When Your Refrigerator Makes Loud Noises

When your refrigerator makes odd noises you haven’t noticed before, it’s important to take a little time to investigate the source of the noise. Nothing is more irritating than a loud refrigerator and you want to determine whether it may be a serious (and potentially costly) problem. At Hill Country Repairs our goal is to help you figure out what’s causing the noise and how to remedy the situation!

Is the noise coming from the back, bottom, or inside the refrigerator?

If you hear a rattling noise that seems to be coming from the bottom it’s likely the drain pan. This is an easy fix; just secure the pan back in place for peace and quiet.

Loud noises coming from the back of your refrigerator could indicate an issue with the defrost timer, condenser fan, or the compressor. A noisy refrigerator compressor isn’t uncommon, however if it has to be replaced it can be costly. In most cases a noisy defrost timer will need to be replaced. If you determine the noise is caused by the condenser fan, try cleaning away dust and debris that may have accumulated between the fan blades using a soft brush. Be sure to unplug your refrigerator before any cleaning or repair!

A noise coming from the inside of your refrigerator is probably the fan that circulates air through the freezer and fridge sections of your appliance. You can make certain this is the problem by pushing in the light switch in the freezer; if the circulation fan is the culprit, the noise will get louder. The only fix for this is to replace the fan.

Condenser Fan 

Not all refrigerators have condenser fans, however if yours does it may be located behind an access panel on the back of the fridge. As mentioned above, you’ll need to clean away any dirt or other debris that could be obstructing the condenser motor fan. You’ll also want to inspect the rubber grommets for any signs of wear and tear.

Evaporator Fan

Located at the back of the freezer section of the refrigerator, the evaporator fan can be accessed by removing the freezer’s contents and accessing the inside panel which may have screws or clips holding it in place. A screwdriver may be necessary to remove screws, and you’ll want to see if the blade is operating smoothly by spinning it. Check wires and all components for signs of wear and tear, along with grommets. If the fan blade doesn’t move freely or there are signs of damage or corrosion on wires or connectors, it may be necessary to replace these parts.


Refrigerator compressor noise is a common complaint, however in some cases the source of the noise is actually the condenser fan. You can determine which it is by unplugging the motor of the condenser fan, plugging your refrigerator back in, and seeing if the noise continues. If it does, it could be the compressor. This is a bigger issue that should be diagnosed and confirmed by a professional.

There are several issues that could be responsible for refrigerator noise, some simple and easy to fix and others more complex. Removing dust, dirt and debris from condenser and evaporator motor fans make for smoother, quieter operation.

If you still can’t determine what’s making all the racket, contact Hill Country Repairs. It can give peace of mind knowing that a professional technician has diagnosed and repaired your appliance. We’ve also shared a few tips for cleaning your refrigerator for those who are interested!

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