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Is your refrigerator making popping noise at night? Well, here’s a guide on how you can fix it.
Picture this, it is the dead of the night when you hear a popping noise coming from your kitchen. A few minutes later, another loud pop follows. Naturally, you will want to investigate the cause.
After looking here and there, you realize the sound is coming from your refrigerator. You look at its various parts only to realize that you have no idea what is going on with it.
Well, in this article, we will take you through why your refrigerator is making popping noises more so at night and what you can do about it.
Refrigerator making popping noise at night
There are several scenarios that might result in this. Some are normal while others will require your attention.
Let us have a look at them.
Your refrigerator is undergoing thermal expansion and contraction
A lot of the newer models will make popping sounds as their internals expand and contract.
Tip: the pop will occur both during the day and at night. You are just hearing it better at night since everything else is quiet.
As you well know, your fridge is cooled by a refrigerant that alternates between liquid and vapor form. Now, this refrigerant will contract and expand as it gets heated and cooled.
Similarly, the refrigerator walls will also expand and contract.
It is this thermal expansion and contraction that is responsible for the popping sounds.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it. After all, it signifies that your refrigerator is working as it should.
Bearing that in mind, if you have a brand-new refrigerator that is making popping noises, you should not worry as it is pretty normal.
Your refrigerator is defrosting
Every time you open your refrigerator, room air will enter the refrigerator. This air usually has humidity.
As the air comes into contact with the evaporator coil, it will get cooled and lead to frosting around the coil. This frost would otherwise prevent further cooling.
In addition, your fridge is also cooled by cold air that is blown from the freezer. This air also has moisture content that will also form frosts as it cools.
To combat this, most models will have a small heater connected to a defrost timer. This heater will periodically heat the coils to melt the built-up ice.
The popping sound you are hearing might be from the cracking of these frosts as they melt.
Tip: popping sound during defrosting is a bit louder compared to popping sounds from thermal expansion and contraction of the refrigerator.
Refrigerator makes popping noise at night – what you can do
A normal refrigerator should defrost once to four times per day.
Having said that, your fridge should make popping sounds around four times per day.
If you note that your fridge is making the popping noise more frequently than it used to, it means that your fridge is defrosting more often than not.
Consequently, you will need to first check that the fridge is fully defrosting.
If it is not, you will need to force defrost it. Read our other article: how to force defrost a refrigerator for a detailed guide on how to approach manual defrosting.
Consequently, you will need to do the following to reduce the amount of frosts being formed…
Avoid opening the refrigerator door frequently
This reduces the amount of humid air entering the fridge.
Recall that room air plays a big part in the amount of frosts formed and how frequently it is formed.
Also, do not leave the door open for too long as more room air will enter your fridge.
Regularly clean the door seals
With time, the door seals might become dirty especially with grease. This would result in the door not closing fully.
Consequently, room air will find its way into your fridge hence frequent defrosting by your refrigerator.
To clean the door seals, use warm soapy water and a soft piece of cloth and gently wipe the seals.
Check to see that the door is closing fully
The door seals might be faulty and this would lead to your door not closing fully. This would result in room air entering your fridge.
To inspect the seals, put a piece of paper between the door and the fridge and close the door.
Next, gently pull the paper.
If it comes off with no resistance, then, the seal is damaged hence it is leaving gaps every time you close the door.
Consequently, you will need to get replacement door seals for your model.
The damper assembly might be faulty
Also called the baffle or diffuser, this part opens and closes periodically to allow the flow of cool air from the freezer to the fridge compartment.
If it is faulty, it will not close and this would lead to a constant flow of cold air from the freezer to the fridge.
As a such, the fridge will freeze frequently and this would lead to your unit having to defrost often.
A common sign of a faulty damper assembly is if your fridge is way much colder than you have set it. Also, the fridge will have too much ice buildup inside it and if you open the door, you will feel a constant flow of cold air coming from your freezer.
Needless to say, you will need to get a replacement damper assembly depending on your model.
Refrigerator makes popping noise when compressor shuts off
Usually, before the defrost mode kicks in, the compressor will first shut off.
Now, as we have already seen, the defrost mode will result in ice cracking as it pops or melts.
It is this ice that will result in the popping noise your fridge makes once the compressor shuts off.
Refrigerator making popping noise at night – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why does refrigerator make popping noise?
This is typically caused by the fridge undergoing constant thermal expansion and contraction. In addition, it will make popping sounds during defrosting.
It goes without saying that a popping sound is normal for your refrigerator and there is no need for concern – unless it is occurring too often.
Why is my fridge so loud at night?
Your refrigerator might be undergoing thermal expansion and contraction as it cools the contents of your fridge.
Moreover, the fridge could be defrosting and the sound you are hearing is of ice as it cracks open.
Needless to say, your fridge will make other sounds also as it runs. This is pretty normal.
Now, these processes occur both at night and during the day. However, they will be more pronounced at night since everything is so quiet hence why your fridge will sound so loud.
Refrigerator making popping noise at night – final words
In most cases, there is no need to worry about the popping noise as it is normal.
However, if the sound has become too loud or it is occurring too often, chances are that it is having defrost issues or the damper control is faulty.