It is normal for a refrigerator to make some operational sounds, such as humming, rattling, vibrating, etc. All these operational sounds of a refrigerator are minimal; you might not even hear them until you are closer enough. When the sounds become disturbingly loud, then something must be wrong. Producing mice-like noise (squealing) is not a normal operational sound of a refrigerator. I have helped you to research the common causes of the squeaking noise and how to fix it.
After reading this blog to the end, you will be able to identify the cause of the squeaking noise. You will learn how to fix the malfunctioning parts of the refrigerator by yourself or when to call a professional. I will also explain some normal operational sounds of a refrigerator.
Identifying where the noise is coming from
Table of Contents
- 1 Identifying where the noise is coming from
- 2 Why does your refrigerator make squeaking noise?
- 3 Other notable Refrigerator Operational Sounds
- 4 Conclusion
A refrigerator consists of many functional parts working together to give the desired result – keeping things fresh. Each part of a refrigerator produces its own operational sound, which usually sums up into a humming sound. If you hear strange loud noise, a component of the fridge is probably faulty.
Move closer to your refrigerator and listen attentively to the part where the noise is coming from. A squealing noise can be produced by two functional parts of the refrigerator. The noise is either coming from the evaporator fan or the condenser fan motor.
Noise from the back of the refrigerator
If your refrigerator is hidden within a kitchen cabinet or wall, gently pull it out. Moving the fridge out of the cabinet or wall will help you to see its back.
The condenser fan motor is usually located at the bottom part behind the refrigerator. Focus your attention on the condenser fan motor to be sure that the noise is coming from it.
Noise from inside the refrigerator
The condenser fan motor should be checked before concluding that the noise is coming from the evaporator fan. This is because the noise of a faulty condenser fan is usually louder than the evaporator fan.
Open your fridge and listen attentively for the noise while it is still plugged into an electrical source. The evaporator fan is always at the upper layer in most fridges. The squeaking noise from a faulty evaporator fan will become louder when you open your fridge.
Why does your refrigerator make squeaking noise?
Squeaking noises are usually produced by a faulty fan in or at the back of your fridge. The malfunctioning is usually a result of dirt and debris building up on the fan blades, which may alter the speed of the fan. To solve the issue, you might have to either clean the fan, replace it or change the condenser fan motor completely.
- The Evaporator Fans
The evaporator fans are important part of the refrigeration and cooling system of a refrigerator. It expels heat absorbed by the coil inside the fridge to the outside. The evaporator fan also blows air over the cold coil to circulate cold air within the refrigerator.
When the evaporator fan is faulty, your fridge freezing process will automatically deteriorate. This is because heat will be trapped within the refrigerator.
How to Fix a Faulty Evaporator Fan
The most common cause of a faulty evaporator fan is ice or dirt. A damaged or bent evaporator fan can also make a squeaking noise. The evaporator fan motor can wear out over time and you will need to replace them.
Replacing a faulty evaporator fan motor is not as easy as replacing a malfunctioning condenser fan motor. The evaporator fan motor is hiding behind a panel in your fridge. Contact a professional service provider to replace a faulty evaporator fan motor.
If the cause of the squeaking noise is dirt, ice, or a faulty fan blade, a thorough cleaning/replacement will solve the issue. Below are the steps to replace the evaporator fan blade.
Note: This is a general guide on how to change an evaporator fan. The steps below are not restricted to a particular fridge brand. Regardless of the brand of your fridge, these steps are applicable.
- Unplug the fridge from the power source. Empty the fridge and remove all its shelves. Also, some of the shelves may be attach to the rails, use suitable screwdriver to unscrew and remove the shelves. In addition, some fridge shelves may be connected through a tab button, depress the tabs to remove the shelve/
- Unscrew the screws holding the access panel behind the fridge shelves with a screwdriver to access the evaporator behind. In some refrigerators, you may need to unscrew the shelve railings to access the panel.
