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Why Is My Refrigerator Making Noise?

Like any appliance, a refrigerator is expected to make some noise. It's got several mechanical parts that don't exactly operate silently. But there are certain sounds that could be cause for alarm when it comes to a refrigerator. It can be difficult to locate the source of the sound because you cannot trace it as easily as a leak. But there are some clues you can investigate.

Common noises that can plague a refrigerator can include rattling, scraping, ticking or even grinding, and each noise could denote a different issue. It's important to determine exactly what sound you're hearing since this is easier than tracking the sound's location. And ultimately, a professional is going to have the best experience and insight into where these sounds are coming from and why they're happening.

A rattling sound

More often than not, a rattling sound indicates that there is a loose part somewhere in the refrigerator. The trick is finding where it is and exactly what is loose. If the rattling is coming from the underside of the appliance, it's likely the drain pan. If it is coming from the back, you're looking at something going on with the compressor, defrost timer or condenser fan. If the rattling is the inside of the refrigerator itself, then it is likely the evaporator fan. Once you think you have a good idea of what is making the noise and where it's coming from, you can talk to a professional about next steps.

A ticking or scraping sound

If what you're hearing is a ticking or scraping sound going off often, then your defrost timer may be faulty. One way to check on this is to look for frost buildup in the freezer or refrigerator. This is a pretty good indicator that the defrost process is no longer working. Another way to tell if the issue is the defrost timer is to listen for the timing and rhythm of the sounds. If it happens just a few times a day for about an hour at a time, this is also a very good indicator that the defrost timer needs to be replaced or repaired.

A grinding or clicking sound

If the noise you're hearing is a grinding or clicking sound, the most likely culprit is the condenser fan. This part of the appliance can become damaged or even blocked, which results in the sounds of the fan struggling to spin and the grinding or clicking you hear. If you take a look at the fan and find it is dirty, it is fairly easy to clean. But if it is damaged, you should contact a professional about your repair or replacement options.

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