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My Fridge Is Making a Loud Noise: What’s Wrong?

a fridge making a loud noise

When there are loud sounds coming from your refrigerator, your pulse probably starts to quicken. Not only is a fridge making loud noises a distraction, but it’s also concerning, since it could be a sign that something might be wrong. When this is happening, it’s usually best to contact an appliance repair specialist. These pros are best-equipped to troubleshoot these issues and make any needed repairs. That said, there are some simpler issues that homeowners can check on their own while help is on the way.

The problem could be coming from the condenser, which needs to be cleaned regularly, because it collects dirt, pet hair and debris. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple do-it-yourself task. To clean the condenser, first, you’ll need to unplug the fridge. Then, take the back panel off, clear any debris that you find and put the panel back in place. For most households, it’s best to clean the debris from the condenser at least once a year. However, you might need to clean it more often if you have pets. If you choose to try this on your own, make sure to replace the back panel and plug your fridge back in quickly so the temperature inside doesn’t get too low for too long. That way, your food will stay safely refrigerated.

Beyond the condenser, some other parts that might be causing your fridge to make a loud sound include the:

  • condenser fan motor,
  • evaporator fan motor,
  • evaporator fan motor grommet,
  • fan blade or
  • water inlet valve.

If you see ice built up on the outside of the back panel of your fridge, this likely indicates a more complicated issue that a specialist will need to fix. There might be a problem with the fan, or the fridge might not be defrosting as it should. There might also be something wrong with the fan if you hear an irritating sound coming from inside the fridge. This can happen when the fan hits the ice, which is a recognized issue that appliance repair specialists know can develop in Samsung fridges.

If what you hear is more like a growling sound, then it might be a sign that the fan motor or bearings are starting to go out. If you hear a creaking sound, then this could mean that the damper assembly is starting to go bad.

Appliance repair specialists will first ask what kinds of noises you have heard and if you have noticed anything else wrong with the fridge. Depending on what they think might be the problem, they will inspect those parts and check for any other signs of damage, wear or debris.

For example, if you’re hearing a growling sound, the technician will likely inspect the condenser fan motor in the back of the fridge. If there is debris that’s keeping the fan from moving, then they will remove it and clean the surrounding parts. However, if they see that the fan is damaged or worn beyond repair, then they will likely recommend replacing it.

Depending on the particular problem you are having, an appliance repair specialist may also check the evaporator fan motor and grommet in the freezer area. If there is a lot of ice in the freezer that is preventing the fan from turning, then they may recommend defrosting the freezer. The technician may also look at the motor to see if it’s damaged or worn, to inspect the grommet to see if it has fallen off or to determine whether the shaft doesn’t turn easily. If they notice any of these problems, then they’ll likely recommend replacing one of these parts.

Some of the other parts that a refrigerator specialist may check include the compressor and water inlet valve. The compressor is under the fridge, so the technician will need to pull the fridge away from the wall to examine this part of your appliance and possibly replace the part. They’ll may also take a closer look at the water inlet valve. This part supplies water to the icemaker and water dispenser and can get blocked by mineral deposits in the water that build up over time. If there are quite a bit of mineral deposits built up, this could be a sign of hard water.

As you now know, there are a number of problems that can arise with your refrigerator that can be linked to loud noises. Needless to say,  we rely on many of our appliances to get by every day. Whether you’re dealing with your fridge making noise or your garbage disposal making noise, contacting a professional is typically the best way to go to quickly return to your normal routine.

Aside from a noisy fridge, another reason a homeowner may reach out to an appliance repair specialist is if the fridge is constantly running.

a fridge that is constantly running

What Do I Do If My Fridge Is Constantly Running?

A normal fridge run time depends on how often you use it, but it generally should not make a sustained running noise for more than an hour at a time. If your fridge is running constantly or is running for more than an hour, there might be something wrong.

One thing that can impact a fridge’s run time is adding containers of warm foods. For example, if you stuff the fridge with all your leftovers right after a big holiday meal, then it might take a while for the fridge to get back to its normal temperature. On the other hand, the fridge can also have problems if it’s too empty. In general, the refrigerator and freezer need to be about three-quarters full to run properly.

