Refrigerator Compressor Noise [Solutions]

A refrigerator compressor noise is usually a concern if it is noticeably loud. Fortunately, we have looked at the different noises and solutions to them.

Refrigerator Compressor Noise

Refrigerator Compressor Knocking Noise – Quick Fix

The gas in the compressor can create a knocking noise when you move the refrigerator around. While this noise is normal, it helps to leave the refrigerator without moving it around a lot, especially when you just installed it or powered it.

But there are other causes of a knocking noise from a refrigerator compressor, and to determine what is causing it, take the following steps:

Step 1

Ensure the noise is coming from the compressor. Sometimes, a knocking noise comes from the evaporator fan or even the condenser fan. Clean the condenser fan and compressor, and make sure there is no ice around the evaporator fan.

Step 2

If the noise comes from the compressor, level the refrigerator. Unplug it from the wall outlet before starting. Then, tilt it a little to the back and turn the leveling feet until the front is slightly higher than the back. Lower the refrigerator and plug it back into the wall outlet. If the noise remains, try the next step.

Step 3

Tighten the bolts and screws holding the compressor in place. When they become loose, they cause the compressor to move when the refrigerator moves. And when it moves, it hits other components and creates a knocking noise.

If the above fixes don’t apply to your refrigerator compressor, or they don’t fix the knocking noise, contact a qualified technician to check the compressor and determine whether or not it needs to be replaced.

Refrigerator Compressor High Pitched Noise – Solved

A high-pitched noise from a refrigerator compressor indicates the compressor is damaged. There is a motor in the compressor that makes a high-pitched noise when it is faulty. If this is the case, replace the compressor.

Refrigerator Compressor Rattling Noise – What to Do

Typically, a compressor makes a rattling noise when the refrigerator shuts down or turns on during normal operations. You may hear the rattling noise more clearly at night. While the noise may seem like a problem, it is expected in some refrigerators.

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When you should worry is when the noise is too loud and continuous. For this, it may mean the compressor has some loose screws or bolts. Tightening them may stop the noise. But if it continues, the compressor may have internal damages and may need a replacement.

However, be sure the rattling noise is coming from the compressor. Sometimes, the condenser fan makes the same noise when the blades are loose. And because it is close to the compressor, you may assume it is coming from the motor.

Also, check the drain pan. Like the condenser fan, its location makes it easy to assume the compressor is rattling when the noise is from the pan. A loose drain pan rattles whenever the refrigerator powers up or down. Tighten the pan or find support for it to stop the rattling noise.

Finally, check the defrost timer. If the timer is under the refrigerator and makes a rattling as the motor fails, you may think it is the compressor.

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Does a Refrigerator Compressor Make Noise?

A refrigerator compressor makes noise when it is operating normally. The low, quiet hum or buzz you hear is the compressor. When the refrigerator becomes quiet, the compressor has cycled off, probably for a defrost cycle. Compressors don’t run all the time.

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However, it has developed a fault if the compressor becomes loud enough to be heard in another part of the house. You may have to replace it. Have a professional technician check the compressor to determine whether or not you should replace it and the cost of a new compressor. If you own an older model refrigerator, you may want to buy a new refrigerator.

Refrigerator Compressor Clicking – How to Fix

Check the start relay if the compressor is clicking. Detach the relay from the side of the compressor, and shake it while holding it. Typically, the relay should not rattle but if it does, replace the component.

If it does not rattle, test it for continuity between its terminals. Use a multimeter for the test. If the relay shows no continuity, replace it.

The compressor clicks off and on if the relay is faulty. Since the device supplies the power for the compressor to start and run, the compressor will have a hard time starting if the relay fails.

Another reason for the clicking noise is a power overload. Sometimes, the compressor draws more power than it needs and begins to click. Then, it shuts itself down in self-protection. Unplug the refrigerator and wait a few minutes before plugging it back into power. Doing this allows the compressor to cool and restart normally.

In addition to the above, the condenser coils can cause clicking noise from the compressor. When they are significantly dirty. They cause an overload of heat on the compressor, and the motor begins to click.

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Clean the coils thoroughly and be sure to clean them according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. And if you have pets that shed, you may have to clean them more often.

Finally, fixing a faulty condenser fan helps reduce overheating on the coils and the compressor. The fan has the job of cooling the coils and compressor so they don’t overheat and reduce the cooling capacity of the refrigerator. If you notice the fan is not working, check the motor and replace it or replace the entire fan.

Refrigerator Compressor Makes No Sound – Quick Fix

If the compressor of a refrigerator makes no sound, it is likely not running. Typically, a compressor makes noise, though low and quiet. You will hear a comfortable hum or buzz from the refrigerator during normal operations; that is the compressor. No compressor is noiseless.

So it may have given out if the compressor makes no sound. Therefore, check the start relay; run a continuity test to ensure it is still functioning. Check the fan for functionality and replace it if the fan is not working.

Finally, check the compressor. There are steps to run a test on the compressor to determine its functionality. If the compressor has an open circuit, replace it. You can also hire a professional to check the motor.

Here is a video showing how to test the compressor of a refrigerator…


A refrigerator compressor noise can be normal or abnormal, depending on the noise and how loud it is. But before you decide the compressor is noisy, check the condenser fan and drain pan. They are more likely to generate noise than a compressor.

If the compressor fails, you cannot repair it. The only fix is to replace it. Hire a service agent to replace the compressor because it is a somewhat complex job.

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