A refrigerator is one of those household appliances many people take for granted, simply assuming it will work seamlessly to offer convenience on a daily basis. Sometimes, whether broken or not, a fridge will make sounds like clanking, buzzing or knocking, the latter of which is somewhat common. If your freezer or fridge is making a knocking sound, it's likely due in part to a faulty compressor, condenser fan or evaporator fan.
Possible Causes of Banging Sounds
In most cases, a repetitive banging or knocking sound coming from your refrigerator can be attributed to the compressor or, more accurately, the condenser fan. The condenser is a part that condenses the refrigerant that cools your appliance, while the fan, which is located right next to it, pushes air through the condenser so the coolant can circulate. You may hear a banging sound if your condenser's fan has gone out, and it will usually sound like it's coming from the back of the refrigerator, according to Peach Appliance Repair.
Another possible cause of your fridge or freezer making a loud banging noise is the evaporator fan. This fan is in a panel inside of the freezer and is designed to push cool air from the freezer to your refrigerator. If you hear a knocking sound and also notice that your fridge or freezer isn't as cool as usual or you see food spoiling sooner, your evaporator fan may be the reason.
Normal Sounds in a Fridge
In most households, the refrigerator is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so even a brand-new fridge making noise isn't uncommon. All of that time spent running and keeping your perishable items cool is made possible by a variety of mechanisms, and certain sounds aren't necessarily cause for alarm. According to GE Appliances, hissing, buzzing, clicking, whistling, humming and even knocking are sounds that you might hear a refrigerator in good working condition make.
Some noises that may sound similar to a banging sound aren't always bad news. A clicking sound may denote that the refrigerator's timer is switching on and off, while a fridge making a knocking sound usually indicates that your appliance's refrigerant is circulating. Freezers can also cause their fair share of strange sounds. For example, a snapping sound after you've just used an automatic ice maker to dispense ice can occur when the chute is closing, and a rattling sound may occur if your ice maker is on but there's no water in there to freeze.
Preventing and Addressing Unwanted Noises
To prevent irritating or unwanted sounds from your refrigerator, keeping your appliance clean and free of dust, dirt and anything that may result in excess moisture, like rotting fruits or vegetables, will go a long way in keeping a quiet kitchen. If you know that the knocking sound is due to your condenser or compressor fan, try looking behind the fridge and inside the access panel. Then, wipe away any dust or debris that might be clogging the fan or preventing it from turning, instructs Mr. Appliance. You should also inspect any rubber grommets or pieces that may have tears and replace them as needed.
To address a noisy evaporator fan, remove the panel on the inside of your freezer to locate the fan. You may need to spin the fan's blade to see if it's working correctly, as well as check wires, connectors and grommets for wear and tear like corrosion. As with any appliance repair that either you can't or don't feel comfortable handling on your own, consult your local appliance repair shop to schedule an appointment and possibly prevent further damage.