|Low-Level Buzz||A subdued, continuous buzzing sound.||This noise may materialize when the ice maker fills with water or when the water dispenser is in operation, as these are standard processes.|
|Creaking or Cracking||A sequence of creaking or cracking sounds.||These noises are usually associated with the ejection of ice when the ice dispenser is in use, unless they are excessively loud.|
|Whistling or Brief Blowing Sound||A momentary whistling or blowing noise.||This sound often signifies the flow of refrigerant gas, which is standard. It can also manifest during the cooling or freezing and does not warrant concern.|
|Subdued Bubbling Sound||A gentle bubbling or gurgling noise.||This sound often signifies the flow of refrigerant gas, which is standard. It can also manifest during the cooling or freezing process and does not warrant concern.|
Now that we have addressed the typical refrigerator sounds, let us examine unusual or abnormal noises that may occur when the door is closed.
|Sound Type||Description||Likely Source|
|Rattling||A rattling noise is like rapid shaking, often due to loose parts or obstructions in the fridge.||Obstructions, defrost issues, nearby objects, or uneven ground can cause rattling.|
|Grinding||Grinding sounds are harsh, like two hard surfaces rubbing together. It suggests friction or interference in the fridge’s components.||Excessive ice buildup or a malfunctioning condenser fan can lead to grinding noises.|
|Squeaking||Squeaking is a high-pitched, squeal-like sound, often due to a lack of lubrication, typically at a hinge or pivot point.||Faulty fridge door hinges cause squeaking. Applying food-grade silicone spray can help.|
|Knocking||Knocking is a repetitive, striking noise, like a series of light impacts. It indicates irregular fan motor movement.||Overheating or malfunctioning fan motors often lead to knocking noises.|
|Loud Bang or Water Hammering||A loud bang or water hammering is a sudden, sharp noise, often due to water flow changes in the fridge’s plumbing system.||Excessively high water pressure can cause loud bangs or water hammering.|
|Loud Vibration||Vibrations are rhythmic shaking, typically due to an unstable fridge placement or unsteady trays.||Placing the fridge on a stable surface and securing trays can reduce vibrations.|
|Loud Hum or Pulsating||A loud hum or pulsating sound is like a consistent, droning noise. It’s related to the condenser fan or water supply issues.||Malfunctioning condenser fans or ice maker water supply problems may cause a loud hum or pulsating sound.|
|Scraping or Loud Whirring||Scraping or loud whirring is a rough noise, like components rubbing against each other. It’s often due to ice buildup around fans.||Ice buildup around fans can lead to scraping or loud whirring sounds. Defrosting the fridge can help.|
|Loud Chirping or Squealing||Chirping or squealing is high-pitched, intermittent noises. It indicates issues with the motor fan, especially if it’s loud.||A malfunctioning motor fan may cause loud chirping or squealing sounds. Consider fan replacement for quieter operation.|
Why Does My Fridge Make Noise When Door Is Closed?
When your fridge starts making strange sounds after you close the door, especially if it’s new, it can be a bit unsettling. But don’t worry too much! I’ve got you covered with 11 common reasons for these noises and how to fix them,
1. Overfilled Evaporator Water Bucket
If you hear a bubbling sound in your fridge, it’s likely because the water bucket in the evaporator is too full.
The evaporator is a vital part of your fridge’s cooling system. It removes heat inside the fridge and freezer, creating condensation that collects in the water bucket.
You hear bubbling when it’s too full as excess water interacts with the warm evaporator coil.
To fix this,
check the water bucket (usually in the freezer). If it’s full, carefully empty it. Then, put it back in place. Regularly emptying this bucket is crucial for preventing water overflow and maintaining your fridge’s efficiency and quiet operation.
2. Ice Buildup
If your fridge is making a grinding noise, it’s likely due to too much ice buildup.
Excess ice can accumulate on parts like the coils and fan blades in the freezer or fridge, causing strange sounds and potentially harming the cooling performance.
To fix this,
- Check the Freezer: Look for visible ice buildup on coils, fan blades, or other parts in the freezer.
- Defrost the Freezer: Turn off the fridge, empty the freezer, and leave the freezer door open to let the ice melt away. You can speed this up by placing bowls of hot water inside.
