If you have a fridge at home, you might be used to hearing humming noise, buzzing or crackling sounds when it’s switched on. Usually, these sounds are normal and indicate the normal functioning of the machine. These sounds are produced by the various components of a fridge like a compressor, fans, coils, etc.
However, when these parts start to malfunction, they produce loud buzzing or humming noises that are quite annoying. If the noise is too loud to bother you, it means something is wrong with one or multiple parts of the fridge.
In this guide, we have discussed what are the various reasons for a refrigerator making buzzing noise.
Not only that but the different ways to fix the annoying noise have also been discussed.
Why My Refrigerator Is Making A Buzzing Noise?
Have you been noticing your refrigerator making loud buzzing noise that isn’t normal? It is an indication of an underlying problem. Here are the probable causes of a refrigerator buzzing.
Improper positioning of the drain pan
The function of this drain pan also called a drip pan is to collect the excess condensation from the freezer. It’s usually placed below the freezer so that it can collect water droplets easily.
Now, if the drain pain is improperly positioned, it can’t collect the condensation and sometimes even causes mechanical failure of the machine. When this happens, you hear a buzzing or rattling sound.
Faulty condenser fan motor
The function of condenser fans is to make the refrigerator cool at the desired temperature. Condenser fans are an extremely important component of a fridge as they prevent overheating. Some of the latest models of refrigerators however don’t have a condenser fan. If your fridge has a condenser fan, take time to check it as it may be the cause of the buzzing sound.
When the condenser fan motor is faulty, your fridge works harder to maintain the desired temperature. This causes a buzzing sound. Remember that such a malfunctioning fridge is dangerous.
A malfunctioning evaporator fan motor
The function of the evaporator fan motor is to constantly regulate the flow of air and spread the airflow around all corners of the refrigerator. Depending on the model of your refrigerator, it can have one or more evaporator fan motors.
Now, when these motors fail to work properly, it affects the functioning of the machine. Faulty motors result in overheating inside the refrigerator which eventually affects the other components too.
Faulty condenser coil
Your refrigerator model is sure to have condenser coils at the back of it. Their purpose is to keep the refrigerant cool and condense.
Faulty condenser coils fail to cool the system and produce a weird sound while working. It also affects the overall mechanism of the refrigerator.
Loose or dirty door seal or gasket
Over time, the door seal might catch dirt or become loose. Though this doesn’t produce loud buzzing noise, it has high chances of damaging other important components of a fridge, like a compressor, which makes buzzing noises when not working properly.
Faulty defrost Timer
If your refrigerator model is frost-free, the defrost timer might also cause a weird buzzing noise. Sometimes when the defrost timer malfunctions, it keeps working in the cooling mode. Being in the same mode for hours results in excessive frost accumulation which affects your refrigerator’s functioning.
If this issue persists, your machine might stop working properly, producing loud buzzing and humming sounds.
A malfunctioning compressor
Usually, when compressors work, they produce a gentle, humming sound. But, when they fail to circulate the refrigerant properly, they produce a loud buzzing sound which isn’t normal. If your refrigerator is producing annoying buzzing sounds, don’t forget to check the compressor.
Poor positioning of the fridge
If you have placed the fridge at an unlevel surface, it might also be the cause of the refrigerator buzzing sound. Improper positioning sometimes produces significantly loud, annoying buzzing noises, indicating a stressful state of the appliance.
If your fridge is poorly placed, it will affect the functioning of various components, especially the ice maker and the thermostat.
Water supply issues
If your fridge comes with an ice maker or water dispenser, it means you need to connect it to a water line. If your fridge isn’t connected to a water source, you must switch off these features to stop these parts from making noises while trying to perform the tasks they are meant to.
If you have connected the ice maker or water dispenser to a source of water, even then you might hear weird noises if the water inlet valve is damaged. Accumulation of minerals or dirt inside the water inlet valve might produce loud buzzing noise.
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How to fix refrigerator buzzing noise?
Anyone who has a fridge making buzzing noise understands how annoying and irritating it is. If the possible causes are neglected, they might lead to bigger issues and you might have to spend a lot of money fixing them. Sometimes, the components are damaged to such an extent that they can’t be repaired.
Now depending on the reason behind the buzzing or humming noise, you may have to repair or replace a few components. But if you address the problem in its initial stage, you might get the matter solved by following a few simple methods.
Let’s go through the various things you can do to make your fridge stop making annoying noises.
Reposition your drain pan
If you hear your refrigerator making a loud buzzing noise, check the drain pan first. Find out where it is located. Refer to the manual for that. Go through the instructions to remove the drain pan carefully. Next, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Inspect the pan and the area around it.
- Do you see excess water spilling on the floor and not getting collected in the pan? If yes, remove the pan and discharge the water.
- Place the pan in a different position and make sure the water is getting collected on the pan.
