Fridges make a lot of noise. Some are normal, but others might lead you to believe there is a problem with it. One such noise is the refrigerator making knocking noise. It’s not always a clear indicator of a problem, but it can still cause homeowners to panic.
Your refrigerator is suddenly making more noise than normal. Is this loud knocking sound coming from the coils or the condenser? It’s important to note that many appliances make lots of noises. The refrigerator may be dripping water, turning the fan on and off, or running the motor. Other sounds are less expected, like a knocking noise.
The reason for the knocking sound could be as simple as your refrigerator vibrating against the wall, but it might also have other causes that will need to be investigated.
Refrigerator is Hitting the Wall
One common reason why refrigerators make a knocking sound or vibrating sound is because they are touching something else. It can be easy for your refrigerator to bump into the wall or the cabinets. The Fridge naturally has some vibration so the sound would seem louder when it’s touching another surface.
To fix this issue, move the refrigerator out of the way so that there is a few inches of space between it and any other surfaces.
Check Condenser Fan Motor/Blade
Next time your refrigerator knocks, try to pinpoint the noise and figure out what is causing it. For instance, do you hear a noise coming from behind or at the bottom of the refrigerator? If so, there is probably a problem with the condenser fan motor or blade. To access this part, you will need to take aside the panel that is usually easy to remove.
If the blades on the fan are dirty, you need to clean them. If they are clean then, you probably need to check the motor. A motor can cause a knocking noise if it is faulty. A faulty motor can be easily replaced and will not require a whole new refrigerator.
Dirty Condenser Coils
If you notice your refrigerator isn’t keeping things cold enough, take a look at the coils to see if they’re dirty. The condenser may get covered with dirt or lint. If this happens, the condenser will make noise when operating and reduce cooling. If you hear new noises, yet notice the fridge isn’t cooling, take off the front panel and look for dirt on the coils.
It’s not always easy to find the coils. They could be behind the refrigerator on the back, on the bottom of the fridge, or on the side of the fridge. Pull your fridge away from the wall to look for them. They will be black in color. If they’re at the bottom of your fridge, you’ll need to remove a cover to access them.
The coils in your refrigerator are located inside the appliance. There’s no need to call for maintenance or purchase a new refrigerator. You can clean them yourself. To find out how, refer to the owner’s manual for your specific model.
Dust, grime, and lint can accumulate on your condenser fan during operation. The blades of the spinning fan can be bent if a foreign object gets caught in them. All of this can cause a noise that sounds like a knocking from your refrigerator.
Cleaning the condenser coils is a multi-step process. Start by removing the grill and cleaning the underside of the refrigerator. Then, use a vacuum to clean dust and debris from behind the refrigerator. Clean the condenser coils with a soft brush.
Malfunctioning evaporator fan
If you hear a knocking noise coming from the refrigerator and the inside is warm, it’s probably because of the evaporator fan. This component distributes the cold air throughout the appliance to keep it cool. If it’s not working, your fridge will have trouble being cold enough.
The noise may be coming from the evaporator fan motor. It may not be working properly, there may be an object blocking the fan, or the fan blade might be bent and hitting something when it spins, causing a knocking sound.
Here are steps to take:
- Remove all food from the freezer so you have room to work.
- Unplug the fridge and remove all food from inside.
- Carefully use a hairdryer to defrost ice that is blocking the evaporator fan.
- If that doesn’t work, take off the panel on the fridge and find the evaporator fan.
If the evaporator fan is not spinning quite right, remove it. Brush off the dirt with a brush, and then try to spin it a few times. If that doesn’t work, something may be stuck around the fan that is preventing it from spinning properly.
If the evaporator fan is bent, it won’t work properly. If it’s out of shape, try to gently bend it back into shape. However, if it’s not balanced, you need to buy a new one right away.
The first thing to do when you sense that the evaporator fan is not working is to call a technician. They will find out if it needs to be replaced or if other parts need to be fixed.
The compressor is a common cause of knocking in refrigerators; however, if you have a new refrigerator making the noise, the compressor is probably not the cause. The most common culprits are older models, so if you have an older fridge, it may just be its age.
Sometimes, noise coming from your refrigerator can be caused by the compressor. It’s important to know that most homeowners cannot access the compressor without professional services. If you think the noise is coming from the compressor, contact a professional. They will need to clean, repair, or replace the compressor as necessary.
The cost of a replacement compressor for a refrigerator can be very expensive. In many cases, it is far more sensible to just buy a new refrigerator.