New Refrigerator Noises to Expect

Overall, refrigerators are quieter than they used to be. But today’s refrigerators have many additional features, such as ice makers and water dispensers, that make sounds you’re not used to.

Here are some normal new refrigerator noises.

During Normal Operation

Rattling or vibrating can be refrigerant flowing through the cooling system or water flowing through the water line.

A pulsating or high-pitched sound can come from the compressor or fans as they adjust to optimize performance. They’re different from the steady speed motors and fans you are used to on your old model.

Gurgling as the refrigerator shuts off after a cooling cycle is the refrigerant flowing through the tubing in the cooling system. You might also hear gurgling when you open or close the refrigerator or freezer door as water equalizes in the drain pan when air is forced through the tube.

During the Defrost Cycle

Dripping during the defrost cycle is water running into the drain pan in the back of the freezer compartment.

Sizzling or hissing during the defrost cycle is water dripping on the defrost heater as it runs into the drain pan.

Popping or cracking can be the contraction and expansion of the inside walls of the refrigerator when the refrigerator cools for the first time or defrosts.

If You Have an Ice Maker

Buzzing is the water valve opening to fill the ice maker.

Thumping or hammering can be the ice maker’s water supply line banging against the wall or back of the refrigerator during the fill cycle. If this sound seems excessive, check the supply line behind the refrigerator.

Cracking can be ice cubes being ejected from the ice maker, followed by a crashing sound as they fall into the ice bin.

Keep in mind that hard surfaces, such as the floor, walls and cabinets, can amplify these sounds. Try adjusting the refrigerator’s position or putting a mat on the floor to reduce the noise level.

Replacing Refrigerator Filter – Tutorial

GE 25.9 cu. ft. Side-By-Side Refrigerator – Stainless Steel ENERGY STAR®


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  1. This is a good post. My refrigerator makes many of those noises. I hear the gurgling and the hissing. It pops sometimes. These are normal noises that just seem abnormal if you are not used to them.

  2. Kitchen Aid French Door 22 cu ft-noise coming from the top center inside of unit where cold air comes into the refrigerator side from the freezer...buzzing, vibrating, on and off continual sounds...must be motor or baffle noise. Kitchen Aid will not fix the problem through a recall process even though they are aware of problem. Many users are experiencing the same thing. Check the blogs out there...doors not closing reliably and this noise are well known problems that Kitchen Aid will not fix. Go find another manufacturer that will stand by their product. Unfortunately, most of the major brands are made by the same few manufacturers...this is a Whirpool manufactured unit.

    1. In response to hicksto


    2. In response to hicksto

      Based on your description It’s probably the damper, which is electronically controlled, and adjusts to regulate the flow of air and the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer sections. It sounds like it’s not affecting the functioning of the unit.If the unit is under warranty,( one full year from date of opurchase) you can request service to have the problem diagnosed. I would not advise going in yourself to look at the mechanism, because it is essential to the functioning of the unit, and it could void your warranty. BTW, what is your model number? I will be glad to research this more.

      Thanks Ron H.


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