- To secure it in position, use duct tape.
You might have to replace the drain pan if there are cracks, holes, or bends on the pan. If you notice that the pan is damaged, look for another one from the official website of the company.
Know the model of the refrigerator and see if the company would provide you with another drain pan. If you can’t find a drain pan of a similar model, you might have to try out other ways to reuse the damaged drain pan. For instance, we suggest using heavy-duty tin foil and lining the drain pan to prevent leakages.
Inspect the evaporator fan motor inside the fridge
If you notice your fridge making humming noises or buzzing sounds continuously, you must pay attention to what’s causing the noise. The sounds might be produced from inside the freezer.
If the evaporator fan is malfunctioning, the machine can produce loud buzzing noises. To find out what’s wrong with the evaporator fan and solve the issue, follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Take out all items from the freezer.
- Next, remove the freezer drawers one by one. If the drawers can’t be removed, switch off the machine and defrost the freezer.
- Now, once you can see the evaporator fan properly, check if the blades can spin properly. Manually try to spin the blades and see.
- Also, clean the blades.
- Inspect the fan motor.
- Make sure the different parts of the fan are spinning without any obstruction.
- If they aren’t, you must call the professional and get the fan motor replaced.
Check the water supply
While checking the freezer and the evaporator fan, you must also check the ice maker. Some models don’t have an ice maker. If your fridge does, you must inspect it thoroughly.
- Check whether the water supply is properly hooked up to the refrigerator. If it isn’t, and the ice maker isn’t used, switch off the feature.
- Now, if you see that the fridge is properly connected to a water supply but still making a humming noise or buzzing noise, it means the inlet valves aren’t in a good condition. Sometimes dirt or dust accumulate at the end of the pipes, resulting in a buzzing noise or humming noise.
If that’s the case, there’s no point in trying to clear the mineral or dirt build-up. Instead, we recommend people buy a new set of valves and attach them to the back of the fridge.
Clear the compressor fan and the condenser coils
When it comes to finding out what’s causing a buzzing noise, you mustn’t forget to check the compressor. However, before doing so, remember to unplug the fridge.
- Now, bring the appliance forward to create a gap in between the wall and the appliance so that you can access its backside easily. Next, follow the below-mentioned steps:
- If your refrigerator has a smooth back, take off the panel that covers the compressor and the condenser coil. However, the latest models of refrigerators have the coils exposed for better ventilation.
- Even if the components at the back are covered with a panel, they are still prone to collecting dust over time. Accumulation of dirt and dust can severely affect the mechanism of the fridge, often producing weird sounds.
- To remove dust and dirt, try vacuuming the coils. After that, use a dry brush and vacuum the fallen dirt. Next, to clean the floor properly, use an old rag.
Now that you have inspected the coils and they are clean, you must proceed to inspect the compressor at the bottom of the fridge. Check if the compressor is damaged somewhere. Look for possible signs.
If anything is obstructing the working of the condenser fan, you must try to remove it.
If you didn’t find any sign of damage, but suspect that the compressor is malfunctioning, you must call a professional and get it inspected. Instead of repairing the compressor, we suggest you get a new one.
Inspect your door seal for damage
The refrigerator’s door seal and gasket also might accumulate dirt. If you see any dirt or debris, you must clean them. Also, look for signs of damage or leaks, or cracks around the door seal. If you find any, immediately repair them or replace the door seal.
Inspect your defrost timer and replace it when necessary
Apart from a buzzing noise, if your refrigerator makes a scraping sound, you mustn’t neglect the matter. If it does make loud scraping sounds, it means something is wrong with the defrost timer.
What you have to do is find out the defrost timer. If you don’t know where it is, refer to the manual. If you see it’s not working properly, buy a new component and get the old one replaced.
Contact a technician and ask him to check your fridge
If you have inspected each of the components but couldn’t fix the issue, call a professional without any further delay and ask him to inspect the machine. If the technician suggests replacing the parts, like compressor, freezer, etc. do the needful.
If you find that the cost of repairing them is almost equal to buying a new one, you must get them replaced.
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The Bottom Line
If you have ever dealt with a similar noisy, annoying machine before, you must know what soundproof boxes are. Even after trying the above-mentioned steps, the noise persists, you must install soundproof boxes around the machine to get rid of its annoying noise.
If you think soundproof boxes are too expensive, build a wooden cabinet around the fridge. That should certainly reduce the amount of noise reaching your ears.
If you choose to use soundproof boxes or build a cabinet around the refrigerator, make sure to keep enough space for proper ventilation. The back of the machine should enjoy proper ventilation. Otherwise, it would cause overheating, which would, in turn, affect the mechanism of the various parts of the machine.
So, when you are dealing with a fridge making humming noise or buzzing sounds, you must find out its cause and get the problem solved instead of implementing ways to muffle the noise.