- Inspect the Door Seal: While the freezer defrosts, check the condition of the door seal. Ensure it’s in good shape and forms a tight seal when the door closes. A bad seal can let warm air in, leading to more ice buildup.
- Prevent Future Ice: Regularly check and clean the door seal to prevent ice from returning. Avoid leaving the freezer door open for long periods, and ensure the fridge is set to the right temperature to prevent excessive frost.
3. Defective Door Seal or Hinge
The fridge door seal, or gasket, is a rubber strip around the door that’s supposed to keep the cold air inside. The hinge is what lets the door swing open and shut.
When any one of these is defective a squishing sound is produced.
To fix this,
Check the Door Seal: Look at the seal for damage or wear. You can do a quick test by putting a dollar bill in the door and closing it. If you can easily pull the bill out, the seal is probably bad.
Replace the Door Seal: If the seal is bad, get a replacement that fits your fridge. Follow the instructions to install it.
Check the Hinge: Make sure the hinge isn’t bent or damaged. If it is, try to adjust it so the door closes properly and stays airtight.
Keep Up with Maintenance: Don’t forget to clean the seal and keep the hinge in good shape as part of your regular fridge care routine.
4. Dramatic Temperature Fluctuations
If your fridge makes a banging noise, it’s often due to dramatic temperature fluctuations.
These fluctuations can be caused by a faulty thermostat, incorrect temperature settings, or a door that doesn’t seal properly.
The fridge’s parts must work extra hard when the temperature changes, creating a banging noise.
To fix this,
- Adjust Temperature Settings: Check and set the fridge to about 37°F (3°C) and the freezer to 0°F (-18°C) to maintain proper food storage temperatures and reduce temperature swings.
- Inspect Door Seals: Look at the door seals (gaskets) to ensure they are clean, in good shape, and free of debris. Proper seals keep the doors airtight and prevent warm air from getting in.
- Minimize Door Openings: Limit how often you open the fridge doors, as frequent openings can cause temperature fluctuations. Make sure the doors close tightly.
- Thermostat Check: If the temperature issues persist, consider having a professional technician inspect the thermostat and other internal components to ensure they function correctly.
5. Dirty Condenser
When your fridge makes a clattering sound, it’s often due to dirt and debris in the condenser coils or fan.
The condenser is crucial for cooling and gets rid of heat. When it’s clogged with dust, hair, or particles, it can’t cool efficiently and produces strange noises like clattering.
To fix this,
- Unplug the Fridge: First, unplug the fridge for safety.
- Access the Condenser: Find the condenser coils and fan, usually at the back or bottom of the fridge. Check the manual for guidance on accessing them.
- Clean the Condenser: Use a brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dust and debris from the coils and fan gently. Make sure they’re clear.
- Inspect the Door Seals: While cleaning, check the door seals (gaskets) to ensure they are clean, debris-free, and in good condition for a proper seal when the door closes.
- Plug It In: After cleaning, plug the fridge back in and ensure the clattering noise is gone.
- Regular Maintenance: To prevent future issues, schedule routine condenser cleaning as part of your fridge maintenance to keep it running efficiently.
6. Poor Airflow
When your fridge has poor airflow, it can create a pounding or jingling sound.
This can happen when vents are blocked, and there’s not enough space around the fridge, or problems with the door gaskets.
When air can’t circulate properly, the fridge’s parts must work harder, leading to strange noises.
To fix this,
- Ensure Clearance: Ensure enough space around the fridge for good ventilation. Remove any obstacles that might block the airflow. Leave a few inches of space on each side and behind the fridge.
- Check Door Gaskets: Inspect the door gaskets (seals) in the fridge and freezer. Ensure they are clean, free of debris, and in good condition. Damaged gaskets can let warm air in, affecting temperature and airflow.
- Avoid Overloading: Don’t overload the fridge with too many items. Overcrowding can block airflow. Leave some space between items for proper circulation.
- Regular Maintenance: Periodically clean the inside of your fridge, including vents and fan blades, to remove dust and debris that can obstruct airflow.
7. Faulty Compressor or Condenser Fan
Unusual sounds like buzzing, screeching, clattering, or thumping often indicate serious problems with your refrigerator’s compressor or condenser fan.
