How To Quiet A Noisy Refrigerator Compressor

A noisy refrigerator can be among the most annoying noise makers around your home specially if the issue to the noisy is not attended to. This is a very bothering issue.

I must admit, I once had an experience of a refrigerator that was making just so much noise in my university hostel room way back luckily my problem was resolved in time. In this article, I have discussed 12 effective ways on how to quiet a noisy refrigerator compressor.

However, it is completely normal for refrigerators to make noises because that is the way they are designed to operate in order to cool your food. I will briefly look at how refrigerators work to cool your food shortly.

In this article I have put together some tips how you can reduce the noise coming from your refrigerator and particularly how you can quiet a refrigerator compressor. But before I jump into in to details, here are some of the things that I have covered in this article which include;

  • What a refrigerator compressor is and how it works.
  • Possible reasons for your noisy compressor.
  • How to address a noisy refrigerator compressor and.
  • Many other DIY to quiet a noisy refrigerator

What is a refrigerator compressor and how does it work?

It is a component of the refrigerator that actually does the major job of the refrigerator. As the name itself, a compressor, compresses or constricts the refrigerant gas, raising its pressure and then pushes it into the coils that are located at the back of the refrigerator.

This high pressure gas goes into the coils with a low condensing point such that with just at the room temperature of the kitchen, the gas turns quickly into liquid.

As the refrigerant passes through the coils inside the refrigerator, it cools down and absorbs the heat from the refrigerator thereby cooling the air. Eventually the refrigerant evaporates to gas and flows back to the compressor where the processes cycle start over again.

Possible reasons for your noisy refrigerator compressor

  • Uneven Base: When the base where your refrigerator is stationed or placed is not even. There will normally be vibrations which will cause noise.
  • The flow of the refrigerant liquid in the coils sometimes will actually produce that water dribbling sound.
  • The contraction and expansion of your refrigerator walls. Because of the temperature changes within your refrigerator, it is absolutely normal for the walls to contract and expand causing the cracking sound.
  • If your refrigerator is one of those with an ice maker. Ice making process produces a lot of different noises some of which can be actually alarming but this is perfectly normal.
  • Sometimes when the inlet water valve opens to allow the dispensation of the water, it will cause a clicking or buzzing sound
  • Loose handles or doors can also cause rattling noises. Ensuring that there are no loose handles or doors will often eliminate those unpleasant noises that are as a result of vibrations.
  • And in some cases, if the ice maker is on but the water supply to your refrigerator is not there or is disconnected, you may hear some buzzing sound. As I mentioned earlier, this is absolutely normal. What you have to do here is to disconnect or turn off the icemaker or turn on water supply to your refrigerator.
  • If your refrigerator is touching the walls of your cabinet or walls. This will cause vibrating noise. You can however just make sure that your refrigerator does not touch your cabinet or walls to avoid these kinds of vibration noises.
  • Sizzling or hissing sound: this type of noise will be produced as the frost is evaporating after it drips on the defrost heater.

We have looked at the possible sources of noises that your refrigerator makes and the common source of noise is from your refrigerator compressor. It is therefore very important that before you start doing anything with your refrigerator you first determine the source of the noise.

Suppose you discover that, actually the noise is coming from the back of the refrigerator particularly, your refrigerators compressor, then will you need to take necessary steps to fix that noise. So, in the following section I will be discussing how you can quiet a  refrigerator compressor.