Additionally, if you or your family open the refrigerator door a lot, then the fridge might need to run more often to cool down. Warm air can also get into your fridge if the door gasket is defective or broken. When no one is using it, the fridge should only run for 20 to 30 minutes during the course of normal operations.

On the other hand, your fridge could be running constantly if there’s a mechanical issue. Some things that can cause this include a freon leak, a failing compressor, a dirty compressor, a worn out evaporator fan motor or a broken condenser fan motor. If you call a professional, they’ll do a number of things to determine what’s wrong and make any needed repairs.

One thing an appliance repair specialist may do is to check the temperature of your freezer. If it is high, then it could be a sign that your condenser fan is broken or that the condenser or evaporator coils are dirty or frosted over. If that’s the case, your specialist may inspect each part and clean them if needed or recommend replacing them.

A pro may also check the defrost thermostat. If this part is defective, then it can have a problem properly detecting the temperature of your fridge, causing it to run all the time. If the fridge is frosted over, then it’s also possible that the defrost heater assembly is faulty. Other mechanical issues that can keep your fridge from defrosting properly include the defrost control board, defrost timer and main control board.

Since any number of issues can cause your fridge to run constantly, it’s best to call an appliance repair specialist to quickly get to the root of the problem. Going the do-it-yourself route is time-consuming and might end up costing you even more money (and time) in the long-run.

Trained technicians have the skills and experience to thoroughly inspect your fridge and quickly identify what’s wrong. They also have the training and tools needed to make refrigerator repairs correctly and efficiently. A specialist will help answer all your questions and give you the information you need to decide whether to fix a broken part, or, in the most extreme cases, replace the fridge altogether.

a fridge in a kitchen

What’s the Average Fridge Lifespan?

Many homeowners have questions about how long the appliances in their home will last. When water starts to collect in your sink for example, you might ask yourself: how long do garbage disposals last? The lifespan of a fridge depends on the type you have, as well as how you use and maintain it. On average, a standard refrigerator should last from ten to twelve years. However, starting at around five or six years, the fridge may start to need maintenance checks.

Unfortunately, all refrigerators do reach a point where it makes more sense to replace the whole thing. One sign you might have reached this point is if it’s gotten to where it’s hard to find replacement parts or when it starts costing more to replace or fix parts than it would to buy a new fridge.

Other signs that it might be time to have the fridge replaced include if:

  • Your food keeps spoiling. If you notice your food goes bad or if it takes a while to cool down your drinks, then the fridge might be having a problem maintaining temperature.
  • Your freezer is frosted over. A freezer that won’t defrost could indicate there’s a problem with a single part or it could be a sign that it’s time to get a new fridge. A trained technician can thoroughly inspect your refrigerator and help determine if it’s a simple fix or a larger issue.
  • Your fridge is running constantly. Refrigerators can start running nonstop for a wide range of reasons. Some of these are easier to fix, such as if your family opens the fridge door a lot. But, for more complicated issues, it might cost less to just get a new fridge.
  • There’s a lot of condensation. Similar to the problem with a freezer that won’t defrost, excess water droplets inside your fridge are a sign that there’s a problem with the cooling cycles. It might mean that the temperature setting is off or the rubber sealing is worn down, or it might mean it’s time to have the fridge replaced.

If you are having problems with your appliance, it’s often best to contact an appliance repair professional instead of trying to make repairs on your own. These pros have the training, experience and tools to help diagnose and fix the issue. They can also answer all your questions and give you the information you need to help decide whether it might be time to get a new fridge.

ABC Can Get Your Fridge Back in Good Working Condition

We rely on our refrigerators every single day. When something goes wrong, it can cause a large disruption to our lives, and it can lead to wasted money. Whether your fridge is making a loud noise or you need someone to fix your garbage disposal, you can count on the professionals at ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our licensed pros can make all needed appliance repairs, so your life can continue as normal.

Tom Riggs

Tom Riggs is the Division Manager for Mechanical Services, overseeing sales and operations for HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Appliance Repair and Water Quality for all ABC Austin branches. He joined ABC in 2014. Before ABC, he was an HVAC Service Technician, HVAC Comfort Advisor/Sales and Operations Manager. Tom attended Universal Technical Institute. He's an avid outdoorsman and enjoys country living with his wife and two sons.

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