The compressor circulates refrigerant and maintains the temperature, while the condenser fan helps dissipate heat. Issues with these components can lead to these distinct noises.
To fix this,
- Turn It Off: Unplug the refrigerator for safety to ensure no moving parts are active.
- Seek Professional Help: These issues are complex and potentially risky. It’s best to contact an HVAC technician or refrigerator repair specialist. They can diagnose the problem and recommend the necessary repairs or replacements.
8. Faulty Evaporator Fan Motor
Unusual sounds like loud rattling or knocking often indicate a problem with the evaporator fan motor.
This fan is essential for circulating cold air in your fridge and freezer. When the fan motor is faulty, it can make these distinct noises and affect cooling efficiency.
To fix this,
- Turn It Off: Unplug the fridge for safety to ensure no moving parts are active.
- Access the Evaporator Fan: Find the evaporator fan motor, typically in the freezer compartment. Consult your fridge’s manual for specific instructions on accessing it.
- Replace the Fan Motor: If you have the necessary skills and tools, you can replace the faulty evaporator fan motor. Purchase a compatible replacement motor, disconnect the old one, and install the new motor following the manufacturer’s instructions for your fridge model.
- Check the Door Seal: While at it, inspect the condition of the door seal (gasket) on the fridge and freezer compartments. Make sure it seals properly.
- Professional Help: If you’re uncertain about the repair or if the issue persists, it’s wise to consult a refrigerator repair specialist who can replace the fan motor and ensure the fridge is working correctly.
9. Unstable Unit
Rattling and loud vibrations from your fridge often indicate an unstable unit. The fridge may not be sitting on an even surface, not properly leveled, or could have items inside, causing instability and noise.
To fix this,
- Level the Refrigerator: Ensure the fridge is on a level surface. Use a leveling tool or a bubble level to check for tilting or leaning. Adjust the leveling legs as needed to achieve a stable and level position.
- Stabilize Inside Trays: Check the fridge’s trays, shelves, and storage components. Ensure they are secure and correctly aligned. Organize items inside to prevent them from shifting and causing vibrations.
- Align the Door: Inspect the refrigerator door’s alignment. Make sure it closes correctly and forms a tight seal. A misaligned door can create vibrations and rattling sounds. Adjust the door or hinges if necessary.
- Secure Latches: Verify that the door latches and hinges are in good condition and securely hold the door closed. Repair or replace any damaged components.
10. Leaking water from the Fridge
If you hear dripping or splashing sounds from your fridge, it’s often due to water leakage.
This can happen inside or around the fridge, and it might be related to components like the ice maker, water dispenser, or the internal drainage system.
To fix this issue,
- Inspect for Leaks: Carefully check inside and around the fridge for signs of water leaks. Pay special attention to the ice maker, water dispenser, and water lines.
- Check Components: If you locate the source of the leak, examine the related components for damage or malfunctions. This might include the ice maker, water lines, and associated valves.
- Repair or Replace: If you find damaged or faulty components, consider repairing or replacing them as needed. This could involve replacing gaskets, hoses, or valves.
- Ensure Door Seals: While inspecting, make sure the door seals (gaskets) in the fridge and freezer compartments are clean and in good condition and provide a proper seal. Damaged seals can let warm air in, potentially causing condensation and water leaks.
11. Excessive Frost in the Freezer
Hissing or crackling sounds from the freezer often indicate too much frost buildup.
This frost can form on the evaporator coils and fan blades due to moisture entering the freezer.
To fix this,
- Thaw the Freezer: Unplug the fridge and let the freezer thaw. Take out the food and put it in a cooler or another cold place to prevent it from thawing.
- Inspect the Door Seal: While the freezer is thawing, check the condition of the door seal (gasket). Make sure it’s clean, debris-free, and in good shape. A damaged seal can let warm, humid air inside, causing frost.
- Replace Damaged Seals: If the door seal is damaged, consider replacing it to ensure a proper, airtight seal when the door is closed.
- Ventilation Check: Examine the freezer’s ventilation system to ensure it works properly. Good ventilation helps maintain even temperatures and reduces the risk of frost.
- Prevent Future Frost: To avoid frost buildup, don’t leave the freezer door open too long, and ensure it seals properly when closed. Additionally, maintain the correct temperature setting for the freezer.