A Pulsating Sound in a Refrigerator

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A pulsating sound from your refrigerator doesn't mean it isn't working well.
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A refrigerator can make loud noises throughout the day and night. When your fridge begins pulsing and popping, it can be a sign that the appliance needs some repairs. If the refrigerator surging sound or pulsating is new, then addressing it sooner than later can keep the appliance running well for years.

Pulsating Sound in Refrigerators

A refrigerator that makes pulsating sounds could be due to a simple issue. A small screw can work its way loose from the evaporator, condenser or compressor and find its way into one of the many nooks and crannies of the appliance. Whenever the fridge runs through its many cycles, it can create an annoying pulsating sound.

The evaporator absorbs the heat from the interior and can cause a pulsing noise if it is on its way out. It holds bearings that can get loose and create an irritating sound. The evaporator's rotating fans can also be a problem and cause a pulsating sound if they become caked with dirt or are somehow bent.

Check the evaporator coils for dirt and dust and clean them off regularly to keep the appliance in good working order.

Refrigerator Surging Sound

When the refrigerator stops and starts its cycle, you may hear the surging sound. The thaw cycle of refrigerators can create a surging sound in the refrigerator. If the refrigerator is otherwise working well and doesn't have any drops or rises in temperature, then it could be a normal noise associated with maintaining the appliance.

However, if the refrigerator surging sound is new and is associated with noises that seem to indicate that the appliance is working harder than it should, then it may have a bad motor or fan, which may take a professional to re-wire and repair.

Gurgling Sounds From the Fridge

A gurgling noise can be a normal sound coming from a hardworking fridge, according to Express Repair. The gurgling sound may be heard when the defrost cycle is in action, which causes the ice to melt and run down to the draining pan.

Buzzing Sounds in a Fridge

The water dispenser fills throughout the day. This can create a low buzzing sound that comes on and off. This noise is likely the appliance doing its job to deliver fresh water to the residents. If the water is shut off or the refrigerator isn't connected to a water line and it still makes a buzzing noise, then it may be a different issue. Turn off the water dispenser and ice maker until the source of the buzzing is found.

Vibration Sounds From the Fridge

A refrigerator that creates unwanted noises in the night could be due to unlevel positioning. Aside from the assault on your ears, an unlevel fridge can also make the fridge work harder to maintain its temperature and create ice. Adjusting the rollers on the bottom of the fridge can fix the issue.

Remove the grill in the bottom front of the refrigerator and use a wrench to adjust the wheels. Make sure the appliance can't tip forward and that the doors are completely shut and secure from swinging open. Turn the wheels clockwise to raise the refrigerator and counterclockwise to lower the appliance.

The wheels shouldn't actually be completely level, according to CNET. Appliance manufacturers recommend that the appliance's front wheels sit about 1/4 to up to 1/2 inch above the back wheels. This also helps the appliance to run well and reduces the risk of the hulking beast from tipping forward.


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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