How to quiet a noisy refrigerator compressor

  1. As a courtesy of routine, regularly clean your refrigerators compressor together with your fans: Over time dust and particles may accumulate on the blades of the fans of both the compressor and the condenser fans. There is often loud alarming noise from there when there are small particle that are stuck on the fan blades. Not only the outside part, but it is also important to clean the interior of your refrigerator. A clogged ice maker can be a source of rattling and grinding noises. The following are some basic steps to take in order to clean your condenser fans:
  • Step 1: Move the refrigerator away from its usual position in such a way that you will have access to its rear and also its bottom covers. At this point you will also need to disconnect it form the power supply.
  • Step 2:  With the covers out, look from the fan blades and carefully inspect it for any dirt or debris, these can be a source for noise.
  • Step 3: After that, you can also check for any damages. It’s not uncommon for loud noise to be produced from damaged blades.
  • Step 4: Use a paint brush to remove dust form the fan blades as well as the motor and the condenser. After that you can vacuum every Area hourly.
  • Step 5: put pack the covers and put back the refrigerator in position without forgetting to connect your refrigerator to the power source
  1. Check the evaporator fan and condenser fan: Unbearable loud noise coupled with vibrations can also be experienced when either the evaporator fan blades or condenser fan blades are defective.
  2. Ensure your refrigerator is position on a level surface: Your refrigerator consists of several components that are always in motion such as the fans and the motors, and so if not all the legs of your refrigerator don’t firmly rest on the floor,  the vibrations from the moving parts will most definitely be a major source of noise.
  3. Placing the refrigerator on a mat: some surfaces such as wood or metal surface are not suitable for placing most appliances as these surfaces tend to amply the sound. Even that little sound that is produce from your refrigerator can be amplified and made even louder by the surfaces of your refrigerator. You may consider getting sound dampening mats. These types of mats are made in such a way that they will dampen the sound that is likely to come from your refrigerator including from the fans and your refrigerator’s compressors.
  4. Consider placing your refrigerator into an alcove: The loudest noise usually come from the compressors which are located at the back of your refrigerator You may want to move your refrigerator from further away from other appliances into an alcove.  This maybe a great option especially that the walls and surfaces will prevent most noise from escaping.  Many alcoves are naturally built with sound proofing surfaces. Just make sure there is enough space between your refrigerator and the walls, atleast 3 inches  to allow the flow of air  so that  your refrigerator’s system does not overheat
  5. If you feel the above tips don’t work for you, you might want to soundproof your refrigerator: A better way to soundproof your refrigerator is to soundproof the wall or surfaces around it.  Soundproofing the walls with sound absorbers will do really a great job because it will prevent sound from bouncing off or echoing into your home.
  6. Replacing defective condenser fan motor: A condenser fan is rotated by a motor. Sometimes a more may become defective which may produce undesirable sound. Normally when you have a faulty fan motor, it can be replaced with a new one or a non-defective compatible motor. If you decide to replace a defective motor fan by yourself, these are some of the steps you need to remember to take to ensure your safety and the safety of your refrigerator too;
    • Step 1:  Make sure you disconnect your refrigerator from the power source. Unplug from the power socket.
    • Step 2: Disconnect the water line and remove the screws from the rear and bottom covers.  If there is dust, remove dust with a brush (paint brush can do) from both the fan blades and the condenser.
    • Step 3: Remove the fan blade and the rubber washer off the motor shaft.
    • Step 4: This is now the time to remove the mounting bracket form the older more and replace on the new motor. At this time you can disconnect the two wires of the more from the terminal block, that is, if you have not done so yet.
    • Step 5: Install the rubber washer and the flan blade on the new motor. Connect the wires back to the terminal block and put everything back into position ensuring that there is no wires or anything between the fan blade.
    • Step 6: Test-run it and if it works, take back the brackets and tighten all the screws in the positions they should be.
    • Step 7: Don’t forget to fit rear covers and the bottom covers.
    • Step 8: Reinstall the water line and make sure of the connections are tight to prevent leakage.
    • Step 9: plug back the refrigerator to the socket power and more your refrigerator in its usual position.

    Watch how to replace a refrigerator condenser fan motor in the video below:

  1. Fill the refrigerator with something: as they essay, empty vessel make the most noise. Any container that is empty will make much more noise that the one that is filled with items. Try filling your refrigerator with something like food or drinks and observe if it will reduce the noise from the compressor, From my experience, the chances are, it will surely reduce.
  2. White noise technique?: How about using the white noises to cancel out the buzzing or other sound from your refrigerator. Though I have personally never used these techniques research indicates they are effective. I understand its the noise that you don’t want, so i don’t think bringing other types of noise, to cancel out the undesirable noise will do much. 
  1. Don’t run on very low temperatures: When you refrigerator is set to run at the lowest possible temperatures, it will produce noise. This is unnoticed many times but it really does. Check the temperature that is set to ensure it is not at its lowest.
  2. Call the professionals: if the above listed is something that you think you cannot do then its time you thought about calling the professionals. Professionals are trained to do specific jobs and they come with all necessary tools to diagnose the problem. So I should expect them for you really quick. However it is quite normal for most old refrigerator or aged refrigerators to make undesirable noise.
  3. Consider replacing the refrigerator: If you have the advice give above and you think there is no point in trying them out all the refrigerator still keeps making noise, then it is high time you  considered replacing your refrigerator with another one particularly a new as refrigerator as they star longer tend to make much more noises. But  there are some things that you need to consider before buying a new refrigerator. In the next section, I have outlined factors to consider before buying a new refrigerator.

Things to consider before buying a new refrigerator

  • Look at its energy efficient: Generally speaking, the larger the refrigerator, the higher the energy consumption. Most energy saving refrigerators come with compressors that mostly running most of the time but are still make less noise than older ones. When replacing an old refrigerator with a new refrigerator  consider not leaving the old refrigerator for additional refrigeration. If one refrigerator cannot meet your cooling needs at all, please make sure that the second refrigerator or freezer is energy-efficient and does not exceed the size you need. Make sure to recycle the existing second refrigerator from the garage or basement.
  • Check the size: Is the size of that refrigerator within the size of an alcove or the area where you want it positioned? These this is not an uncommon mistake made by a lot of people. Ensuring that you get the correct size of the refrigerator will prevent you from additional costs such on swapping with the correct sized refrigerators or making changes to your kitchen. You can find out the size of your desired spot by taking the measurement for the dimension of your old refrigerator.
  • Check other user’s ratings: The chances are that the refrigerator you want to use has also been used by other people and is likely to have user ratings. You can check user ratings and also review on the particular refrigerators to help you make an informed decision.
  • Get a refrigerator that meets your cooling needs: If you intend to store a lot of items in your refrigerator, consider buying one with enough capacity to meet your needs.
  • To sum up to this: Ensure that your old refrigerator is recycled to help prevent global warming.

Having discussed how to quiet a refrigerator  compressor, I hope the information has been helpful to you. You can also read on how to make your generator quiet as a cricket here.