Why does the refrigerator buzz and make noise? What to do and how to reduce noise with your own hands?

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It does­n’t mat­ter what mod­el your fridge is, what mat­ters is how it works. If the refrig­er­a­tor makes noise, it is always unpleas­ant and rais­es con­cerns about its con­di­tion. But, even if the refrig­er­a­tor is very buzzing or mak­ing noise, this does not mean at all that it is bro­ken. Con­sid­er the caus­es of noise, the most com­mon in prac­tice, and ways to elim­i­nate them.

Incorrect installation of the refrigerator

The sit­u­a­tion is sim­ple and com­mon — you bought a new refrig­er­a­tor, put it in the kitchen, but the noise from it is like from the old one. What’s the mat­ter? The rea­son is sim­ple: you might not have checked the hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal posi­tion of the refrig­er­a­tor body. Due to skew, the com­pres­sor may make noise when the hous­ing comes into con­tact with the pipeline or met­al parts of oth­er com­po­nents. Or it may be that one of the adjustable legs of the refrig­er­a­tor sim­ply hangs in the air due to skew, and due to insuf­fi­cient sup­port, the unit body vibrates and makes unpleas­ant nois­es.

Elim­i­na­tion: How to reduce noise in this case? The posi­tion of the refrig­er­a­tor is set using a con­ven­tion­al spir­it lev­el (build­ing lev­el). If it is not there, use a plumb line, which can be made from any thread and a weight of 20–50 grams. But even with a strict­ly ver­ti­cal / hor­i­zon­tal posi­tion of the body, check the touch points of the legs to the floor. Per­haps the floor is uneven, and the leg that hangs in the air will have to be adjust­ed — for this, the legs are thread­ed.

Noisy refrigerator

Compressor not getting enough air

The rather loud noise of the refrig­er­a­tor due to the fact that the com­pres­sor is oper­at­ing in lim­it­ed capac­i­ty mode is the sec­ond most fre­quent­ly elim­i­nat­ed cause. This is espe­cial­ly true for small-sized or fur­nished apart­ments.

Compressor not getting enough air

If you have moved the refrig­er­a­tor too close to the wall; if the refrig­er­a­tor is fur­nished with close fur­ni­ture; if the back of the cab­i­net (radi­a­tor) touch­es or is too close to a wall, the air­flow to the con­denser is dif­fi­cult. There­fore, it is not cooled enough, cre­at­ing an addi­tion­al load on the com­pres­sor, which, in turn, starts to make noise from over­loads — valves knock, the engine vibrates, trans­mit­ting vibra­tions to oth­er com­po­nents. In addi­tion, a lay­er of ice grad­u­al­ly accu­mu­lates on the con­denser, which can also touch oth­er parts of the struc­ture and make noise.

Elim­i­na­tion: In such a sit­u­a­tion, you can reduce the noise of the refrig­er­a­tor in under­stand­able ways — move the unit away from the wall at least 20 cm, remove fur­ni­ture or oth­er objects that are too close, and also clean the back wall of the refrig­er­a­tor. Remove the lay­er of dust, remove dirt from the com­pres­sor, con­denser, radi­a­tor and pip­ing, defrost the refrig­er­a­tor so that the frost on the con­denser (if any) can be removed. It is advis­able to car­ry out pre­ven­tive main­te­nance of the refrig­er­a­tor at least once a month. All this can be done on your own, with­out resort­ing to the help of a pro­fes­sion­al refrig­er­a­tor.

Good to know:

Compressor housing loose or loose

But what if the refrig­er­a­tor makes nois­es or extra­ne­ous sounds all the time, but all of the above meth­ods do not help? Check if the com­pres­sor is well fixed in its seat.

Compressor housing

Elim­i­na­tion: In old­er mod­els, the com­pres­sor is sus­pend­ed on springs — their weak­en­ing or dis­place­ment to the side can cause noise from the con­tact of the engine hous­ing with the met­al of oth­er parts. The pipeline from the refrig­er­a­tor to the radi­a­tor is a good sound res­onator. The refrig­er­a­tor buzzes very strong­ly if the rub­ber gas­kets under the com­pres­sor hous­ing are worn out — they are crum­pled or bro­ken. Springs or gas­kets need to be replaced.

It often hap­pens the oth­er way around — the refrig­er­a­tor makes a lot of noise if, after instal­la­tion, you did not remove the trans­port bolts of the com­pres­sor (the arrow points to them in the pic­ture). These are long bolts Ø 12–16 mm, and they fix the com­pres­sor dur­ing trans­porta­tion so that it does not break the pipeline and dam­age the cas­ing itself. Here, too, every­thing is sim­ple — remove the bolts, check the gas­kets or springs for integri­ty.

Refrigerator fan defective

If the noise of the unit is very loud, check the oper­a­tion of the refrig­er­a­tor fans. This applies only to mod­els with the “No Frost” sys­tem — they can even have two fans installed. One is for cool­ing the evap­o­ra­tor of the refrig­er­a­tor com­part­ment, the sec­ond is for cool­ing the evap­o­ra­tor of the freez­er.

refrigerator fan

Your refrig­er­a­tor is noisy — what to do to find the cause? With con­stant tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions, the grease in the motor bear­ings dries out, and the refrig­er­a­tor hums strong­ly from fan vibra­tions. Also, frost on the evap­o­ra­tor, which can form as a result of poor oper­a­tion of the heat­ing ele­ment or its break­down, grows over time, and the fan blades begin to cling to it, and the refrig­er­a­tor hums strong­ly.

