Refrigerator Compressor Is Rattling [How to Fix]

If you find that a refrigerator compressor is rattling, don’t panic. It may be an easy fix, as we will explain in this article.

Refrigerator Compressor Is Rattling
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Refrigerator Compressor Is Rattling – Quick Fix

Before you check the compressor, check the drain pan. It may be causing the rattling you hear. And because it is close to the compressor, it is easy to assume the compressor is generating the rattling noise.

A loose drain pan will rattle as the refrigerator cycles off and on. So, find the pan and check whether or not it is loose. Consult the refrigerator’s user manual for steps to tighten the pan in position.

Other Components to Check

If the pan is tight yet there is a rattling from the compressor area, check the fan’s blades. Move the refrigerator and unplug it from the wall outlet. Go to the bottom back and find the fan next to the compressor.

Check the blades for debris and functionality. Dirt on the blades creates noise as the blades come in contact with it. Clean them, as well as the condenser coils, to remove every obstruction, and turn them by hand. Any stiffness tells you the blades are generating the rattling as they try hard to turn.

They may also be loose on the shaft, so tighten them to reduce the scraping noise they may generate. Then, check the motor. Take a multimeter and run a continuity test on the motor. If there is no continuity, the motor needs a replacement.

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Another component to check if the fan is working well is the defrost timer. If the timer is located at the bottom back of the appliance, the component may be creating the rattling you hear due to a malfunctioning motor.

Testing the motor of the timer is a little technical. So, it may be best to hire a professional to check the timer and determine whether or not the motor is faulty.

Check the Compressor

However, if you verify the noise is from the compressor, it may mean it is failing. But first, check the springs or screws that hold it in place. They may be weak or loose. If they are weak, replace them. And if they are loose, tighten them. A loose compressor will rattle or vibrate whenever the refrigerator cycles off and on.

If you find that the compressor is not loose but is rattling loudly, you have to test the compressor. While it is a complex process, it is not impossible, and you can check it yourself. Otherwise, contact a certified appliance technician for the job.

Sometimes, it is more cost-effective to replace the entire refrigerator than to buy a new replacement compressor. This is especially true if the unit is older than ten years. But the technician can advise you on what to do, and you don’t have to throw out a rattling compressor immediately.

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