Why Does My Refrigerator Keep Making Popping/Humming Sound?

Has your refrigerator been making strange popping sounds lately? There might be nothing to worry about, or there can be a serious problem also. Let’s find out what it is.

Here’ Why Refrigerators Make Popping Noise:

Usually, refrigerators make popping or humming sounds due to many harmful reasons such as a regular thermal contraction-relaxation cycle of the material of the fridge or vibration of loosely packed mechanical components. But, sometimes, these noises can be due to some serious reasons such as electrical malfunction, failing parts, fan blade issues, etc.

In this article, we’ve explained all the reasons why your refrigerator is making a loud popping sound, constant humming noise, or vibrating its surface violently. Read on to know how to minimize refrigerator noise & detect if anything serious requires your attention.

Refrigerator Sound Constant Popping

Why My Refrigerator Makes Popping Sound Continuously?

Even the most expensive refrigerator makes some sort of popping, humming, thudding or hissing noise once in a while. Most of these refrigerator noises are linked to one of these causes (of course, not all are harmless, but some are):

1. Thermal Expansion & consequent Thermal Contraction

A refrigerator is a cooling appliance, and thus it varies its temperature every once in a while, at specific points in its cyclic mechanism. These regular temperature changes are also reflected in the plastic that forms the inside of the refrigerator; thus, a popping sound can result from plastic expanding and contracting with temperature changes in a cycle.

2. Vibrational Motion

The popping sound could also be the result of vibrations that are produced during the working cycle of the refrigerator:

  • The pulse of loose mechanical components when the compressor motor drives at full power.
  • The engine can also cause the shelves inside the fridge to hit back and forth to the walls and cause regular sounds.

Vibrations are usual and are often the most common cause of popping sounds that continue incessantly.

3. Defrost Failure

A refrigerator is a complex machinery, and the cooling mechanism sometimes malfunctions. Another cause for the continuous popping sound could be a glitch or fault in the defrost timer, making it stick in the defrost cycle, causing the evaporator coil to cool continuously and lead to popping sounds.

4. Valve Glitch

The water inlet valve has the job to allow water inside the icing mechanism and also drive the water out to the dispenser. The popping sounds could be the result of one of the two reasons:

  • A popping sound is usually caused by water entering or leaving the system through the valve; this goes on routinely, and it is pretty standard.
  • If the sound is continuous rather than routine, it is a cause of concern as the water channel may have been blocked or interrupted by some foreign material.

5. Mechanical Failure

There are lots of serious mechanical failures that can happen inside your refrigerator that can cause popping or thudding sounds. Some of them are –

  • Fans blade being jammed or hitting corners
  • Internal Electric leakage
  • Motor shaft misalignment inside one of the fridge motors

Other Types of Refrigerator Noises

Static sounds can be a result of the coils not operating optimally. This could happen when they are covered in dust, this will stimulate them to work at a greater power than usual in the cooling cycle. The overworking could result in constant static sounds. Such issues need cleaning of the refrigerator coils and might need a call to customer service.

The humming sound is the most common in refrigerators and can arise due to various reasons. It could be the routine working of the compressor and the motor that yields slow humming sounds, or the sound could also be the result of water getting filled in the icing mechanism. These noises are normal and nothing to worry about in such cases.

How to Reduce Refrigerator Noises?

The refrigerator noises can be minimized to the extent that you will notice them only if you need catching. There can be various simple ways to do so.

  1. Leveling the surface beneath the legs could be an effective measure to reduce maximum vibrations.
  2. The fridge is placed on a mat will have a considerable noise reduction.
  3. Building a wooden enclosure around the fridge will reduce almost all kinds of noise from all sorts of sources.
  4. The vibrations that exist in the insides of the refrigerator can be dampened by layering sound-proofing materials inside.
  5. Regular compressor cleaning and wiping the dust off the fan can lead to resistance-free working and consequently reduced noises.

When to Start Worrying About Refrigerator Sounds?

The refrigerator sounds can be problematic or natural, the difference is lovely, but the costs of misunderstanding the contrast is high. Some issues can be troubleshot at home, and for the rest, technical assistance is needed.

1. Interference to Fan Blades

If the sounds the fridge makes are somewhat of the knocking or recurring tapping noises, then it could either be the condenser fan or the evaporator fan whose blades are getting interrupted in motion.

  • The rear panel in case of a condenser fan can be removed and watched for the hindrances in the blade’s cycle, if any.
  • Next, the cover of the evaporator fan from the inside of the fridge can be removed, and an inspection of the fan similar to the former can be done.

2. Compressor Fault

The humming sounds, as stated earlier, are generally expected, but if they are loud enough, then it could be a cause of concern. In this case, the issue will need technical assistance.


The refrigerator has a mechanized cooling cycle, and thus minor faults and glitches are normal and need not be paid heed to. However, when the sounds erupting from the fridge seem slightly worse than usual, there might be certain hindrances in the cooling air icing cycle’s path.

More often than not, refrigerator customers are themselves able to troubleshoot the issue and minimize or totally avoid refrigerator popping/humming sound but, in those cases, when whatever you do, nothing is making any difference, it’s important to seek professional help from refrigerator repair mechanic near your area.

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