How to Troubleshoot a Loud Popping Noise in a Refrigerator

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Make sure to pay attention to the noises that your refrigerator makes.
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A properly functioning refrigerator hums along in its cozy nook, providing a perfect environment to keep all the favorite foods and beverages of the household at just the right temperature. When the fridge is making a knocking noise, it is basically letting those in ear shot know that it needs some attention. Giving the fridge that is clicking the attention that it deserves immediately to keep the hardworking appliance in good working order.

A refrigerator can make noises that are natural, such as ice falling from trays in the freezer. Loud noises need to be investigated. Rooting out the problem can lead to a quick fix so you don't have to call a professional.

Brand New Fridge Making Noise

After removing the film and tape and sliding the refrigerator into its nook in the kitchen, it can seem the hard work is over. However, aside from the 24 hours it takes for the fridge to create ice and get to a food-safe temperature, a new fridge can make some knocking sounds after it has been slid into its crevice.

Some new refrigerators need adjustment after being slid into the countertop cabinetry. If the normal running of the fridge makes it knock against the surrounding cabinetry, then a felt tab between the walls, countertops and cabinetry can be a simple fix.

Normal Refrigerator Sounds

Refrigerators are stationary but rather busy. Don't be alarmed if the refrigerator makes an occasional knock or pop. Knowing when the sounds that come from this appliance aren't usual can help you to keep it in good working order over its lifetime.

A gurgling sound coming from the refrigerator typically means that the refrigerant pressure is settling within the tubing that runs behind the appliance, according to Sears Parts Direct. When the refrigerator vibrates, this can be due to the refrigerant simply doing its job and flowing through the cooling system. It can also be due to water flowing through the water line to feed the ice maker.

A dripping sound can be due to the normal defrosting of the freezer. Popping sounds tend to be associated with the interior wall of the fridge contracting when the refrigerator cools or defrosts. This can often happen more at night when temperatures, in general, drop in the home.

Knocking Sounds from a Fridge

Part Select suggests that if the appliance is making a lot of popping sounds in regular intervals that the condenser fan motor should be checked. It runs when the evaporator motor and compressor come on. Simple issues with the condenser fan can be fixed before it becomes a problem.

The condenser is typically located at the bottom rear next to the compressor. Unplug the refrigerator and remove the rear access panel to locate the condenser fan motor. Remove any debris, dust or obvious obstructions with short bursts of air from a can before replacing the rear access panel.

Cleaning out the coils twice a year should only take about 30 minutes and should be done twice a year, according to Family Handyman. If the refrigerator won't cool down to the food-safe 40 degrees Fahrenheit or falls well below that, then it may be time to call a professional repairman to investigate the noisy appliance.

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Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.

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