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How to Fix a Noisy Fridge Compressor

closeups of 3 black fridge compressors

It was a quiet evening; you had your night all planned out. A little soft music, a glass of wine, and a great book you have always wanted to read. Everything is going as planned until the fridge starts to act up and making noise.

But don’t worry, as these noises don’t necessarily mean you are going to have to replace the fridge. You may only need to quiet only one part. There are several options you can work through that can help you restore the peace and quiet.

To learn about those quiet solutions, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to make sure your quiet evenings are not interrupted again.

The First Step in Getting Rid of the Noise

3 Brightly colored fridges (Yellow, Red, and Blue) on a white background.

This is the most important step you will have to take in this silencing task. You have to learn the source of the noise first before you can take any other measures to silence the annoying sound.

Unfortunately, it may not be as easy as you think as there are several sources that can give off bad sounds when you least want them to. Here are the main ones:

  • The icemaker, that is if your fridge has one – It can gurgle, buzz, click and even clatter if something is not right.
  • The drip tray – Besides gurgling this tray can sizzle, make dripping noises and hiss
  • Refrigerator walls – Believe it or not, their expansion and contraction do make some noise. They can click, crack, pop, and creak
  • The compressor – This is the most common source for the noises you hear, and it can whirr, hiss, drip, and make other noises.

Once you find the source, and it is usually the compressor, you can then take the following steps to silence the sounds and have your quiet evening back again.

The Next Steps to Take

Repair man and homeowner listening to the fridge with a stethoscope

There are many different ways to bring the sounds of silence back to your home without replacing your fridge. Most noises you hear are normal for the fridge operation so these methods will help your distinction between those and those sounds that require repairs to be done.

1. Rattling and Other Noises – You can place a fairly large piece of acoustic sound-absorbing foam behind or under your fridge. This foam will absorb many of the normal sounds your fridge makes.

The best results happen when the back of your fridge is touching the foam. Just do not cover the compressor coils.

2. Vibration Noise – This usually takes place when your fridge is uneven. The floor may be warped a little or the leveling legs are off just a little bit. When your fridge is off-kilter, it will vibrate. The fix for this is to get your level and either move the fridge till it is level or adjust the leg levelers until you get the same result.

3. Making Noise When Level – This can still take place after leveling your fridge. The solution to this problem is to get an anti-vibration pad. You can try your own mats or towels but they may not be up to the task.

4. Just Too Much Noise – When it is regular noise and you want peace and quiet, you can always move the fridge to another spot. Some people suggest moving it into an alcove as the smaller space traps those sounds and keeps them from bouncing around the kitchen.

You can soundproof the alcove if you want to make sure the noises remain trapped An alternative to this, especially if you do not have an alcove, is to build one or add a shelving unit around the fridge. You can soundproof the shelving to help trap those sounds

5. Compressor Sounds – It is not a fun job but if you do it, it may cut down those annoying sounds you hear on a quiet evening. Simply clean the compressor and its fan. A lot of times it is dirt and debris that help create the noises you hear. A good cleaning should cut the noise down somewhat.

Last-Ditch Steps You Can Take

Repair man in a blue and red shirt looking at the compressor in the back of a fridge.

If the above solutions do not return you to your silent haven then you have two more steps you can take. These steps are not inexpensive nor are they creative or innovative. They are just practical when everything else fails.

1. Call a Repairman – These sounds you hear may not be the normal ones a fridge makes. It is a good idea to call in a repairman and double-check to see if everything is normal inside your fridge.

If the noises are not normal sounds be prepared to pay for a needed repair.

2. Replace the Fridge – This may be your only option especially when the repairs may cost more than the replacement price. This one is up to your judgment if you take it or not.

One final place to check before you give up hope of having a peaceful evening. Double-check all the screws, nuts, and bolts to make sure they are not loose. Sometimes the hardware can work itself loose and create the source for the sounds you hear.

Just tighten them up and you should be able to what is left of your quiet evening.

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