- Unscrew and disconnect the ice maker panel and lift it out easily to access the back cabinet
- Disconnect the evaporator fan motor wire. Pull out the rear access panel to see the evaporator motor assembly.
- Gently remove the old fan blade from the evaporator motor shaft.
- Insert the new evaporator fan blade till it clicks.
- Return the rear access panel to the fridge and snap it in.
- Reconnect the evaporator fan motor wire.
- Thread in all the screws that you removed.
- Plug the fridge into the power source. Check the fridge functionality.
Watch this video clip to conveniently replace or clean your refrigerator evaporator fan
- Condenser Fan Motor
A condenser fan motor blows fresh air to the compressor and the condenser coil. It prevents the condenser coil and compressor from overheating while working.
Some fridge does not have a condenser fan motor because their condenser coil depends on the air of the surrounding to cool itself. The fridge should not be positioned close to the wall; to allow the free flow of fresh air.
How to fix a malfunctioning condenser fan motor
A malfunctioning condenser fan motor can make the compressor shut off due to overheating. This could cause the temperature in the refrigerator to rise automatically.
Check for dirt and debris that might be obstructing the condenser fan blades of the fridge. This could be preventing them from turning ON. Use a clean cloth to wipe away any dirt from the fan blades.
To troubleshoot a faulty condenser fan, use a multi-meter to check if the motor is receiving the appropriate voltage required. If the motor is receiving the appropriate voltage but not running properly, then it is defective. In such a case, the condenser fan motor should be replaced.
How to replace a condenser fan motor
- Unplug the refrigerator from the electrical power source
- Unscrew and remove the downward back panel of your fridge. The panel is usually cardboard or aluminum.
- Locate the fan blade connected to the condenser motor. Carefully pull the plastic fan blade from the condenser motor without disconnecting any of the wires surrounding it.
- Locate the refrigerator condenser and carefully disconnect the wire connector from the condenser fan motor. Unscrew the condenser from the internal mounting bracket. Gently pull out the old condenser motor. Dust the mounting bracket with a clean cloth.
- Pick up the new condenser motor that is the exact model of the one you removed. Insert the condenser motor into the internal mounting bracket. Ensure you positioned it the exact way the previous one was positioned.
- Carefully align the screw holes on the condenser motor with the screw holes on the mounting bracket. Fix the condenser motor to the mounting bracket using the new screw that came with the new condenser motor
- Insert the new fan blade into the condenser fan motor.
- Connect one end of the new wire connector to the fridge wiring. Push the other end of the wire connector to the condenser motor till you hear a click sound.
- Plug the fridge into the electrical power source to check if the condenser fan blade is working properly. Once you are satisfied with its working conditions, unplug the fridge from the power source.
- Re-align the back panel and thread in all the screws that you removed.
- Plug the fridge into the power source. Reposition the fridge back to its original place.
Watch this video clip to conveniently replace or clean your refrigerator Condenser fan
Other notable Refrigerator Operational Sounds
Here are some of the normal operational sounds you should expect from your refrigerator. These sounds can only become a problem when they become too loud.
This usually comes from the fridge compressor. The sound will increase and decrease over time as the refrigerator goes through its operational cycle. You can also hear a blowing sound from the circulation fan inside the fridge. Except the sound becomes disturbingly loud, you have nothing to worry about.
This is a sound that occurs at regular intervals as the fridge goes through its operational cycle. It is caused by gases and refrigerants moving through the fridge’s pipe.
Watch this video clip to conveniently replace or clean your refrigerator Condenser fan
Refrigerators make sounds for proper functioning. The sounds are produced at regular intervals without any disruption. If the sound from your fridge becomes disturbingly loud, something is wrong somewhere that needs to be fixed.
Squeaking noises are usually produced by faulty fans or motors. Identify the malfunctioning part of your fridge by following the steps in this blog.
Contact a professional service provider when needed. This is to avoid causing electrical damage to your fridge while you are trying to fix a noisy issue.