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Why does my refrigerator make a knocking noise? What can I do about it?
These are just but some of the questions we will be answering in this article.
So, let us get started.
Why does my refrigerator make a knocking noise?
The noise might originate from different parts of your refrigerator.
To make things easier, we shall troubleshoot depending on where the noise is coming from.
Knocking noise coming from ice maker
To start with, if your fridge is making a knocking noise several times throughout the day, it could simply be ice falling into the ice bucket.
This is mostly the case with older models – their ice buckets tend to be unnecessarily loud.
Nonetheless, it could also be due to a faulty ice maker. How?
Well, the arm in your ice maker might get bent. This will make it look as if it is off while in the real sense, it is on (and jammed too).
Now, to know if this is the case, you will hear the knocking sound followed by the water valve releasing water to fill the ice maker.
In this case, simply straighten the ice maker arm to eliminate the knocking sound.
If the ice maker arm is bent beyond repair, you will need to get a replacement ice maker for your model.
There is ice build-up around the evaporator fan
When the area around the fan blades is covered in ice, your refrigerator will make knocking sounds noises as the fan blades knock against the built-up ice.
As such, you will need to inspect the freezer room fan for ice buildup.
This fan is normally located behind a panel at the back of your freezer. As regards opening the panel, you can find an easy-to-follow instructional video on YouTube.
Now, if you note that there is an ice build-up around the fan, you just found your culprit.
Consequently, you will need to defrost your fridge. The easiest way to go about this is by disconnecting it from the power outlet and letting it sit overnight.
Alternatively, you can manually defrost it which should take you less than 30 minutes. For a detailed guide on how to go about this, be sure to read our other article: how to manually defrost refrigerator.
However, that’s not all. You will need to make sure that it does not happen again.
To do this, you will need to inspect and see what might be causing the ice buildup around the fans.
It could be anything from dirty condenser coils and dirty evaporator coils to leaving the door open for too long.
Consequently, be sure to gently wipe the evaporator coil with a moist piece of cloth.
As for the condenser coils, they might be clogged with walls of dust/pet hair. To clean them, you will use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the dirt.
Also, be sure to keep your door locked at all times.
Condenser fan is knocking something as it rotates
If the noise seems to be coming from the back or the back bottom of your refrigerator, chances are something is stuck in your condenser fan.
Note: in some models, this fan is located at the back whereas in others, it is located at the bottom of the unit.
To identify if this is the issue, you will need to open up the back panel of your fridge.
Once you locate the condenser coils, you should be able to see the condenser fan just behind it.
Now, check it for any debris in the way of the fan blades.
If you spot any, be sure to remove them.
While still there, take the time to vacuum the condenser fan and coil.
The compressor could be faulty
The final suspect for the knocking noises made by your fridge is the compressor.
Tip: if the compressor is the cause of the knocking noises, you should hear the noise coming from the bottom of your refrigerator.
To better pinpoint if this is the issue, first open the bottom panel at the back of your refrigerator and then let the fridge run.
Carefully listen if the noise is coming from the compressor. This way, you will be 100% sure that indeed, it is the compressor making the knocking noise.
If the compressor is the cause of the knocking noise, it could be that the piston inside it has jumped off one of the wires that hold it in place.
Fortunately, your refrigerator will continue running as usual. In fact, don’t be surprised if it ends up running for years.
Nonetheless, there is little you can do to minimize the noise.
It may be tempting to muffle the noise by covering the compressor.
However, this is not advisable. This is because it would result in the compressor overheating which is risky.
Now, if you decide that the noise is too unbearable for you, you may opt to replace the compressor.
However, note that you will need to have an EPA-licensed technician replace it for you. This is because the refrigerant that runs through the compressor is highly toxic both to you and to the environment.
The costs of replacing a compressor usually range anywhere between $400 and $1300 depending on the model of your refrigerator. This includes the labor fees.
Brand new fridge making noise (brand new refrigerator making knocking noise)
Knocking noises in new refrigerators can be as a result of ice build-up around the evaporator fan, ice falling to the ice bucket or if there is something wedged in the condenser fan.
For the evaporator fan, it could be an indication that you are opening your door for long periods. Also, it might be that you are overstocking the fridge to an extent that the door does not close fully.
So, be sure to open your door only when need be and do not overstock the fridge – stock it up to around ¾ way.
Also, inspect the ice maker arm to confirm that it is turned on.
Why does my refrigerator make a knocking noise? – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why does refrigerator make knocking noise?
Typically, a refrigerator making a knocking noise is an indication that something is not running as it should.
Usually, this is as a result of ice build up around the evaporator fan, debris in the condenser fan, ice falling to the ice bucket or issues with the compressor.
Is it normal for my new fridge to make noise?
As a fridge runs, it will produce a range of pretty normal noises.
Nonetheless, if the noises are loud, chances are that your fridge is acting up and you will need to inspect it.
Why does my refrigerator make a knocking noise? – conclusion
Typically, your fridge should not make knocking noises but when it does, it is calling your attention to the fact that something is not right.
To sum it up, if the noise is louder inside the freezer, you will need to inspect both the ice maker and the evaporator fan.
On the other hand, if the sound is coming from the bottom of the fridge, you will need to inspect the condenser fan and the compressor.
Some ways of eliminating the noise are as simple as letting the refrigerator thaw whereas some are complex such as replacing the compressor.