Elim­i­na­tion: First, get rid of the ice crust on the evap­o­ra­tor — you can do it your­self. Then check the pres­ence of grease in the fan bear­ings, add it. Bear­ings will most like­ly be bronze or brass, so lubri­ca­tion is very nec­es­sary for them.

Refrigerator Fan Repair

Malfunction of electrical circuits

The next rea­son why your refrig­er­a­tor began to make extra­ne­ous nois­es is a mal­func­tion of the elec­tri­cal part.

  1. If the start-up relay fails, the refrig­er­a­tor behaves aggres­sive­ly — when it is turned on, it buzzes a lot, growls, and after a few sec­onds it turns off abrupt­ly.

elim­i­na­tion: relay replace­ment — for this you will have to use the ser­vices of a pro­fes­sion­al if you can­not han­dle it your­self.

Electrical circuits

  1. The fan motor wind­ings burned out — anoth­er rea­son why the refrig­er­a­tor began to make a lot of noise when turned on.

elim­i­na­tion: check the wind­ings with a tester for short cir­cuit or resis­tance leak­age to the motor hous­ing. In both the first and sec­ond cas­es, the engine will have to be changed. Although there are cas­es when, in case of leak­age to the case, it is enough to dry the engine thor­ough­ly, and infi­nite resis­tance will be restored.

  1. Anoth­er rea­son why the refrig­er­a­tor makes noise is the com­pres­sor motor burned out. You can check this by touch­ing the case. You can hold your hand on a work­ing com­pres­sor — it is not too hot, but just warm. If the case is over­heat­ed, then you need to check the engine.

Elim­i­nate the cause of the noise: Same as with fan. But it will not be pos­si­ble to dry the engine — it is pressed into the com­pres­sor, there­fore — only a replace­ment.

Troubleshooting refrigerator circuit problems

  1. The evap­o­ra­tor heater burned out — this is the next rea­son why the refrig­er­a­tor is noisy. Ice on the sur­face of the evap­o­ra­tor inter­feres with the nor­mal oper­a­tion of the com­pres­sor — in high load mode, the noise from the engine will be strong.

More­over, the sound can be trans­mit­ted through the pipeline to the radi­a­tor, which will only enhance the sound effect. Also, with a thick lay­er of ice on the evap­o­ra­tor, the refrig­er­ant is sup­plied to the com­pres­sor in a semi-liq­uid state, and this oper­a­tion is called the “wet run” of the com­pres­sor. Work­ing to the lim­it can cause water ham­mer and stop the com­pres­sor com­plete­ly.

This is why the refrig­er­a­tor buzzes — the posi­tion of the valves and the pis­ton is vio­lat­ed, but the crank­shaft con­tin­ues to rotate, caus­ing the refrig­er­a­tor to make grind­ing and clang­ing sounds.

Trou­bleshoot­ing: Check the heat­ing ele­ment for ser­vice­abil­i­ty — this can be done by check­ing the con­ti­nu­ity of the cir­cuit with a tester for an open cir­cuit. If the heat­ing ele­ment burned out, you can replace it your­self.

Clogged pipeline

What to do if the refrig­er­a­tor con­tin­ues to make noise and what else could be the prob­lem? The throt­tle and the fil­ter of the unit are usu­al­ly clogged. This is expressed in a decrease in the pro­duc­tion of cold and an increase in the load on the com­pres­sor, so the refrig­er­a­tor makes noise and knocks along with the com­pres­sor.

elim­i­na­tion: Only call a refrig­er­a­tor, as spe­cial equip­ment is need­ed to remove the block­age.

Piping in the refrigerator

Refrigerant overdose

Why is the refrig­er­a­tor knock­ing? When charg­ing the unit’s pip­ing with refrig­er­ant (this may be nec­es­sary), the refrig­er­a­tion unit may mis­tak­en­ly add an excess amount of fre­on. This will result in a notice­able reduc­tion in refrig­er­a­tion capac­i­ty, but this prob­lem can be eas­i­ly solved by bleed­ing off the refrig­er­ant.

In such cas­es, you just need to watch how the refrig­er­a­tor works for 2–3 hours and ask the mas­ter (if nec­es­sary) to bleed the refrig­er­ant.

Video instruction

A short video tuto­r­i­al on how to quick­ly and cheap­ly elim­i­nate one of the caus­es of noise that a refrig­er­a­tor can make. In the exam­ple, the cause of the noise was the mechan­i­cal con­tact of the pipeline with the body and radi­a­tor of the refrig­er­a­tor. Due to the large area of ​​the vibrat­ing radi­a­tor, the noise was clear­ly audi­ble, espe­cial­ly at night.

If you buy a brand­ed mod­el when choos­ing a refrig­er­a­tor, you will be sat­is­fied that the com­pres­sor works silent­ly and the refrig­er­a­tor does not knock. Even when all func­tions are turned on at once in new refrig­er­a­tors, the noise lev­el will be sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er, and the unit will work more reli­ably and longer than cheap mod­els.


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